Edwin “Eddie” William Hutzler, 84, was born at home on the Hutzler Farm at midnight on the 12th with a birth date noted as November 13,1938 born to Albert and Katie (Schneider) Hutzler of Devine. He was peacefully called home to his Lord on Sunday, October 22, 2023. He lived a long full life, a rugged one, but loved every minute of it. Up until he had to go to a nursing home to retire and heal he was cruising the streets of Devine on night watchman patrol in his wheelchair scooter which he treated like a four wheeler, but luckily buddy Joe could fix anything. God and the Angels kept watch over him, and everyone driving through town, as he motored the streets day and night with several close calls. The first visitation will be held on Monday October 30th from 2-5:30 pm at Primrose.
Then services will move next door to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church from 6:00-9:00 pm with a Rosary to be recited at 6:30 p.m. followed by visitation.
Communion Services will be on Tuesday, October 31, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church with interment to follow at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Devine.
Eddie was known around Devine as the Night Watchman a role learned from hanging out and by helping Devine’s official Night watchman Johnny DuBose when he was in his late teens. Eddie and Johnny would take a special key and go around town checking on the city and clocking in at all the various locations to show all was well. After Johnny retired and the city started hiring policemen, Eddie continued to do his rounds on his bicycle for over 60 years in all. He was so good at keeping his eyes and ears open that he was given a badge, radio, and call number 1-2-3-4 to ask for help or to report things via radio.
He loved to listen to the radio and keep up with what was going on around town and watching out for everyone. Eddie was a friend to everyone who knew him. He attended Devine Schools to the 8th grade, was highly intelligent, always able to figure out how to fix or amend anything, which he called his “German ingenuity”. Loving being in town, instead of on the ranch, he was taken in by many people like the Savages who gave him a little building of his own to live in next to their home, and the Strouds who allowed him to live in the Blacksmith Shop for many years. That way he could make his rounds all night and come home safely to sleep.
During his older years, he was able to use powered wheelchairs provided by his 90 year old cousin Sid Goslin who had promised his mother he would take care of all the Hutzler cousins as she promised to do for her sister Katie. Sid made sure Eddie had what he needed, which wasn’t much in earlier years as Eddie made his living mowing lawns, helping here and there, and checking doors and collecting $5 from businesses monthly who appreciated him, or $10 if he found a door open! Restaurants traded him food.
As a friend said, “If you lived in Devine you knew who Eddie was, and he called you by your dad or family’s last name. He always took time to wave or say hi and acknowledge you.”
He will be greatly missed by all who loved him. He was all things Devine.
He was so loved that whenever the paper but out a plea for firewood for the Blacksmith Shop wood stove, trailer loads of wood would show up the next day and kept coming all winter. The town loved taking care of Eddie generation after generation and proudly jumped at the chance to help him.
He spent the last four years sleeping comfortably in the nursing home, Devine Health and Rehab, whose staff took good care of him. Friends would visit and buddy Claude Morgan would take him on rides around town often to visit people and the countryside asking Eddie, “which way do we turn now”. The gift of time was all he wanted and needed.
Eddie was the next to the youngest of ten children. The Albert Hutzler family was the last of a generation of town folks that still used their mule or horse and wagon as transportation to come to downtown Devine to do their shopping and business. Some of the children like Eddie preferred to walk or ride a bike to town and felt safer doing so as there were many cars and trucks on the highway that led to their 62 acre farm and homestead on FM 2200 past the Devine Airport. Unfortunately the Hutzlers got off later than usual that evening in November 1968 and headed west toward home when a mile outside city limits their wagon was struck by a vehicle coming up behind them in the dark as it topped the hill and skidded into the rear of the mule drawn wagon. Mrs. Hutzler, 66, passed away from injuries. Both of the vehicles were demolished and the mules were killed. Eddie’s dad Albert, 86, and siblings Eleanor, 24, and Paul, 41, suffered internal injuries and spent many months in the hospital. Eddie, 30, and a couple others siblings were walking, he didn’t think it was safe to ride.
He was preceded in death by his parents and all his siblings Matt, Mary, Paul, Joseph, Lena, John Henry, Martin, John Baptist, and Elenora. Neither Eddie nor any of his siblings ever married.
Funeral arrangements are pending with Primrose Funeral Home in Devine. A viewing and a funeral early next will be planned with burial in Devine. Watch for notices.
In lieu of flowers if you would like to, donate to a charity of your choice. Or if you would like to help with balance of the final funeral expenses or headstone or a future memorial such as a bench etc somewhere around town in Eddie’s honor you can mail or drop donations at The Devine News, PO Box 508, Devine, Tx. 78016 with KK Calame or stop by. You may also drop them by Morales Realty to Cindy Morales, or contact Jennifer Savage or Claude Butch Morgan. Reference Eddie in the bottom left corner of the check only please.