Myrtle Lillian (Kramer) Hutchens, 94, peacefully passed into the arms of the Lord on Friday, August 9, 2019 as a result of a heart attack. She was born May 8, 1925 to Otillia Lauretta (Truhe) and Edward Clayton Kramer in McGregor, MN, the third of four children. At the age of 4, she moved with her family to the Flathead Valley in Montana, where they settled in the West Valley area later moving to the Bissell community. She attended the Sparks and Bissell schools and Whitefish High School.
Myrtle described the most wonderful thing that ever happened to her as meeting her husband to be, James (Jim) Russell Hutchens. They married in 1941 and spent their 62 years of marriage living on the family farm near Whitefish. Myrtle continued to live on the farm after Jim passed away. Seven children were born to them. Along with raising the children, she was a member of the Bissell Extension Homemakers Club, a 4-H leader for 10 years, had a Christmas tree cutting business with her sister-in-law Posie Clothier, worked at the Cherry Warehouse in Kalispell for 10 years, drove school bus for 30 years combined with working at the Flathead High School cafeteria for 18 years. She served as an election judge for many years and was an active member of Stillwater Free Lutheran Church. She had fond memories of her various careers, especially driving school bus. Myrtle had a great interest in people and never tired of hearing about the activities of her family, friends and former school bus riders.
Life on the farm made her happy. She and Jim loved observing nature in their little valley, a place named “One Valley” by Jim’s parents. They recorded wildlife and bird activity, making note every year of the first red-wing blackbird to arrive in the spring and who saw it first. Myrtle watched the ducks, geese, sandhill cranes, deer, foxes, and even elk and sometimes a bear in her yard and fields. Growing flowers gave her great pleasure, saving seeds from year-to-year, planting and watching them grow to fill her yard with color and beauty.
Myrtle is preceded in death by her parents, her brother Edward, sisters Ethel Smith and Caroline Fisher; her husband Jim, infant son David, grandson Paul Hutchens Jones, son-in-law Arden Olsen.
She is survived by her children Lauretta Olsen of Kalispell and her four children; Susan Iverson (Robert) of Whitefish and their three daughters, Mary Ann Jones (Tom) of Whitefish and their daughter, Sally Christensen (Keith) of Whitefish and their three sons, John Hutchens of Whitefish, and Bill Hutchens (Donna) of Fairbanks, AK and their five children; numerous great grandchildren and seven great-great grandchildren, the last being born the day before Myrtle died. She is also survived by her cousin Viola Keszler of South Dakota.
Memorial service will be held on Friday, August 16, at 11:00 a.m. at Stillwater Free Lutheran Church, 1401 Church Drive, Kalispell, MT. Austin Funeral Home is caring for the family. In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to Stillwater Free Lutheran Church or a charity of your choice in her memory.
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