Mrs. Mary Atkinson Hutto, 93, a resident of Accomac from 2003 to 2017, passed away April 27, 2021, following a battle with cancer. She is survived by three daughters, Rebecca Hutto (David Gottlieb), of Yardley, Pa., Virginia Christine Bruening (Kevin), of Huntsville, Ala., and Carol Vincent (Gordo), of Onley. She is also survived by five grandchildren, Leo Gottlieb, Matthew Bruening, Megan Bruening Wallace (Adam), Joseph Vincent, and Elizabeth Vincent; and three great-grandchildren, Seth, Jared, and Caleb Wallace. She was predeceased by her husband of 68 years, Edgar Hutton Jr. (1923-2018); and her three older brothers.
Mary was born in Camden, N.J., Sept. 13, 1927, the daughter of Francis Whitmer Atkinson and Elsie Haviland Atkinson. She graduated from Moorestown Friends School and attended Swarthmore College. She met her husband on a blind date while she was working as a bookkeeper and he was a new engineer at RCA. They married July 9, 1949, and lived in Merchantville and then Cherry Hill, N.J.
Mary was a busy mother and volunteer while her girls were young. She served as PTA president and “Cookie Mother” for their Brownie troop. She was a talented home seamstress, making matching Easter dresses for her girls for many years. She even sewed her daughter Chris’s wedding gown, the bridesmaids’ dresses for Carol’s wedding, and all her girls’ high school prom dresses. Mary remained close to all three of her daughters throughout her life.
Though she was raised as a Quaker, after her marriage Mary became an active member of Collingswood (N.J.) Baptist Church. She was a deaconess, Vacation Bible School teacher, and a chaperone for youth groups. In 1974, she became a teacher at the church’s Christian Day Nursery School and was soon asked to serve as its director. She greatly enjoyed this job and happily returned to college to take the required early childhood education courses. Throughout her life, Mary was a faithful Christian – active in churches wherever she lived.
In 1984, Ed retired from RCA and the couple moved to South Carolina. They remodeled Ed’s mother’s house in St. George, and became very involved in the community. They traveled to Europe and Canada several times, but their biggest trip was a journey to Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji. Mary and Ed enjoyed “Elderhostels,” combining travel with learning opportunities. In 2007, Mary’s daughters took her to Rome for Easter as an 80th birthday present. While at home, she loved reading, crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, and knitting.
In her final years, Mary returned to her roots in a way. In late 2017, she settled into a Friends (Quaker) retirement home in Newtown, Pa., where she enjoyed the companionship of her fellow residents and her two cats, Gracie and Marky. She passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of April 27, after spending the previous afternoon with her daughters.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, July 10, 2021, at 2:30 p.m., at the Drummondtown Baptist Church in Accomac. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Drummondtown Baptist Church, P.O. Box 282, Accomac, VA 23301.