Heaven changed forever on February 18, 2022, at 3:36 a.m. when Harry Hutt arrived and asked God, “Can I watch SportsCenter here?”
Harry was born July 15, 1942, in Gloversville, NY to Rev. Herschel and Valentine Hutt. Sports always played a significant role in Harry’s life. He played basketball, baseball, soccer, and was an all-star shot putter in high school. For the next 30 years he continued his love for sports, holding coaching and front office executive positions in both college and professional athletics that included Spring Arbor University, Roberts Wesleyan College, University of Buffalo, Detroit Pistons, Portland Trailblazers, Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Lightning. He did it all…coaching, marketing, ticket operations, broadcasting and media communications, corporate sales and digital media. Harry, was recently inducted into the Roberts Wesleyan Basketball Hall of Fame. He lived life big and squeezed every last drop out of every moment.
Perhaps even more impressive was his teaching experience. He always said, “Teaching and mentoring are the main hallmarks of my sports career.” He helped shape many young men and women’s lives, not only on how to have a successful career in sports but how to be successful in life. And he continued to mentor them wherever they lived or wherever they worked.
Everywhere you looked in Harry’s various homes across the US, there would be signed posters, basketballs, hockey sticks and really big shoes from the likes of Bill Walton, Dennis Rodman, Bill Laimbeer and Isiah Thomas. Harry never took off his Detroit Pistons championship ring. In fact, he had two (1989 and 1990) and would rotate wearing them. Even people in grocery stores would ask him about his ring and he was more than happy to tell them about the Bad Boys and their back-to-back wins. He never met a stranger.
Generosity was Harry’s middle name. You wanted tickets to a game or concert? Harry could set you up. He knew everyone! The friendships Harry made through the years continued right up until the end. His passion and enthusiasm for life were contagious, and he loved regaling friends and family with his stories, long and around the barn as they often were.
He married his beloved Peg in 2009. No doubt her love of sports might have had something to do with it. They often went to Rays baseball games, Lightning hockey games, spring training games and watched the Tampa Bay Buccaneers every Sunday during football season with Peg’s long time Bucs Group. Harry and Peg loved to entertain as well as participate in community and charitable events. They were active in church activities: Peg teaching Sunday School and Harry in charge of the Ushers. Harry was a loving stepfather to Peg’s two children (Heather Beaumont and Chad Beaumont) and amusing and kindhearted grandpa to Peg’s grandkids.
He loved his three daughters, Shawna Bright (Tom), Allyson Bonilla and Vicki Deur (Steve) as well as his 11 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. His legacy to them is that “home” was always open to anyone needing a place to belong. His house was your house. He was proud of their achievements, was their biggest advocate and loved visiting all of them in Michigan.
Harry will be remembered in our hearts forever.
Celebration of Life will be held:
Thursday, March 10, 2022, at 2:00pm
Hyde Park United Methodist Church (Chapel)
500 W, Platt St.
Tampa, FL 33606
A reception at the church will immediately follow the service.