Barbara Katherine Hutchings
November 19, 1928 – November 1, 2020
Barbara Katherine Hutchings, age 91, was called home to Heaven by the Lord on November 1, 2020. She died peacefully at home surrounded by her loving husband and children following a brief illness.
Barbara was born in Portland, Michigan, on November 19, 1928 to Katherine (Lehman) and George Bauer. She often talked about her happy childhood growing up in a small town and her loving parents. She was a very devoted daughter to her mother long after her father’s death. Barbara graduated from Portland High School in 1946 and then moved to nearby Grand Rapids to attend St. Thomas of Aquinas College.
It was in Grand Rapids where she met Gilbert Hutchings and they began a seventy-one-year love-filled journey, marrying on August 27, 1949. Barbara and Gill moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan, in 1955 when Gill began teaching in the college of engineering at Western Michigan University and then to nearby Portage a few years later. Barbara stayed home raising her children, Vicki, Sue, Carol and Russell – always there after school with a snack, volunteering at the school library, serving as the Girl Scout Leader and making sure dinner was on the table when dad got home. She made an even bigger dinner on Sunday after Mass when she gathered her family around the table for lots of storytelling and laughter. Barb and Gill enjoyed socializing with their many friends from the University, especially the monthly Bridge Club which usually included more than Bridge.
When her kids were grown, Barbara went back to college and got a job at Western Michigan University in the Campus Police Department and then transferred to the University Placement Office. Most weekends were happily spent “up north” at their beloved cabin in the Montague woods.
After retiring in 1987, Barbara and Gill moved permanently to the cabin and Barbara quickly became active in their church, St. John the Baptist, serving on many committees through the years. She took up golf as more of a social activity than a sport, enjoyed walking in the woods, feeding her birds, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, and planting daffodil bulbs that she so enjoyed every spring.
After spending a few winters in Orlando at Ventura Country Club, Barbara and Gill decided it was time to make the move permanent in 2005. They joined Blessed Trinity Catholic Church where they loved to attend Mass. Once again, Barbara became active in some of the lady’s social circles at Ventura, played some golf and became known as the one who always crocheted the afghan for the door prize for the Breast Cancer Golf Tournament. She crocheted baby bonnets for the children’s cancer hospital, always contributed to the church food drives, donated bags of clothes to the Red Cross, and seldom passed a homeless person without digging into her pockets.
After a few health issues for both Barbara and Gill, they decided it was time to relocate to Sarasota to be closer to their daughter and son-in-law. They treasure the time they spent at Ventura and cherish the friends they consider family.
Barbara is survived by her husband Gilbert; her children, Vicki Riggs (Bob), Sue Neumann (Doug), Carol Hutchings, Russell Hutchings; her grandchildren Brian Hutchings, Andrew Hutchings; many loving nieces and nephews, sisters-in-law, friends and family. We all loved her laugh, her smile and her love of life.
A Memorial Mass will be held on Saturday, November 14 at 1:00 PM at Blessed Trinity Catholic Church, 4545 Anderson Rd, Orlando. A Mass and Graveside Service will be held on Friday, December 4, 2020 at 11:00 AM at St. John the Baptist Church and adjoining cemetery, Claybanks Township, Michigan.
The family requests no flowers. Memorial contributions may be made in Barbara’s name to Blessed Trinity Church or St. John the Baptist Church, 5149 Dowling St., Montague, MI 49437.
Mass and Graveside Service
St. John the Baptist Church and adjoining Cemetery
Saturday, November 14, 2020
Barbara Katherine Hutchings
November 6, 2020
In loving memory of my Auntie Barb. Someone whose strength, courage and determination I will admire always. There is now a spot in our family that no one else can fill, but the things I’ve learned from her will live on in my heart forever.
November 6, 2020
We first met Barb over 30 years ago when Russ and Inez married. She was the best mother in law that Inez could ask for and to this day still considers her as her mother in law. That says a lot of what a wonderful woman she was. I am honored to have been able to share grandma duties for Brian and Andrew with her. Please know you are all in our thoughts during this sad time.
November 6, 2020
I've only met Mrs. Hutchings once, but have heard Carol speak lovingly about her mom, her childhood in Michigan & the relationship her parents had & the love they shared for 71 years. I'm praying for the Hutchings Family & trust they will continue to be blessed with all the beautiful memories they have of Mrs. Hutchings. She lived a good life, surrounded by a family that adored her to the very end & a Heavenly Father who will love her through eternity.
November 5, 2020
I have known Sue Neumann, Barbara’s daughter, for over 25 years as a former colleague and an always friend. Throughout, I have heard story after story about Sue’s amazing family, and how much she loved each of them, but the bond with her Mom was always a special joy to hear about. In recent years, I did a few trips with Sue and sister Carol. Every day, I would look forward to and love the speaker phone calls with Mom and Dad as they were so engaged and interested about our adventures that day. Barbara lived such a loving and full life, but in so doing, she will be missed all the more intensely . Love and prayers for this dear family!
November 4, 2020
Sending love, hugs and prayers to you and your family on the loss of your beautiful wife and best friend! You two are an amazing example of a true, long-lasting love!
My sweet memory is of Thanksgiving dinner at Sue’s house in Connecticut when Barbara finally taught me what “dressing” is :)