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Remembering Amanda Hutchinson

Family and friends are invited to share their memories.

Amanda Hutchinson was a cook, a seamstress, wife, mother, friend and much-loved member of the Island community. Last Saturday night, to the elements while going out to check on a property that she was caretaking.

We’ve asked those who knew her to send us their memories of her and invite anyone else who wishes, to add their own to the comments section below.

 

Steve Hutchinson, Amanda Hutchinson’s husband, had the following to share:

She came to Vineyard in her youth to live with her paternal grandfather on North Water Street in Edgartown. That was in the late 70s and she created close friendships with Island kids. Many of those friendships are what drew her back here in her adult years. We were introduced by Steve Yaffe, who went to the George School with Amanda. She was working at Martha’s Rest in Edgartown when I first got my eye on her.

We lived in New York for five years and had our first two children, Caetlyn and Dylan. Amanda was a real advocate for natural childbirth and our third child, Alayna, she had at home with midwives. It was wonderful thing that our kids were there to see their sister born. She delivered children seemingly effortlessly – the joke in our house was that Amanda was snoring minutes before Alayna was born.

When the kids got older, she got restless and got involved in caretaking between 20-50 estates in Aquinnah and Chilmark. Later, she went back to her roots of her sociology degree from SUNY New Paltz and got involved in town government. We lived a life fairly back to back, but she has friendship groups that I’m not even aware of. Cooking and food have always been an important part of our life, we always had dinners together until our kids finally grew.

We are not having a formal memorial service anytime soon. She is being cremated. I know that it will be hard for a lot of people that we’re not doing anything right away, but I’ve talked to her father and our kids and we’re just not ready. A lot of her people are Islanders and a lot of them are off Islanders. I know there are tons of people who need to grieve and need closure. We are not a church going household, but we will have some sort of spiritual memorial for her, but not now, hopefully some time in the spring.

 

Juli Vanderhoop, owner of the Orange Peel Bakery in Aquinnah, had the following to share:

I knew Amanda on the professional level due to the bakery - our meeting two or three times a year brought us together. She was at first very patient and understanding, yet straight up and to the point. Last week we met and she was happy and full of compliments noting how far the bakery had come. I met Amanda over the birth of our daughters Ella(for me) and Alayna(for Amanda) they are only a month apart, that was 16 years ago. As a fellow parent of the class of 2013 she will not be forgotten.

 

Betsy Weinstock, family friend from Chilmark and New York City, had the following to share:

In the shock and the terrible sadness, I have dozens of images of Amanda rushing through my head, beginning with our first meeting, when Hutch brought her over for a proud and happy introduction.  I see her with baby Caetlyn in the sling she wore, taking her everywhere, bearing cookies or larger offerings to gatherings of friends or Chilmark Community Center events, working the tennis cookouts with Hutch at the grill.  She made baby clothes and beautiful pillows, served on committees and boards, helped out always, with her warm ready presence and always her wonderful rather shy smile.  We all will miss her with great pain.

 

Sian Williams, yoga instructor from West Tisbury, had the following to share:

I first met Amanda when she came to yoga about three years ago, and she would come to my Sunday class; quiet and humble, but with humor and a gentle manner. She reminded me of a bird; so slight, her body slightly stooped from an old injury. When she talked she would cock her head to one side and look at you with those intense eyes.

It is strange how you can be quite intimate with people when you practice yoga with them, and meanwhile know very little about their daily lives.

I knew she had kids the same age as my older ones, I knew she caretook houses, sewed, kept bees, she was your intrinsic Island woman with long braided hair and a unique spirit.

The last time she came to class was at the YMCA with her youngest daughter sometime last summer. I asked how she was, and she gave me a wry smile.

This last weekend, before I heard about her passing, her face flashed before me at my Sunday class, and I wondered about her.

I think of her huddled in the deep woods in Aquinnah, covered in snow, and I am once more reminded of a bird who had fallen from her nest, and died. I find comfort knowing that her spirit has flown away to find peace.

 

Lynne Whiting, employer and friend from West Tisbury, had the following to share:

She was our housekeeper and friend for over a decade.  She and I shared the same birthdate. She confided in me. We trusted her. Our home was a better place because of her.  Last night when I was attempting to process the news, I got an email reminding me of a writing prompt due for an online writing group I belong to.  The prompt was "hold onto the center."  This is what came out:

 

I am grasping for words.

