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Oregon-Columbia Chapter Loses a Friend: Sam Hutchinson, Jr.

Samuel ‘Sam’ Compton Hutchinson, Jr. 77, transitioned in his sleep on January 8, 2021. He was born on April 18, 1943 to Samuel and Evelyn Hutchinson in St. Louis, Missouri. He graduated from Charles H. Sumner High School where he was later inducted into its Hall of Fame. Sam earned a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from St. Louis University. Sam was also a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity.

Sam began his professional career as an engineer at Shell Oil Company in Wood River, Illinois. As a Black American male in 1970’s corporate America, he found few opportunities for significant advancement. Thus, he took his savings and founded Interface Construction Corporation in 1978. Today, Interface is a multi-award winning full-service general contracting and construction management firm.

Sam was the 2009 National Treasurer of the Associated General Contractors of America and its former Building Division Chair. For years, he served on the holding company board of A.G. Edwards & Sons brokerage firm. While Sam excelled in business, he had a passion for life, family and friends. In 1991, he married the love of his life, Laurna Godwin. He was an avid hunter, skier and fisherman. Growing up, his children, Gerard and Graquel, remember him as the “every dad.” He will always be remembered and appreciated for his sage advice.

Sam is survived by his wife Laurna, his children Gerard and Graquel (husband Chris), grandsons Alex and James, sister-in-law Mignon and nieces Jocelyn, Leesa, Jordan and Sienna. He leaves behind numerous cousins, colleagues and friends, particularly his “brother” Ted [Aadland] and “brother-in-law” Michael. Sam was preceded in death by his grandson Shaun and his parents.

Services: A private memorial service and burial is Saturday, January 16 with a Celebration of Life jazz event post COVID-19.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Elmer Godwin Endowed Scholarship for undergraduate minority engineering students at Rutgers University. Elmer was Sam’s beloved father-in-law. Checks can be mailed to: Rutgers University Foundation, PO Box 193, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08903-0193. Make check payable to Rutgers University Foundation and in the memo, note Elmer Godwin Endowed Scholarship.

The St. Louis American wrote a tribute to Sam after his passing.

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