ST. ALBANS — Barbara Maire MacNutt Hutchins, known lovingly to her family as The Matriarch, died peacefully in her St. Albans home on April 23, 2016, surrounded by three generations of her descendants.
Barbara was born on June 24, 1927, in Boston, Mass. as the only child of Ernest T. MacNutt and Willena S. MacNeil. She graduated from Medford (Mass.) High School in 1945 and the Burdett Business School in 1948. For 25 years, Barbara directed the Religious Arts Guild and the Worship Arts Department at the Unitarian Universalist Association. She donated her time and talents to youth choirs, PTA, the Doolittle Home in Foxboro, Mass., Milton Community Meals, the Milton Library, South Hero Applefest, and South Hero Rescue.
Barbara married Harold R. Hutchins on June 4, 1949, with whom she shared a lifelong love of birds and gardening, and a house full of pineapples. Harold predeceased Barbara in 2013, and their daughter Nancy Sevene predeceased them both in 2007.
Barbara is survived by Janet E. and Peter Yates of South Hero; Judith E. and James Keller of Gig Harbor, Wash.; Robert E. Hutchins and Ginger Savely of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; Gwen Hutchins of South Hero; 12 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and many special nieces and nephews.
Throughout her life, Barbara cultivated lasting relationships and a sense of belonging wherever she went. Many family friends called her their ‘second mother’; distant ‘Canadian cousins’ could count on her regular and enthusiastic interactions; many groups were blessed by her passion for organizing. Barbara treasured Vermont as the home of her heart, Boston as the home of her birth, and Scotland and Nova Scotia as her heritage. She dedicated years to documenting the genealogy of her extended family and the history of Everest Beach Camp in Milton.
A celebration of her life will be held beginning at 2 p.m. on June 26th at 4 Zip’s Place, Everest Beach Camp, Milton. Gifts may be made in Barbara’s name to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Vermont (http://vermont.wish.org/).