To the Editor:
I am writing to honor Amanda Hutchinson, who died recently in Aquinnah of exposure, after the snowstorm on January 21. Amanda worked for us for more than 20 years, so we knew her well. Amanda was a responsible, hardworking person with many talents. She was a superb seamstress who could sew anything. She could be found at events around the Island working for a caterer. She was a perfectionistic house cleaner who would chase dust all over the house. She was a caretaker who watched over “her” houses as if they were her own, checking all systems regularly and informing homeowners when there was something that she could not fix. (And she could fix a lot.)
Amanda was crazy about her kids and would do anything for them. She also took care of an uncounted number of people in need. She nursed her beloved sister, who died in her arms in the Boston hospital where she was being treated. As we aged, she watched over us, pointing out dangerous throw rugs, reminding us to check things in the house, providing a helpful arm.
At the time of her death, she was planning a new future, since her children were almost grown up. In the immediate future, she had reserved a room and booked treatments at the Mansion House to take advantage of its special prices for year-rounders. She was looking into programs for town health officers off-Island, to improve her knowledge for her job as administrative assistant to the Aquinnah board of health. She was looking for an apartment in Vineyard Haven, so she could be near the ferry and her mother.
None of this has come to pass. Amanda took care of everyone else, but she was too late to take care of herself.
Our hearts go out to Caitlin, Dylan, and Alayna.
Zee and Bill Gamson