As I walked across the first snow covered brick patio my cell phone rang.

I paused to take the call.

Not good news.

"Mom, did you know that Amanda died? I just saw on Facebook that she was found in a snowdrift this morning."

The conversation that followed was fraught with emotion, anger, confusion and dread.

I handed the phone to my husband and proceeded numbly into the house.

 

I am grasping for the right words.

I've read the local online reports.  

I've made the few calls I knew I could.

I've rehashed the last moments I spent with her.

I've relived the times I tried to help.... with words, with caution

 

Three lovely children without a mother.

A community full of people like myself at this moment

Grieving the loss

Feeling helpless

Reaching forth desperately in order to find and

Hold onto the center.

 

We may never know why now.  

We just know that keeping our center means not trying to know.

Loving, remembering and sending compassion to those left behind.

That's all.

 

Lucy Hitchcock, a childhood friend, had this to share:

Amanda and I went to high school together. She was my dear friend. We went to a beautiful pastoral boarding school, run by Quakers, in Pennsylvania, not far from Philadelphia. And Amanda was my pal. We lived on the same hall for a few years, and so we knew each other well. And deeply. Amanda was always ready with a hug, a kind word. She had a peaceful demeanor that helped when times got overly complicated as they often do in high school. She knew how to laugh, to play, to be serious or goofy. But what I remember most of all is her incredible sweetness. And also that she held in a lot. She was a confidant, a listener, but didn't often divulge her own story.

Many years passed, but she was never far from my thoughts, and when I saw her again two summers ago at a small reunion of dear friends, I was amazed at how little she had changed. Still her same willowy self, with a tilt of the head, and a quick warm smile, and the ability to dive right in to the big important stuff about all our lives, how we were, how we all had fared over the years. She got to meet my young daughters, and she treated them like the little miracles that they are. Oh Amanda... I will miss her.

There was great comfort in knowing she was there, just over the water, not far from Rhode Island where I made my home. She and I would check in with each other now and then, comment on each other's lives, successes, failures... And take comfort in knowing we were there. Distant friends, but linked by time, history, values, love. And now, the missing. I send love, to her family who I never got to meet (but I hope I will), to Amanda, who lives now in the ether, formless perhaps, but alive in memory and love. Big hugs Amanda, and big big love. xxoo

 

Gabbi Camilleri, an old friend, had this to share:

“Don’t be sad.” Amanda said to me shortly after Mebbit died. So many times I have heard her sweet voice saying those words looking at Meb’s picture through my tears or thinking of her as I do often. I told Amanda that, “It was very hard for me not to be sad as I missed Meb so much.” Hard not to be sad when you think of the special moments you have shared with someone. Hard not to be sad to think of the times we won’t have together in the future. Impossible not to be sad when I think of her children without her.

I am so grateful to have had Amanda in my life. Hanging out with her when we were teenagers in New York, or probably even when we were little at Dinny Price’s childcare in Palisades. Seeing her on the Vineyard when I decided to follow in the footsteps of my many N.Y. friends who landed there. Becoming closer as mothers who enjoyed the special events that we had when we were kids such as May Day celebrations, creating special crafts with our kids, teaching them how to sew, and doing what we could to give our kids a childhood filled with magic and love.

Being a Mother was where Amanda was at her best. From the thoughtful and careful way she brought her children into the world, to the healthy food she made sure they ate, and the Island community she chose to bring them up.  It was her most important job in her life. Her children Caetlyn, Dylan, and Alayna are truly beautiful and special people. The Shining Stars of her love as a Mother.

Amanda wanted everyone in her life to “not be sad”, and she devoted her life working very hard to make people happy. And she succeeded. Working with Amanda one summer cleaning houses up Island I witnessed how much more she was to her clients. They were her friends and I could tell how her presence in their life was very important.

Four years ago, a year after Mebbit died, Amanda and I went looking for trees to plant in her memory. Amanda told me of a beautiful blue spruce that she was going to buy, but the spot chosen to plant it was too shady and that I should get it as she was going to choose a Hemlock instead. She brought me to look at the blue spruce, which I bought and planted in my yard. It was then Amanda told me she had breast cancer, but that like mine, it was caught early and in her optimistic way, told me everything was going to be ok, and I believed her.

