Former Miss America, BYU Homecoming Queen Colleen Kay Hutchins dies

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  • Linda (Andrew)
    April 11, 2010 12:44 a.m.

    I remember seeing Colleen's life-size picture hanging in Aunt Maple and Uncle Hugh's (Hutchins)home. What a beautiful lady. Her mother was also a tall, regal woman. Her father was one of the original Harley guys in his leather jacket. He was in his 70's or 80's the last time he rode his motorcycle to see us in Mar Vista. Wish I would have gotten some of those tall, sports genes. My love to the family.

  • Martha Pettijohn Morrise
    April 10, 2010 12:46 a.m.

    I had several classes with Colleen at BYU in about 1948/49. We were the same height and I always liked walking across campus with her after our French class in the old "north buildings." I thought she was a regal beauty and wasn't surprised when she was chosen as Miss America. Her brother, Mel, was as handsome as she was beautiful, a great basketball player for the Y. Condolences to her family. Sorry to hear she was ill a long time.

  • proudamerican
    April 6, 2010 11:45 a.m.

    Thanks to the Vandeweghe and Hutchins family members for adding their thoughts. She was well before my time, but it's interesting and inspiring to learn about such a remarkable woman. What a great tribute it is to her that friends and acquaintances all remember her as a genuinely kind person and her family remembers her as a completely devoted mother.

  • Maiska Woolley
    April 5, 2010 8:55 a.m.

    I've just received the news of Colleen's passing. My condolences to the family.
    I visited my friend Raija in your Home in Brentwood and in Palm Deseret in the sixties. It is wonderful to know how well all the children have done.
    Congratulations to Ernie on the baptism. Now you can claim your family for all eternities.

  • Myron Harpole
    March 29, 2010 4:04 p.m.

    Colleen was in our Arcadia, California classes, 4th through 12. I occasionally saw her the next 2.5 years when she attended the Pasadena Playhouse. The entire Hutchins family was very popular in Arcadia and a credit to the LDS Church. Everything good one hears about Colleen is true including her friendliness, athleticism and family-first outlook.

  • E Hall
    March 28, 2010 1:26 a.m.

    @ Ralph: Charlotte Sheffield was Miss USA 1957. She lives in Utah, I can't remember just where, but I met her at her younger sister's home in Orem last year. She married and had a family to whom she is very devoted, LDS, and a very lovely woman.
    Sorry to barge in on this very interesting thread. Condolences to the Vandeweghe family.

  • E Hall
    March 28, 2010 1:24 a.m.

    @ Ralph: Charlotte Sheffield was Miss USA 1957. She lives in Utah, I can't remember just where, but I met her at her younger sister's home in Orem last year. She married and had a family to whom she is very devoted, LDS, and a very lovely woman.
    Sorry to barge in on this very interesting thread. Condolences to the Vandeweghe family.

  • Milton Muir's daughter Katheryne
    March 27, 2010 12:46 p.m.

    My father dated both Colleen and her sister at BYU he married another and taunted my mother about how he dated Miss America, he was a great tease. Colleen became a house hold name. We have pictures of that day of her coronation, and a few of her sister in the scrap book. He loved my mother and has passed on but I am sure he is in line to greet her.

    At 86 my mother can't quite remember who she is when I called her today, but what a legend in our family. I don't think I missed a pageant when I lived at home growing up. When I die, I hope to meet her, I am thrilled about your father and the upcoming sealing. All our love and best wishes, The Milton B Muir Family

  • Hal Weston
    March 26, 2010 11:39 p.m.

    She was truly a beautiful person....inside and out. Love and family were her first priorities. I double dated with she and Ernie a long , long time ago. when they were first dating...and was stationed (with Ernie) in Weisbatten, Germany when Kiki was born. Kay was truly a joy to be around.....and my heartfelt condolences go out to the Vanderweghe and Hutchins families on their loss. She had a heart of gold. May OUR LORD bless her always.

  • Zuriel Knowles
    March 26, 2010 2:57 p.m.

