Mary Durden Hutcheson, 96, of Castalian Springs, TN, passed away on February 6, 2023, at home surrounded by her loving daughter, Carolyn and son-in-law, “Buddy“ Bruce. Mary was born in Soperton, Georgia to Lewis Cogle Durden and Mary Elizabeth Toler. Mary grew up during the depression with four sisters and three brothers, farming, going to school and playing with friends. Mary’s childhood was “hard times,” as she would often recall. This upbringing shaped Mary to take nothing for granted, and to be a saver. Mary had a strict upbringing, but loved to talk about the times she would sneak out to go square dancing, which would take place on someone’s front porch, and how she begged her brother to let her wear his pants. Mary loved her siblings deeply, and they took great care of each other.
Mary married Nolan Etheridge Hutcheson (1914-1998) on August 15, 1941. The two were married for more than fifty years, and had two children, Freddy Nolan Hutcheson (1942-2021) and Carolyn Jane (1954). Mary and Nolan spent most of their marriage living in Lizella, Georgia, just outside of Macon, where they had a brick ranch home on 20 acres. The couple farmed their land, and always had an abundant garden filled with potatoes, peas, corn, plum and peach trees, and the most delicious blackberry bushes. Nolan was called to air force duty during World War II, and young Mary had to take care of Freddy and herself while Nolan was away. Mary found herself working at the shirt factory, where she perfected her basic sewing skills. Once Nolan returned home, Mary would return to homemaking until the late 1950’s when she and Nolan decided to become foster parents. The couple kept more than 120 children over the span of 16 years, and while their daughter, Carolyn, was at home. Mary often shared memories of those times. She was licensed to keep six children at a time, and she loved them like her own, teaching them life skills and making their clothes on her sewing machine.
Mary loved to dress up. Mary was known for always being dressed to the nines. Mary curled her hair every night, and never left the house without her lipstick and jewelry. Mary attended Bethel Baptist Church in Lizella, Georgia, for the majority of her life. She was a believer, and often told us that she was a good child because she feared being in trouble with the Lord. Mary’s hobbies included cooking, sewing, listening to music, telling stories, eating cookies and gardening.
Mary was a devoted mother to everyone she met. After her career as a foster parent, she supported over half of her grandchildren with housing when they were starting off with young families. Mary was a giver, always thinking of how she could lift another’s burdens. She looked forward to her phone calls from her favorite brother, Fred, and her sweet niece Sue Leslie, who regularly kept in touch after her move to Tennessee in 2017. Mary enjoyed visits from her grandchildren and great grandchildren, and instilled them with strong values and dreams. She wanted her granddaughters to become educated, strong, independent women. Mary had an amazing memory, until recently, and always shared vivid stories with those around her. She was a cut-up, and told many funny, and often exaggerated, stories.
Mary is survived and missed by her loving daughter, Carolyn (William) Bruce. Forever cherished and remembered by her five grandchildren, Kenny, Debbie (Mike), Kendall (Treena), Danielle (Eric) and Chad (Katie), Mary’s favorite brother and sister in law, Fred (Joyce) Durden.
Mary was preceded in death by her husband Nolan (1998), her only son, Freddy (Linda) Hutcheson (2021), second husband Monroe Burgess (2014), and grandson Kenny (2017).
Her memory will live on with her great grandchildren: Brittney, Brandi, Christina, Blake, Lance, Arianna, Leah, Mary Grace, Nolan, Scarlett, Gauge and Colton. In addition Mary had eight great-great grandchildren.
Mary’s legacy will carry on forever, reminding us to choose a life of love, forgiveness and service to others.
Family and friends are invited to attend a graveside service on Monday February 13, 2023 at 2:00 at Crestview Memory Gardens, located at 1623 Hwy 109 N Gallatin, TN. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Mary’s name, to her favorite charity organization for children with unique abilities and differences, the Sparkle Pageant, founded by her great-granddaughter, Mary Grace Beasley.
Arrangements Entrusted to: Sumner Funeral & Cremation, Gallatin (615) 452-9059
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