I am sad Amanda. Your giving spirit and loving nature will always stay with me. I imagine that you and Mebbit are watching over your children together. Two beautiful Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, and Friends that I will never, ever forget.

 

Betsy Shay, a friend of the family, had this to share:

Amanda and I became friends at the bus stop when Dylan and my son Ian were kindergarteners at the Menemsha School. Each day at noon we would race to the overlook to meet the bus where off bounced these 2 little guys running around, hiding in the bushes and begging not to go home; in those moments of motherly
patience we bonded.

Over the years we shared many adventures with our children; night fishing at Herring Creek (hooking those live eels!), countless overnights accommodating fussy eater diets, major clamming expeditions with miles and miles of driving between our houses to drop and pick up our kids.  For a good many years Dylan became our 3rd son. Amanda did everything with grace and love for her children.

We were on the same page about raising our kids and the love I would see pouring out of her heart for Caitlin, Dyaln and Alayna ran deep and connected us on a level that will never die in my heart.

I am honored to have shared that special time with her as our kids grew up and although there were times we weren't in touch as often, she was always right where we left off the next time our paths crossed. Amanda will be sorely missed; I can barely believe she is gone.

Max, Ian and I are sending our most heartfelt love to Hutch, Caetlyn, Dylan and Alayna in this horrific time of loss.

 

 

