Published in the May 19, 2017 edition
Florence was born in Gloucester on February 10, 1938, one of two children of the late Gardner W. Oakes and F. Gertrude (Firth) Oakes. Raised in Gloucester and Melrose, Florence graduated from Melrose High School, Class of 1956, and received her bachelor’s degree from Salem Teachers College in 1960.
In 1961, Florence was married to L. Bradley Hutchinson and they settled in Melrose to raise a family of two children. Florence was a dedicated and selfless wife, mother, and grandmother who cherished her family above all else.
Well known in the community, Florence gave of herself and her talents to many volunteer organizations. From a young age, she began a life of volunteering and supporting others in the community as a Past worthy Advisor of Rainbow, Melrose Assembly #7, a Girl Scout Leader, and member of the Order of the Eastern Star. For over 50 years, she was a very active member of Kappa Delta Psi Sorority.
At Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, she served as a volunteer chaplain for 19 years, helping patients through medical challenges with great compassion.
She was past president and served as a board trustee of the Fitch Home Association, and past president of the Wakefield Arts & Crafts Society. Florence was a longtime active and dedicated member of the First Baptist Church where she was deeply involved in supporting the Pantry of Hope. Never wanting anything in return, Florence openly provided her kindness, warmth, and care as a lay minister, trained in the Stephen’s Ministry for many people over the years. Florence was a genuine and selfless person.
At home with her family, Florence enjoyed reading, crossword puzzles, board games, jig saw puzzles, or doing anything with her grandchildren. She received so much joy from the being involved in the lives of JP, Julia, Carly and Bob and loved any time spent with them. Traveling with family or friends was also a favorite activity. As a mother of two, she enthusiastically traveled across the country with Brad “tenting” during summer vacations.
Later in life, they enjoyed many cruises together, and trips to Florida or to Pleasant Lake in New Hampshire. When not volunteering, she enjoyed decorating her front window for holidays, or cheering on the Bruins or Red Sox.
Most of all, Florence was a kind and loving woman who was happiest surrounded by her family, and especially cherished her four grandchildren. Her loss leaves a great void, but her selfless nature and giving spirit will live on as her legacy in the hearts of her family.
Florence was the beloved wife of L. Bradley Hutchinson with whom she shared 56 years of marriage. She was the devoted mother of Linda H. Bulman and her husband John of Melrose, and Mark B. Hutchinson and his wife Lisa of Melrose. She was predeceased by her brother Lemuel R. Oakes. She was the cherished grandmother of JP and Julia Bulman, and Carly and Bob Hutchinson. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends gathered in honor and remembrance of Florence’s life during visiting hours at the Robinson Funeral Home, 809 Main St., Melrose on Monday, May 15 from 3-8 p.m, and for her funeral service at the First Baptist Church, 561 Main St., Melrose on Tuesday at 10 a.m.
Gifts in honor of Florence may be made to the First Baptist Church, 561 Main St., Melrose, MA 02176, or to the Pantry of Hope at the First Baptist Church, 561 Main St., Melrose, MA 02176.
For online tribute visit RobinsonFuneralHome.com