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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
@ 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
So, you see, religion is important. Thank you Tauna and Juliana.
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!
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.
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
likeshe had a wonderful family - glad to read an update about her. My
condolences to her family - I'll alwaysremember her beauty, fame, and
everything else I had known about her!
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.
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.
In line with this. What happened to the Sheffield girl who became Miss Teenage
America in about 1955? She would be about 70 now?
One of her other sons, Bruk, also played professional beach volleyball in the
90's. Athletic genes running around there.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Where in Utah did she grow up? What high school did she graduate from?
I had no idea Kiki was her son- no idea at all!
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.
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
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.
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!