On August 14, 2022, Carol Mae Manning Hutcheson graduated from the university of mortality. Carol was always especially academic, and it seems that she passed life with flying colors. She received advanced degrees in wisdom, kindness, patience, service, grace, and care for others.
Carol was born to M. Nephi Manning and Ruth Mae Graham Manning in Ogden, Utah, on April 18, 1941. Her mother was put on bedrest in December prior to her birth and Carol was named after the hymns of the Christmas season that her mother listened to during those long months.
The name was very fitting, as music was an important part of Carol’s entire life. Her father played the violin beautifully and she loved to listen to him growing up. She learned to play the piano, the guitar, and the ukulele and later taught her children to sing harmony in the car with her on road trips. Anything by the Carpenters or John Denver was fair game.
Carol wrote music of her own, and her musical There is No Darkness, about the birth of the Savior as experienced by people in ancient America, was produced multiple times in Utah as well as in Texas and Switzerland. She also helped write Beautiful Bountiful Home and was a stake youth leader during its production in 1980 on the front steps of the Bountiful Tabernacle.
Music wasn’t her only creative pursuit. Carol also loved to write poetry and even published a novel, Angel on Skis, at the age of seventy-seven. She taught creative writing, honors English, French, theater, and in gifted-and-talented programs across Utah, Washington, and Texas, finishing her career at Farmington Junior High and Woods Cross High School in Davis County, Utah.
She was an excellent teacher starting from an early age. One Sunday, as a newly graduated senior from high school, she was a bit too chatty in church and her Sunday school teacher told her that if she wanted to talk so much, she should do the teaching. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Carol prepped her lesson well. Unbeknownst to her, it would be the single most important lesson she ever taught. That day, a young man named Don Hutcheson, invited to church by one of his co-workers from Camp Kiesel, sat in her class stunned at the beauty and intelligence that stood before him, embodied in Carol Manning.
They courted for the duration of the summer until Don returned to Reno, Nevada, where he was going into his sophomore year of college. Then they began a long-distance relationship that defied odds, time, and space. They wrote letters (with real stamps!) to each other for five years, only occasionally seeing each other in person or talking on the phone. During that time, Don joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, served a two-and-a-half-year mission to Germany, and continued his education. Meanwhile, Carol started college at Weber State then went on to Utah State and graduated in 1963 with a degree in English and minors in Speech and Drama, French, Music, and Secondary Teaching.
They were married and sealed on June 5,1964, in the Salt Lake Temple. Who would have guessed that so many good things could come from talking during Sunday School?
Carol’s greatest joy was bearing and raising six children. Each of them was precious to her and she reveled in inspiring their talents, encouraging their success, and sacrificing for their good. She frequently gave more than she should but couldn’t help it.
Those children, although at times unruly, proved to be good investments as they garnered her twenty-three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. She loved each of them and was so
happy whenever they could be together.
But doting on grandchildren just wasn’t enough to fill up Carol’s golden years. She and Don served as ordinance workers in the Bountiful Temple for four years. Then she served a full-time proselytizing mission with Don in Switzerland. She was so thrilled to use her French in Switzerland, but she was sent to the German speaking part. So, she learned German in the middle of the night while adjusting to the new time zone, as one does. When they returned home from their mission, she enjoyed being a docent at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City and returned to the temple as an ordinance worker.
Carol spent hours reading scriptures and other good books. There was discussion of politics, history, and literature. And most of all, how the gospel of Jesus Christ works in our lives. She was good at feeding bodies as well as souls, and her Texas brisket was legendary.
There is no adequate way to sum up eighty-one years of a spectacularly lived life. How does one tell of the hundreds of students she inspired? Or those who were on the fringes of her classroom whom she pulled into her warmth? How do you write about how she saw people’s potential and gently led them along until they saw it in themselves too? Is it possible to catch in words the twinkle of her eye, the exuberance of her cheers, or the tenderness of her touch? Can you adequately describe how she taught the steps of the gospel, and then taught us to listen to the music of the Spirit so that the motions became a beautiful dance of gratitude and joy?
If you can, please do. I cannot. All that can be said is that she put the music in us.
She left behind her beloved husband, Donald Howard Hutcheson; her children: Rebecca Slater (Peter), Deborah Flansburg (Marcus), Matthew Hutcheson (Annette), Elizabeth Wiser (John), Hilary Ferguson (Bryce), and Miranda Lotz (Gregory). She will also be missed by her brother Mike Manning and her sister Gloria Smee.
She reunited with her mother and father, as well as her younger brother Jimmy, whom she valiantly served while he was on the earth as his protector and friend.
Please join us for a celebration of Carol’s life at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, August 24, 2022, at the Stone Creek Ward, 1476 North 300 West, Bountiful. A viewing will be held Tuesday evening from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Russon Mortuary, 295 North Main, Bountiful, and Wednesday morning 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the church prior to services.
Services will be streamed live on Russon Brothers Mortuary Facebook page and this obituary page.