Charlotte L. Hutchens

Charlotte L. Hutchens, age 90 of North Branch died on Sunday, January 1, 2012 at Ecumen North Branch.

Charlotte was born on April 9, 1921 at North Mankato to Nicholas Lorentz and his wife Marie Kubishak Lorentz.  She had four brothers and three sisters.  She was raised on a farm on the north end of North Mankato and attended school in North Mankato.  She married Cullen Joseph Hutchens on November 3, 1937.  They lived near North Mankato on a farm.

Charlotte and Cullen’s first child, Vivian was born on August 22, 1938 in Mankato.  In 1941 Charlotte and her family moved to St. Paul.

Charlotte and Cullen’s second child Patricia was born on March 8, 1941 in Mankato.  Their third child, Curtis was born on August 10, 1943 in St. Paul.  Their fourth child, Gary was born on December 5, 1944 in Mankato.

In 1945 Charlotte and Cullen moved their family to a 160 acre farm east of North Branch.  There besides helping to tend to the farm, helping to raise four children Charlotte tended to a large garden.

Charlotte and Cullen loved the farm.  On the farm they had milking cows, several horses and sheep.  Charlotte always had large flower gardens to tend to in her spare time.  In the 1950s and 60s Charlotte worked at several jobs in North Branch.  First she worked at the North Branch Café and Bowling Alley and later at the North Branch Bakery.  Their fifth child, Susan was born September 2, 1951 in Rush City.

On September 30, 1959 there sixth child Steven was born in Rush City.  In the late 60s Charlotte worked at the Cambridge State Hospital and Green Acres Care Center.

Charlotte and her family moved off the farm in 1971 to a country home near Highway 95 east of North Branch.  Charlotte and Cullen had a lake cabin on the Big Sandy Channel near McGregor where they spent many summer weekends.  In 1992 with their children all grown up, Charlotte and Cullen moved into North Branch where Charlotte volunteered at the North Branch Primary School as a Foster Grandparent and with the North Branch Community Education Program.

Charlotte and Cullen were members of St. Gregory’s Catholic Church in North Branch for over 50 years.  On November 3, 2004 they were married 67 years.  They had 31 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.  Two of her favorite songs were “Blue Skirt Waltz” and the polka song, “You and Me.”  Cullen passed away on April 24, 2005 after a brief illness.  Charlotte was a great wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother.  She loved her family and enjoyed being surrounded by all her children and grandchildren.  She was always loyal to Cullen and very proud that they did things together “Their Way.”  She was always proud of her children and the careers they pursued.  Her hard working spirit and her legacy of honesty, integrity and strong faith in God will be carried on for generations to come.

Her great love of flowers will remind us of her when we see them in the future.  She will be greatly missed but memories and love she has shared will live within all who had the privilege of knowing her.

Charlotte is survived by her sons, Curtis (Judy) of St. Cloud; Gary (Shirleen) of Bloomington and Steven (Vivian) of Tony, WI; daughters, Vivian (Robert) Kinnan of Maple Grove and  Susan (John) France of Coon Rapids; sisters,  LaVonne (Walace)  Johnson of Lafayette; Eleanor (Donald) Solem of Rice Lake, Wis.,  and Elaine Spoors of Eagle Lake; 31 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter.

She is preceded in death by her parents and her beloved husband of 67 years Cullen on April 24, 2005; daughter, Patricia Carlson in 1979, two grandsons, Zachary France and Terry Ginder and four brothers, Roman, Gene, Wendell and Harvey.

Mass of Christian Burial was held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, January 6, 2012 at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church in North Branch with Rev. Shane Wasinger officiating.  Music was provided by Cathie Hendren.  Visitation was held one hour prior to the service at church on Friday.  Interment followed the service at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery at North Branch.

Serving as casket bearers were Matthew France, Nathan France, Timothy Hutchens, Eric Hutchens, Tom Kinnan, Mike Kinnan, Brent Hutchens and Mike Ginder.

A very special thank you for the extraordinary and loving care given to Charlotte at the Ecumen of North Branch Community.

Arrangements were under the direction of Grandstrand Funeral Home in North Branch.  Condolences maybe left at

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