Caroline Kirkland January 26, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Hutch, Caitlin, Dylan and Alayna: I'm a George School buddy... we hung out in the woods of Pennsylvania, the dormrooms at school, Camp Kirkland and of course, Marthas Vineyard. Yeah, we go back and we had our fun. Bopping around Edgartown, scrounging for work, camping out, hanging out with those fishermen! Crazy girls! We had our fun - lots of smiles and lots of laughs. And they continued... we all moved on to share the stories of our families and the raising our children and life takes you down a notch here and there but we all still share the spirit of the youth we once had. The memories are alive and the love still exists and Amanda is still with us in this way. Yes we will sorely miss that sweet, tilted, smiling, tender, gentle woman. She shone such light on the world around her with her artistry, her fierce maternal instincts, her strong work ethic, her charming personality, her mischievous sense of humor, and perhaps, above all, her simple kindness. We summon up her spirit to be with her once again before we say goodbye and it feels right as though she is still here at least for a little while. To Caitlin, Dylan and Alayna Don't ever forget how much your mother loved you!!! That's one torch I know she would want us all to carry for her. She would ask us to remind her children of how much she loved them. To all of you and Hutch, I send my most sincere sympathy and love. Carol Kirkland
Caroline Kirkland January 26, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Dylan, I don't know if you remember meeting me on the few occasions I was there - you were often pretty young. But I was there a couple of summers ago with Julie and my daughters Bella & Claire. We had a really fun campfire on the beach. And I thought your house was really beautiful and filled with love. Your mother had a loving heart and a beautiful soul and I hope you'll always remember how much she loved you. Taking care of you and your sisters represented the essence of her identity - the most primal goal of her destiny. Speaking of you all brought out a twinkle in her eye and a sparkle in her smile. The magic she brought to many things was evident, her creativity, her work, her play, her playfulness, her love, her giving spirit, but as a friend who only saw her occasionally in the recent years, it was clear to me that you kids were the most important part of her life. And that's not so surprising. Most mothers feel that way, and then the kids grow up and they feel it more and more as they grow. But when you lose your mom before she was ready, and before you were ready, maybe it doesn't hurt to hear these things from those of us who knew because we saw and felt it. I could feel it in your house and I could see it in her eye. You were loved and you need to keep that love inside you and feel it every day. For your sake and your Mom's. I send my love to you and your family, Carol Kirkland
Susan Mosler January 26, 2012 at 11:02 PM
To Amanda's family, I am profoundly saddened by this tragedy. Living in New York City now for seven years, I am still only a heartbeat away from my former life on Martha's Vineyard. I met Amanda when Caetlyn joined my class at the Chilmark School. She was a devoted mother who brought such beautiful spirit to her children. Her spirit blossomed in her children. It bloomed creatively, sensitively, and above all with love. A couple of years ago I asked Amanda if she had saved any of Caetlyn's work from the years she spent in my classroom. I explained that I was working on a project. She knew exactly where her work was. She gathered it up, put it in a box, and handed it to Seth at school, saying, these are treasures, please guard them carefully and return them to me soon. I was so very moved that she would entrust them to Seth to bring to me. That she had saved it all. That it was so important to her. Seth and I immediately set to work, repacked it, and Seth hand delivered it back to her on his next trip. Amanda's love lives. It will always live in her children and in the lives of those she touched. It is my deepest hope that the love of all of your friends and family will hold you. You are all in my thoughts. Susan Mosler
Mathea Morais (Editor) January 26, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Just wanted to let everyone know that we continue to add more thoughts to the article that are too long to fit in the comments section, so please keep checking back. Thanks to all of you for sharing your words and memories.
Meredith Michaels January 27, 2012 at 03:15 PM
I think of Amanda running up the path over the dunes at Philbin, Alayna on her hip, Steve, Dylan and Caitlyn out ahead, all of them rushing to watch a full moon sunset on a clear summer evening. I think of Amanda's endless patience with the idiosyncrasies of our house and its inhabitants. I think of her wise advice, carefully offered, about the garden, the menu, the kids, the guests, the leaky toilet - everything that is life itself. We are so fortunate to have had her in our lives for these many years. Thank you to Steve, Caitlyn, Dylan and Alayna for sharing her with us. Meredith Michaels and Lee Bowie
Caroline Kirkland January 27, 2012 at 04:01 PM
One of the things that comforts me is imagining Amanda and Mebbitt together again, making something pretty, saying something funny, doing something cute. They were so damn cute!!!
Lynne whiting January 27, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Reading such loving descriptive words from some of Amanda's many friends is wonderful. Never will the void of her presence be filled, but our hearts can rejoice in knowing how deeply she touched each of us. Keep sharing, keep knowing, keep trusting that her love through us will help Caitlyn, Dylan, Alayna and Hutch get through this darkest of difficult times.
Susan Mosler January 28, 2012 at 03:33 AM
Yes, wonderfully said.
