Charlie Robert “Choc” Hutcheson passed peacefully on November 19, 2020, ending a well-lived life highlighted by uniquely diverse professional and personal experiences and a legacy of generous giving. Choc was born March 13, 1926, in Fort Worth, to G.W. and Almajo Hutcheson. The family soon moved to Wink, Texas, where Choc attended elementary school, then on to Monument, New Mexico, where his love of chocolate earned him his nickname. As a high school student at Monument, Choc became a reporter for the Hobbs, New Mexico, Daily News Sun, and found a calling as a journalist that would spur a career in print and television news and sports. “Choc’s Chatter” was a regular column in the Daily News Sun. Choc enrolled at Texas Technological College (now Texas Tech University) in 1942, majoring in journalism and covering sports for the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
In 1944 at age 18, Choc put his education on hold to serve in the U. S. Army during World War II. He was sent to Okinawa, Japan, as a combat correspondent, reporting from the front lines and earning the Bronze Star. By 1946, Choc had been promoted to Sergeant Major and was editor of the Daily Pacifican, a U.S. Army newspaper in Manila, Philippine Islands. He earned an Army Commendation Medal for his service. Choc continued his military service in the Army Reserves, retiring in 1966 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Choc resumed his education at Texas Tech in 1946 and graduated in 1948 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism. When television came to Lubbock in the early 1950s, Choc became the first news/sports director for KCBD TV and was elected president of the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Association. Although journalism was his calling, Choc indulged his love and knowledge of sports by taking positions at the Texas Baseball League in Fort Worth and as general manager of the Lubbock Hubber Baseball Club. He even tried his hand at politics, serving as Assistant to the Chairman of the Texas Democratic Party when Preston Smith was re-elected as governor. Choc would complete his professional life as an independent oil investor in West Texas.
A passion for travel coupled with his lifelong love of sports took Choc around the world to four Olympic Games, Wimbledon, The Masters, the Kentucky Derby, and countless other main events—for most of which he could still recall winners, losers and highlights in great detail.
Many friends would have called him a confirmed bachelor, but in 1977, at the age of 50, Choc married Virginia Broyles and enjoyed 42 years of marriage until her death in 2019.
Choc was always ready to start a conversation with a timely topic or a funny story from his past, and he loved a good joke. His wonderful sense of humor provided the opportunity for him to write gags for many national cartoonists, which appeared in some 300 publications, including The New Yorker, Sports Illustrated, and Time Magazine. His captivating storytelling earned him the title of “World’s Champion Liar” by the Burlington, Wisconsin, Liar’s Club and resulted in an appearance on the “I’ve Got a Secret” television show in 1961. Choc’s TV debut can still be viewed today on YouTube!
Many of those who were close to Choc would describe him as frugal—always quick to grab a bargain or use a coupon. However, he was equally quick to generously support causes and people he believed in, including his alma mater Texas Tech University. The scholarships endowed by Choc and Virginia afforded innumerable students opportunities to pursue higher education at Texas Tech. He was inducted into the College of Media and Communications Hall of Fame in 1990, named a Texas Tech University Distinguished Alumnus in 1996, and awarded the Lauro Cavazos Award from the Texas Tech Alumni Association in 2005. In addition to Texas Tech, Choc and Virginia supported numerous other charities in the Lubbock community and were members of First United Methodist Church.
Choc touched the lives of countless people and left a lasting impression on each one. He will be missed by many, but by none more than his sister Beverly McDuff, his niece Karen McDuff Havins, husband Mark and daughter Macy Hamel, all of Lubbock; his nephew Glen McDuff and wife Christine of Los Alamos, New Mexico; Glen’s daughter Haley Killip and her husband Josh and daughter Teyla of Pine, Colorado.
He is preceded in death by his wife Virginia, his parents, and his brother-in-law George McDuff.
Choc is also survived by a stepson Jay Carpenter (Jeanne) of Austin; two stepdaughters, Debra Carpenter of Campbell, California, and Hilda Carpenter (Steve Green) of Driftwood, Texas; three step-grandchildren and four step-greatgrandchildren.
Because of the current COVID-19 situation, Choc’s family has chosen to postpone a celebration of his life until all of his friends and family can safely gather. In the meantime, to carry on Choc’s legacy of philanthropy, his family suggests donations to The Helping Hand Scholarship at the Texas Tech Alumni Association, P.O. Box 45001, Lubbock, TX 79409; The Texas Tech College of Media and Communications through the Choc Hutcheson Memorial Fund at http://donate.give2tech.com/give/ChocHutcheson, or by mailing a check made out to the Texas Tech Foundation listing the fund in the memo to Texas Tech University System Financial Services, Box 45025, Lubbock, TX 79409-5025; or a local charity of your choice.
You are also encouraged to sign the virtual guestbook and share memories and expressions of sympathy on this page.
To carry on Choc’s legacy of philanthropy, his family suggests donations to The Helping Hand Scholarship at the Texas Tech Alumni Association, P.O. Box 45001, Lubbock, TX 79409; The Texas Tech College of Media and Communications through the Choc Hutcheson Memorial Fund at http://donate.give2tech.com/give/ChocHutcheson, or by mailing a check made out to the Texas Tech Foundation listing the fund in the memo to Texas Tech University System Financial Services, Box 45025, Lubbock, TX 79409-5025; or a local charity of your choice.