The Man in the Van

By J1 Reporter Rilee Silvan

Richard Hutfless sits in his Prius, ready to help when needed. Photo by Rilee Silvain.

Most people know him as the man in the van. He is the man who sits in the car all afternoon. He is the one who monitors the quad after school. He always has a smile on his face and is always open to have a conversation with anyone.

This man’s name is Richard Hutfless and he is so much more. Richard has four children and seven grandchildren. He is kind, happy, funny and a giving man whose top priority is to make sure Marian’s a safe place for all students and faculty.

You will always catch him watching you as you leave early from school. Trying to spot that light pink pass in your hand. Hutfless’ duties at Marian are to patrol the parking lot from 11 to 3:30 and then monitor the quad from 4 to 6 p.m.

You may not be able to distinguish what car Hutfless is in nowadays. He first had a blue van in which earned him the name “man in the van.”  Then he was switched to the light green Prius. And now you will find him in a navy blue Rav4 that the students see as they walk out of school.

Most Marian girls get stressed and angry when trying to get through a full week of school. Trying to balance activities, school grades, social life, and so much more at once. Now imagine monitoring 20 of these teenage girls all at once every day after school. A lot of people would lose their minds, but Hutfless handles it in a calm and collected manner.

While Marian students are hard at work in school, Hutfless is in his car looking out for any suspicious actions happening in the Marian parking lot. When in park, he listens to channel 1490 on the radio. He also says one or two rosaries a day with his rosary that Deacon Kevin Fuller had blessed himself.

If presented with another job, “I would stay right here. This is perfect,” Hutfless continues. He said he loves his job and just being with all the girls.

“I actually got this job by accident. I was at a function at Prep and I ran into Sam Troia who was the maintenance manager at the time but now works in the kitchen…We know each other because his kids and my grandson went to St.Phillip Neri together and I would see him when we would do drop off in the mornings.”

“Ten months after my wife had passed, I saw Sam Troia at that function and he asked me if I wanted to do something? I said sure and he said, ‘we need someone to monitor the parking lot at Marian’ I said ‘well sure I would’.” Hutfless went on explaining that he jumped at the opportunity right when he saw it.

Before Hutfless came to Marian, he worked at Kmart for 30 years, starting as a department manager and finishing as a store manager. Hutfless is now on his 14th year of working at Marian and the school couldn’t be happier at what he has done for them. He has kept Marian a safe environment for 14 years and counting.

“After my wife passed away, I told myself I wasn’t looking for anything,but if a job found me, then I would take it, and that is what happened,” Hutfless said. When Troia asked if he wanted to work at Marian, it so happened to be the job that found its way to Hutfless

Now that the other security man Wayne Downie has retired from Marian. “No, I don’t think about retiring, as long as my health holds up, I’m good with working,” Hutfless says.

Hutfless has met many girls throughout his time at Marian and is always excited to meet new ones. Students never catch him with a sad look upon his face because whenever they see Hutfless, they see a happy man who is always open to have a conversation. Hutfless has made a great impact on Marian. Hutfless didn’t find Marian, Marian found Hutfless and all have been blessed.


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