    My sympathy to the family of this beautiful woman. I saw her perform at the University of Utah as Cleopatra before she was chosen to be Miss America and was so impressed with her talent and beauty. She was so regal in every way--walked tall no matter with whom she was walking. I also watched her brother play basketball and we have followed Kiki's career as well. What a legacy she leaves. May you be blessed with the memories of the good times and the time when you as a family will be reunited again.

  • Alma Whiting
    March 26, 2010 9:27 a.m.

    TDhank you Tauna and Jullianna, I wish your coments had been first. You spoke of the Colleen that I knew at BYU. I am 83 years old and was in her class. She was regal in every sense, a true beauty inside and out, and a great representative for BYU and the church.
    Mel was always my favorite BBall player. His movements on the Court were ever so graceful and beautifull.
    My condolences to the family. May Heavenly Father's blessings be with you all at this time.

  • Mike
    March 26, 2010 8:51 a.m.

    So, you see, religion is important. Thank you Tauna and Juliana.

  • Greg
    March 26, 2010 8:37 a.m.

    What a nice tribute. Colleen must have touched alot of lives in a wonderful way. She sounds like a good example to all and an inspiration to many. I admire her apparent desire to make family first. Regardless of her religeous affiliation, we all could benefit by striving to be a little more like Colleen. When people live life to the fullest and are guided by there hearts and spirit, the Lord will bless them and thier families. Good job Colleen and God bless!

  • Tauna Vandeweghe
    March 25, 2010 8:55 p.m.

    I was lucky enough to be sent this story. Although the world admired her, I was lucky enough to have her full time. She was born in CA, raised LDS, all her children were LDS, she remained LDS till her death. She has been bedridden for 14 years in which she and my Dad lived with me. Sometimes hard, but the best years of my life. If ever an Angel (her nickname) was here on earth it was her. God bless you all for your kind thoughts. My Dad was baptized 3 days ago and now awaits a marriage to my mother in the Temple.

  • Jessy Mack
    March 25, 2010 6:38 p.m.

    I have thought about Colleen a lot - remember when she was chosen 'Miss America' - that was a proud day! She was so beautiful & I was happy that she had been chosen - my brother was tall & I hoped they would meet - they never did! Sounds like
    she had a wonderful family - glad to read an update about her. My condolences to her family - I'll always
    remember her beauty, fame, and everything else I had known about her!

  • Juliana Hutchins
    March 25, 2010 6:03 p.m.

    wow, scuttlebut abounds! I'm her niece so I'll set the record straight. She's not catholic. She was always LDS but not always active. Just before she passed, my Uncle Ernie, her husband was baptised! (yay!) and will be sealed to Colleen in a year. Kiki's real name is Earnest, just like his father, grand father etc etc....Kiki is his nickname. Aunt Colleen never liked to talk about her Miss America stuff and other "la-dee-da" stuff. Her passion was her children and grandchildren. I have never met anyone so devoted to perfecting the art of parenthood as Aunt Colleen and Uncle Ernie, and it shows in their children. Our whole family are all very different from each other, but each quite awesome in their own right. This started with my grandparents. It amazes me how just one couple can have such influence on the world, just by raising good children, Colleen being one of them.

  • E. Klinche
    March 25, 2010 3:58 p.m.

    Interesting connection to Kiki, a player I admired greatly in the 1980s. What a family!

    Religious affiliation or not, the BYU connection is a pertinent one here, and by default the LDS connection is interesting.

    To some.

    To those who say," who cares about her religion" reminds me of someone saying "who cares what state she lives in" or "who cares what nationality she is". Do we all care about the same thing? What is interesting for an Asian might not be for a European, but who are we to say "who cares"?

    If so,why care at all about anything? If we read an article about Anne Frank, do we care if she was Jewish? Or about a terrorist, if he were Muslim or communist? Or a Miss USA, if she were Latina or black?

    Point is, she was classy as a person, a mother, former Miss America, etc.

    I am glad I know more about the Nets' coach's family, for sure.

    Thanks, Desnews.

    God bless her family and her legacy, and all she strove for.

