Amanda L. Hutchinson


Amanda Louise Hutchinson, 50, of Aquinnah died on Sunday, January 22. She was the wife of Stephen Hutchinson and the mother of Caetlyn, Dylan, and Alayna.

The daughter of Frederick Hunter Burrell of Nyack, N.Y., and Mary Louise Nichols, who now lives in Oak Bluffs, Amanda first came to the Vineyard in the summers of her youth, staying with her paternal grandmother who annually rented a home on North Water Street in Edgartown. From those early days Amanda and her deceased sister “Mebbit” became friends with many young friends with whom she maintained companionship for life.

After completing her degree in sociology from S.U.N.Y. at New Paltz, N.Y., Amanda returned to the Vineyard in the early 1980s. She led a diversified life, cooking at Martha’s Restaurant while pursuing an interest in home health care for many in need of help.

After being introduced to her eventual husband by her old friend Steve Yaffe, with whom she went to the George School in Pennsylvania, she left the Vineyard for a five-year hiatus back in New York where she continued her career in cooking. An avid believer in natural childbirth, Amanda delivered her first two children with the aid of a midwife in Englewood, New Jersey.

After the birth of Dylan, the family returned to the Vineyard and settled in Aquinnah in 1988 where they built their home and have lived ever since. In 1994 she bore Alayna peacefully at home, again with the aid of local midwives.

During her early days at home with her children, Amanda filled her time as an imaginative seamstress, forever creating elaborate costumes and clothing. She added to her schedule by doing piecework for several women clothing designers on the Island, developing her skills as a seamstress.

She was an excellent swimmer and had a physique which seemed ageless. She was an avid lover of yoga, practicing at home and periodically at some of the many venues on the Island. Excess energy was the norm for her. She loved the advancements of modern communication and used them to the fullest.

The daughter of a professional photographer, Amanda was always at ease with a camera. Along with the work of her father, she meticulously archived thousands of images of her family as they grew from infants to adulthood. As a mother, her generosity toward her three children was limitless. Healthy cooking and nutrition were a constant for her, although she was a bit possessed by her self-admitted addiction to “healthy” chips.

In recent years Amanda grew restless with too much home life and expanded her interests to caretaking over a dozen estates in the up-Island area. In the past few years she returned to the roots of her education and added her services to the Aquinnah health department as their representative agent.

Over years of a life cut way too short, Amanda touched many lives — Islanders and summer folk alike. She is sorely missed.

She is also survived by her brother-in-law, Charles Morano, who resides in Edgartown, and her niece and nephew, Mary and Charlie.

While a place and date have not yet been determined, her family has determined that her memorial will take place later in the spring when all who knew her will have the opportunity to grieve her loss and celebrate her irreplaceable life.