Lucy Bassert January 28, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Amanda and I go back over 30 years as I am another George School close friend. We became close friends almost like sisters as boarders usually do. We had a great time enjoying each other’s company and causing trouble – for Amanda and me, our shenanigans lasted until the day we graduated – fun times never to be forgotten. After graduation, a whole gaggle of us moved on to Vineyard for a summer. I visited her in Nyack and at SUNY and she was a bridesmaid in my wedding. As marriages evolve and families come to life, our paths didn’t cross again for many years but we kept in touch; I thought about Amanda a lot and always missed her. Several times I visited with Amanda on the Vineyard and loved meeting her family. She was still the person I remembered after all those years; compassionate and so caring and a loving Mom to her beautiful children. She was always so generous, always making sure you were happy and you had what you needed. She had such a gentle kind way about her that drew you in. She cared so deeply for her family and friends. My heart goes out to you Hutch, Caitlin, Dylan and Alayna for the loss of such a wonderful mother, wife, friend, woman. I too feel some solace that Amanda is now with Mebbitt. Amanda, love to you my dear friend, you will never be forgotten and may you rest now in peace. Your loving friends, George and Lucy Bassert
Susan Gibbs January 29, 2012 at 04:40 PM
I am a cousin, and I have many childhood memories of playing with Amanda in the sewage pipes in Nyack and tide pools in Rockport. Sadly, we rarely saw each other once we became busy moms. We were last in touch in December when I took my daughter to Baltimore to see a hip hop artist on a Monday night. Once we arrived, the kids rushed into the mosh pit and I hung out in the back, feeling old and out of place. As the music blasted, I texted Amanda. When I explained where I was, she replied, "a rapper on a Monday nite. You ARE a good mom!" Later she texted: "Mothering is mysterious! So much excitement, wonder and love. But also so much doubt, fear, and at our age, empty nesting and wondering: Who am I?" It took me over a week to even reply to her text, and then we kept things light, bantering about the warm December weather. Now as I ponder her message, I find myself thinking about our kids; hoping that Caetlyn, Dylan and Alayna will somehow connect with my children, Antonia, Lewis and Thea. While these cousins are too old to make forts out of driftwood and lobster traps or play sardines in the cornfields of Heath, hopefully even in our cell phone and text-weary times, family ties will endure. In the meantime, I'll keep wearing Amanda's gorgeous scarf. She created so many beautiful things - she generated so much "excitement, wonder and love" - while contending, as all of us must, with life's big and enduring questions. Rest in peace, my beautiful cousin... - Susan Gibbs
Mitzi Pratt January 29, 2012 at 11:41 PM
I have just discovered MVPatch, thanks to Steve Yaffe and Lynn Whiting, and I am so grateful for the forum to meet with others in our grief. Amanda and I were neophyte beekeepers together.I knew her peripherally, living in the same town, but hadn't spent any time with her until we both attended a beekeeeping workshop last April. Since we both had a few trepidations about the whole enterprise, we decided to try it together. We each bought hives and set them up at her place. I can't say our first, and so sadly, only as it turns out, season of beekeeping was a tremendous success but we did harvest a little honey, leaving most for the bees. We reveled in the structure of a colony, the industry with which each bee- worker, drone or queen- had it's specific tasks to perform in such harmony. Amanda was definitely a worker bee, did anyone worker harder than she? We humans seem to have a harder time with being harmonious but Amanda certainly tried to make life easier for everyone she met. I don't yet know Caetlyn, Dylan and Alayna but I hope to. My heart goes out to all of you and your father. The island is like a bee hive, we are all dependent upon one another. May you all be supported by the love that surrounds you.
michele ratté January 30, 2012 at 06:06 PM
Michele Ratté Shock and grief are powerful triggers for memories. My first thoughts fly to Amanda's children, husband, and her parents. I want to tell you how much she helped me. From 1990 - 1997 I had a business on the Island making hand-printed fashion accessories. I was fortunate to have a team of lovely people working for me who surpassed expectations, and Amanda was one of them. Amanda became the head seamstress for our more challenging sewing projects, as well as one-off pieces, and smaller orders of standard designs. Throughout those years she worked tirelessly, and with good cheer, no matter what the deadline. Her work was meticulous - perfect every time. Often this meant long hours at the sewing machine which must have been challenging since she was also a devoted mother of three young children. She went out of her way to deliver on time, as well as working out pattern and sewing problems others would have put aside in frustration. Voluntarily Amanda developed shaped pillows (balls, triangles, cubes) using left-over printed textiles, and presented them to me fully formed! She was the kind of rare person who added beauty, excellence and delight to the experience that for others might be "just a job". I will always be grateful to Amanda for what she contributed to the life of my business. I send Amanda's family, friends, and the entire community surrounding her, my deepest condolences. Thank you Amanda. Peace to you. Love, Michele
Drew Starkweather January 30, 2012 at 06:45 PM