  • Ralph
    March 25, 2010 1:07 p.m.

    In line with this. What happened to the Sheffield girl who became Miss Teenage America in about 1955? She would be about 70 now?

  • Justin Hutchins
    March 25, 2010 10:44 a.m.

    One of her other sons, Bruk, also played professional beach volleyball in the 90's. Athletic genes running around there.

  • Anonymous
    March 25, 2010 10:11 a.m.

    She stood over 6 feet tall in heels, had what was described as a Regal Bearing, and stopped a University Basketball game cold when she arrived late and walked down the sideline.

  • Corrections:
    March 25, 2010 9:27 a.m.

    Kiki never played for the Nets. He was a great scorer with the high scoring Nuggets teams of the 80s and also the Blazers before finishing with the Knicks and the Clippers.

    To the fyi point about religion, they were in our ward in LA and it's my understanding that Colleen and her family were all members of the LDS church at the time of her passing.

    Their other two children were excellent athletes as well, playing tennis in college and professional beach volleyball.

  • Kiki and Coco
    March 25, 2010 8:08 a.m.

    Man the Vandeweghe's have interesting choices for names. I guess Richard or Mary were too ordinary for them? Nothing wrong with it, I'm just sayin...

  • Patrick Casaday
    March 25, 2010 7:46 a.m.

    My mother roomed with Colleen at BYU and always spoke very highly of her. She was always very friendly and a wonderful person to be around.

  • joy
    March 24, 2010 11:59 p.m.

    She was a beautiful woman. And don't believe everything that is written on these blogs. They'll throw anything out to get people stirred up or at least curious.

    What a great legacy she left.

  • Andrejules
    March 24, 2010 11:50 p.m.

    I was attending Provo High the years she was at BYU. Interesting that she was chosen as Miss America the same year her brother Mel was named a Basketball All-American. BYU won the NIT that year and also competed in the NCAA: I think they finished 4th.

    He was BYU's tallest player at 6 foot 5, but was a tremendous leaper. I heard his leaping to funnel balls into the basket was one of the reason they instituted the rule that you can't touch a ball in the immediate area above the rim. (Unless you had control bringing it into that cylinder.)

    I thought they were from California.

  • John Pack Lambert
    March 24, 2010 11:36 p.m.

    Who ever said Hutchins was from Utah? Going to BYU and being from Utah are not the same.
    In actuality she was born in Salt Lake City but was raised in Southern California.
    I can state that she was upfront and open about being a Latter-day Saint around the time she was Miss America. What he religious inclinations, beliefs and attitudes have been since 1952 I can not state in any definitive way. Most of my information is drawn from the Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History article on her.

  • Re: To Anonymous 2:42
    March 24, 2010 10:12 p.m.

    It does matter. Was she a member who went to BYU? Was she a non-member who went to BYU? Did she convert to Catholicism? It's not a judgmental comment, just a FYI comment. What an interesting story and life she had. Condolences to her family.

  • Where did she grow up?
    March 24, 2010 9:01 p.m.

    Where in Utah did she grow up? What high school did she graduate from?

  • kiaoraguy
    March 24, 2010 4:34 p.m.

    I had no idea Kiki was her son- no idea at all!

  • To Anonymous 2:42
    March 24, 2010 4:34 p.m.

    What the heck difference does it make what religion she was??

    Collen was a beautiful girl and a gorges women.

    By the way, she converted to Catholicism when she married...Like it really matters.

  • Anonymous
    March 24, 2010 2:42 p.m.

    I am just curious to know if Ms. Hutchins was an active member of the Mormon church at the time of her death. I have never heard anything about her over the years.

  • RIP Colleen
    March 24, 2010 1:20 p.m.

    My parents and grandparents told me what a striking and classy young lady she was and how proud everyone in Utah was to have our own Miss America.

  • Anonymous Coward
    March 24, 2010 1:20 p.m.

    Didn't photographers in the 50's know that if your going to use a wide(ish) angle lens not to put their arms in front of the subject? It makes their head look small and their arms look massive. Shhheesh!