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Laura Virginia Whitlark Hutchens


Laura Virginia Whitlark Hutchens, 92, widow of Oliver Franklin Hutchens, died Tuesday, July 4, 2006 at the Tuomey Regional Medical Center.

Born in Kansas City, Missouri, she was a daughter of the late Henry Benson Whitlark and the late Edith Laura Winslow Whitlark.

Mrs. Hutchens was a member of First Presbyterian Church where she was a former deacon and elder.  She was the recipient of an Honorary Life Membership in the Women of the Church, and had served on the Transitional Team when the North and South Presbyteries merged.  She had served on many boards of the Presbytery, and had been Moderator of the Presbyterian Women.  She was also a long-time member of the International Missions Committee.  

She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Missouri.  She was a former interpreter for the United Nations in Cuba, was a retired Civil Service Documentation Manager with Shaw Air Force Base, and also a former teacher at Central Carolina Technical College.  She was a volunteer with Tuomey Hospice.  

Surviving are two sons, Robert Oliver Hutchens and wife Margaret of Sumter, Thomas Pinckney Hutchens and wife Katie of Bismarck, North Dakota; a daughter, Mary Hutchens Syiek and husband, Joseph of Huntington Beach, California; six grandchildren, Laura Hutchens Baker and husband Gene, Thomas Dandridge Hutchens, Virginia Katherine Hutchens, Evelyn Elizabeth Hutchens, Joanna Whitlark Syiek, and Alexander Franklin Syiek.  She was looking forward to the birth of her first great-grandchild in September.  

She was preceded in death by a daughter, Laura Ann Hutchens.

Funeral services will be held at 3 P.M. Saturday in the Chapel of the Elmore Hill McCreight Funeral Home with the Rev. Dr. Mark Durrett officiating.

The family will receive friends from 2 to 3 P.M. Saturday at the Elmore Hill McCreight Funeral Home.

Memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church International Missions Fund, 9 West Calhoun Street, Sumter, SC 29150 or to Tuomey Hospice, 115 N. Sumter Street, Suite 410, Sumter, SC 29150.

On-line condolences may be sent to www.sumterfunerals.com.

Elmore Hill McCreight Funeral Home and Crematory, 221 Broad Street, Sumter is in charge of the arrangements.


Dear Robert, Hutch, Mary & family,

Please know that I am thinking of you all at this time & for the days to come following Laura's passing.  She was a wonderful loving lady, mother, friend and was always so very kind to me. I remember her fondly with love & that will never change.  For many years we corresponded, but I had not heard from her during the last several years & didn't know if she had moved.  I know  that she is dwelling in a most wonderful place now.  I rejoice that I had the pleasure to know her as well as your dad.  May God continue to surround you all with his loving presence.

With love,


-- Lee T. Colhoun

I am a friend and colleage of Mary Syiek. Although I never met her mom, just by knowing Mary I can tell what an extraordinary tresure Ms. Hutchens was. I send my heartfelt sympathy to Mary and her family.
Karen Barrie

-- Karen Barrie

Robert, Thomas & Mary

I was deeply saddened to hear of your mother's passing and am further saddened that I never had the pleasure of meeting her.  My late sister Christine (Steenie) had a wonderful relationship with her though, and often spoke of Aunt Laura and what a wonderful person she was.

Please know that my thoughts and prayers are for Aunt Laura.


-- Henry Benson Whitlark

To the Family,
My Aunt Laura was one of the most wonderfully, loving and encouraging people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing.She was always intriguing to spend time with.
I know from death of my own parents that you will not remember much of what anyone says, but yoju will remember who was there. Many well meaning people will say things wishing to help in this time of hurt; like: "Don't worry, you'll get over this." But I say...You should NOT ever get over the loss of someone with whom a life time of love was invested. You will learn to cope and go on with the knowledge mentioned in Hebrews 12:1; that she IS still watching you and waiting and that we will join her again.
I hope that I can work it out to come; I am presently trying to work out auto repair needs and scheduling so that I can be there for the funeral this weekend. If it does not work out; you have my love, empathy, and prayers.
Kevin Reavis
4th son of Paul Reavis & Lois Hutchens Reavis
Durham, NC

-- Kevin Reavis




It is hard to find the proper words to express our deep sorrow in the loss of such a great woman and our dear friend. Our hearts hurt for the families and loved ones of our “Mom” Laura. As part of her extended family, we had the good fortune, honor and privilege to have spent many quality times with her over the past 20 years during which we shared a good many vacations, stories, laughs and toasts. She was truly an incredible lady. We could feel the power of her amazing life in her laughter, humor, love and appreciation for life. We will continue to toast her with a glass of Champagne. We know that her soul now safely rests in the hands of God. We will deeply miss her.

With our loving thoughts and prayers,

Linda & Kevin

-- Linda & Kevin Williams

Robert, Hutch and Mary -

We are the luckiest people on earth to have known your incredible mother for so many years.  She was smart and fiesty and warm and funny and wise and so very loving. We will always cherish and remember the many precious and happy times we spent with Laura and the entire Hutchens family.   We are wrapping our arms around every single one of today since we are  not there with you.

With love and our deepest sympathies to the entire Hutchens family,

Kenn, Jett, Monika and Nikki Stansbury

-- Jett and Kenn Stansbury

To the entire Hutchens family my deepest sympathies. I am a nephew, son of the late Gordon Whitlark of Columbia, S.C. brother to your mother. I am the youngest of 13 children and was very close to Steenie who stayed in constant touch with our Aunt Laura. You may be aware that  we lost Steenie back in February. Sadly, the only time I met Aunt Laura was at my Father's funeral back in 1989. I wish I could have met her again.

Again from my family here in Atlanta, my wife, Lisa, children ,Erin, Forrest, Kate, Mary Grace, Anna Elizabeth and Liam Whitlark our deepest sympathies and prayers are with you. Maybe one day some of us will meet.

God Bless

Kevin Whitlark

-- Kevin M. Whitlark

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