I had the privilege of knowing Amanda when we worked together at Martha's Restaurant in the 1982-84 time range. I recall working with you as well Steve, but as you were "front of the house", we didn't get to know each other nearly as well. Those were magical times for many of us. I for one, felt like I had real family in that kitchen and Amanda was as if one of my siblings. Though I have not seen Amanda since Martha's, her way about her always made me feel as if my friendship with her would be eternal. Had I run into her on any of my return trips to the Vineyard these past few years, I feel like Amanda's sweet and generous soul would have picked up where we left off, as if it were just last summer or last week  we spent untold hours working and socializing together. I feel blessed to have known you Amanda and I wish more than anything that I could run into you and your beautiful family all together tomorrow.  Thank you for touching my life with your sweetness. Hutch,  Dylan, Caitlin, Alayna - I have no words or understanding to describe the loss you are feeling. I only hope that through sharing how Amanda touched my life, it helps in some way. In reading what others have contributed, I am reminded again of how truly exceptional and kind she was. my heart goes out to you Steve,  Dylan, Caitlin, and Alayna. Andrew Starkweather
Steve Yaffe January 31, 2012 at 03:39 AM
Amanda was my great friend for 36 years. At first we went to the George School together. Later I introduced her and Hutch, then she introduced me to her sister Meb. Amanda had a kind heart and was generous and forever helpful, always with her playful wit. Her absence is both inconceivable and unfathomable at this time. "A death in Winter" (01/22/12) this cold evening there was no kind moon to cast milky halo of light bright angelic showing a path home. no slow breeze to sway leafless limbs bent weeping over quilt of new snow. no rustle on forest bottom or quick snap of twig. no sound, but serene peace of the silent dead in grey thickets. and for to know no other way. SPY
Craig Nash January 31, 2012 at 12:08 PM
I follow @Martha'sVineyardPatch on twitter so it came as a awful shock to see the news about Amanda. I remember Amanda with fondness as I also worked in Martha's Restaurant in 84-86 as a busboy, and as Drew said above it was magical times one of the best times of my life. I particularly remember her bringing clams in buckets to the kitchen and all the banter that went on. I feel so sorry for you and the only thing I can offer is this poem by Canon Scott-Holland Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away to the next room. I am I and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, That, we still are. Call me by my old familiar name. Speak to me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without effect. Without the trace of a shadow on it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same that it ever was. There is absolute unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you. For an interval. Somewhere. Very near. Just around the corner. All is well.
Alice June Thompson January 31, 2012 at 02:38 PM
You got your wings too soon, snow angel. You were too fragile to handle the storm of snows. We pray you saw the heavens as you fell asleep on the soft blanket of white. That you were relieved of fear and pain as you lay there before parting from us and this world. That you knew you were loved by many and that you touched us all in your gentle shy ways. Your eyes of blue will always be remembered with that glimmer of hope in them to be set free from your struggles. Be at peace, Amanda and know we were routing for you. alice thompson Martha's Vineyard
Pearl Vercruysse February 01, 2012 at 01:06 AM
My fondest memory of Amanda is when she generously offered to babysit me, as a (fussy) three or four-year-old, while my father was getting surgery and medical care in Boston. We were in her sewing room, and I was rummaging through her beautiful fabrics–I loved her velvet... She proposed that we make a pillow together for my father to rest on, and we both picked out the velvet. I sewed a part by hand, my mediocre stitches jagged and uneven. She sewed the rest, and I remember marveling at her perfect stitches. After that, we went to the kitchen for lunch. Amanda asked me what I wanted, and I replied with a totally ad-libbed and completely insane "recipe" that involved tortillas, cheese, and grated carrot. They were delicious, mostly because we ate them together. I still have that pillow.
Penelope Huff February 01, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Amanda was so many special people all -in- one. I still see her running on the beach,,and especially remember the time she came to our rescue,,when the snow was too deep for my Saab,,and we had to get to Boston for a flight.Amanda was pregnant .and it was still snowing,,but she came anyway, She was always like that,,thinking of others,instead of herself,,and what she could do for them. She was also such an artist,,especially with sewing and all things relative to fabric, I feel like her huge spirit is everywhere !
Taza Vercruysse February 02, 2012 at 05:36 PM
I've known Amanda my whole life. Her son Dylan was one of my first childhood friends, and so I was always around their house. Living about five minutes away was pretty convenient. Whenever I would walk into their house, the first thing Amanda would say to me after a warm "Hi Taza!" was "Are you hungry? Do you want anything to eat or drink?" I don't think I've ever seen a more perfectly stocked fridge than at the Hutchinson household. As hospitable and gracious a hostess as there ever was, Amanda was as amiable as they come. In fact I don't think I ever saw Amanda angry. When Dylan would tell me how he and Amanda had gotten into a little argument, I couldn't picture it. It was the stuff of legend, really. Whenever Dylan and I needed a ride somewhere or needed to be picked up, Amanda was there. I remember several interesting rides home involving apples, goldfish, and our accuracy in hitting street signs (we were pretty accurate). Even when the clock was approaching midnight or later, she would still be there. Often this would be when we were both at our mutual friend Ian's house. She would always come into the house and talk to Betsy, which would buy us a few more cherished minutes of playing XBox, basketball, seeing how far we could drive a golf ball (which resulted in mostly shanks), or whatever else we were doing at the moment. Amanda will be sorely missed by any and all that have known her.
