LeGene Bay Hutchings finished his mortal ministry February 14, 2019, passing away peacefully due to incidents of age, 10 days short of his 91st birthday. Beloved ‘Gene’ was known for his kindness, passion for music, and service to family, community, country, and God.
Born February 24, 1928, in Beaver, Utah, Gene was the fifth of six children to Ethel Del Bay and Samuel Ralph Hutchings. During his elementary and high school years he excelled in academics and music, becoming an accomplished pianist under the tutelage of Roy Darley, Tabernacle organist.
Enrolling at the University of Utah, Gene interrupted his studies after his freshman year to serve a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the East Central States Mission. Upon his return, he served as a Temple Square guide in Salt Lake City, where he met his sweetheart and future bride, Francis Patricia Williamson. In 1951 he again left school to join the Army, graduating the next year from the Counter Intelligence Corps and serving during the Korean War.
During a two-week leave of service, Gene was married for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake City temple on June 24, 1952. After honorable discharge, he graduated from the University of Utah in 1955 with a Bachelor’s degree in History and a minor in Music. Having further obtained a teaching certificate, he taught Music, English and Utah History at Evergreen Junior High School in Salt Lake City from 1955 to 1959. During this time, he established a pattern of giving private piano lessons to people of all ages, often having more than 20 students per week.
In 1959, Gene undertook a major move in joining his brothers and a sister in Merced, California, where he accepted a position at El Capitan/Merced High School teaching World History. He was the instructor for early morning seminary, and also taught History at Merced College. Over 1962-64, he earned a Master’s degree in Education Administration at Fresno State College, and afterward became Merced High School’s advisor and administrator of student affairs.
In 1966, he was chosen Associate Dean of Letters and Arts at Reedley College in California, holding the position for a dozen years. From 1978-90, he was an instructor at the King’s River Community College where he taught Music, History, Political Science, Speech Fundamentals, and Leadership. He retired in 1990.
Gene was very active in his church, often playing the piano and organ in church meetings. Over the years, he served in many capacities, thereby developing many deep and lasting friendships. He also was frequently called upon to play piano for civic affairs and community events.
Gene lost his beloved wife, Pat, in 2000 after 48 years of marriage. His life was tremendously blessed 2 years later when he met and married Jeanann Harris Forsyth. Together, they enjoyed the next 18 years of a sweet, rich and fulfilling companionship.
Gene loved life! He was patriotic, hard-working, thoughtful and stalwart. He was detail-oriented and loved memorabilia. He saved everything. He was an avid canasta player and also enjoyed board games.
After retirement, he savored travel and long road trips. During the last two years of his life, he often visited Canada and once spent three months in Mallorca, Spain, helping the missionary effort where he served as organist in a small branch of the LDS church. He loved classical music and practiced the piano over an hour daily right up until his passing.
Gene often said his greatest happiness was his family. He is survived by his wife, Jeanann; his sister, Mary Pendleton; his five children, Michael (Marlene), Debbie Forrest Dayton (Merril), Gary (Donna), Marcie Hutchings-Oeler(Kurt), and Lori Hoyal (Jeff) as well as by the four living children of his wife Jeanann who he loved as his own, DeNai Vandenberg (Alison), Bruce (Diane), Kerry Cordova (Dan), and Tammy Loughead (Rick). In addition, he is survived by 47 grandchildren and 64 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Saturday February 23, 2019, at 11 a.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints chapel located at 2168 South 140 West in Orem, Utah. A viewing and visitation will be held from 9:00 to 10:30 AM that same day at the same location. Condolences may be expressed to the family at SundbergOlpinMortuary.com. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Missionary Fund of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. lds.org/donations