louise crump turley February 03, 2012 at 04:18 AM
I met Amanda and Mebbit in woods hole before I had ever been to the vineyard...missed the last ferry and they let me stay on their boat. From that day on I was friends with both of them. To this day the "pina colada" song reminds me of Amanda and I called her not long ago and blared it out as I was driving with my southern accent telling her I was thinking about her. So I know that she knew I loved her and we all know she is with her beautiful sister...happy together forever. For her family my heart goes out to you for no one is ever ready for a sudden death. Lots of love and prayers to all...louise crump turley in memphis, tn
Caroline Kirkland February 03, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Those are beautiful memories Taza.... those memories are just how Amanda would want to be remembered.
Lisa Pritsoulis-Ewick February 04, 2012 at 08:24 PM
I babysat for the Hutchinson family the summer of 1994. I had just graduated from college and came to the island without a job or a place to live. I quickly met Leslie Freeman who introduced to me a very pregnant Amanda, Hutch and their two beautiful toddlers. Amanda and I hit it off quickly as her calm, easy demeanor made me feel so comfortable and at ease. If we ever got a spare moment when she or I was not working, we would go for a quick run or take the 2 dogs down to Philbin for a walk and we would talk about things like something silly Caetlyn and Dylan did while I was watching them or how many times Dylan asked me if he could watch Free Willy. I have many of those stories and hope to share them one day with her now grown children. The term “Nudy cazoody keri ding ding ding” coined by the Hutchinson kids is often heard around my house which is now filled with 2 girls and a boy with the same birth order and age span as Amanda’s children. Amanda and I recently connected thanks to Facebook and we were planning to get together soon. It was so nice catching up on what the kids were up to these days. Even through her writing I could tell how proud Amanda was of her children. To this day I envision Amanda walking out of the garden in her high rubber boots with a bucket full of watercress. Yum, those salads were delicious . May the passage of time slowly heal the pain that Hutch, Caetlyn, Dylan, and Alayna feel today.
Dylan Hutchinson February 05, 2012 at 05:12 AM
As a very serious comment. Yes Free Willy is still my favorite movie and the stories referred to in the above comment need never be spoken out loud.
Lisa Pritsoulis-Ewick February 06, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Agreed. Free Willy has stood the test of time. My four year old is equally obsessed! Promise not to share more Dylan stories ;) I can share the one about Caetlyn when she refused to take off her ballerina outfit to go to the beach. She taught me a lot about which battles to fight with my kids and which ones to let go of! Still thinking of your mom daily :)
Joan LeLacheur February 08, 2012 at 12:46 AM
I loved that Amanda always wore the wampum heart earring I made. layne had me make it for her upon the birth oh Alayna . I would like to give you each a heart for your ear or pocket in memory of her dear soul.
Lisa Browne February 21, 2012 at 12:49 AM
Dear Hutch, Caitlyn, Dylan & Alayna, My heart aches with sadness as I heard of the passing of your wife & mother. I am one of Amanda's college roommates, Lisa. I have sooooo many wonderful memories of Amanda. Hopefully I will get to see you if you have a memorial for her and I will gladly share the wonderful memories I have. I will keep them in my heart and always remember her as a soft gentle soul that she was. I am so sorry for your loss. xoxo
Zee Gamson February 26, 2012 at 10:39 PM
It is sad and wonderful to see these memories of Amanda from different times in her life. She still had a lot more to give. And a lot more to do in the world. Her sudden departure reminds me how vulnerable we all are...and how precious life is. Zee Gamson
Dylan Hutchinson March 19, 2012 at 11:18 PM
On Sunday, April 29th, a memorial gathering for Amanda Hutchinson will be held at the Chilmark Community Center starting at 1:00. Pictures and memories will be shared. Refreshments will be served. On behalf of he family all who wish to celebrate her life are welcome to join us in her honer. Stephen Hutchinson (508-645-2985)
Mathea Morais (Editor) March 20, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Dylan, thanks so much for posting this here. I'm sure all of us who knew your mom will be glad to know about the service your family has planned. ~ M
Cathy Arden September 15, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Dearest family of Amanda -- I just now read this sad, tragic news. Amanda was my only true friend when I first moved to Nyack in 1989. My daughter, Anya, was a year old. Anya and Caitlyn became toddler buddies and went to the same pre-school. I really don't know how I would have made it through those early years in Nyack without Amanda. She was so open of spirit, made me laugh, supported me through dark days, and I was heartbroken when she moved to Martha's Vineyard. It was a huge loss for me. I'm sorry now we didn't see each other much after that, although she did visit us in Nyack many years later. I always thought of her with affection and love in her beautiful house in Martha's Vineyard. I knew she had made the right move. I send my love to you all, and I will always keep Amanda in my heart and thoughts and memories. --Cathy Arden

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