NILES, Mich. — Mary Jean “Mickey” (Fulwider) Hutchison, 77, of Niles, passed away peacefully at her home Monday, July 15, 2019.
Mickey was born Sept. 7, 1941, to the late Charles and Mildred (Fisher) Fulwider in Elkhart.
After graduating from Elkhart High School in 1959, Mickey went on to serve in many community service organizations.
She was a charter member of the Berrien County Civitan and became a board member in 1996, serving as the director from 1999 to 2001. She was named “Civitan of the Year” in 1998.
She was also very active in the United Way of Berrien County, serving on its board of directors for several years and as the campaign chairwoman for 1989.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Niles-Buchanan was another group she was proud to serve.
She also enjoyed her time as a board member for the Greater Niles Community Development Corp. and as a member of the Niles Optimist Club.
Mickey had a special interest in helping women and served as a board member of Safe Shelter Inc.
Mickey was honored to be named the Niles Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year in 2000 and served on the board of the Chamber for several years.
In 2015, the Four Flags Area Chamber of Commerce awarded Mickey the Lifetime Achievement Award for her extensive service to the community. She was also given the Southwest Michigan Volunteer Center’s Award for Outstanding Service in both 1989 and 1990. The St. Joseph’s Indian School was a charity near and dear to her heart and she supported them and other worthy causes for many years.
Mickey was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Niles and was honored to serve as an elder and deacon. She became a Stephen Minister for the church in 1985.
For 37 years, Mickey served as the executive director of the independent senior living center, Four Flags Plaza in Niles. Mickey touched the lives of many residents and their families over the years, even including them in her own family holiday celebrations.
As part of her professional development, Mickey received many certificates of extended training for the Retirement Housing Professionals, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the American Association of Homes for the Aging. She was also a member of the Michigan Non-Profit Homes Association.
Mickey was very creative and loved art. Over the years, she taught many art classes. She became a certified calligrapher and received an interior design degree from St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Mildred Fulwider and brother Larry Fulwider.
Mickey is survived by her sons, Michael Johnson (Karla Bledsoe) of Buchanan and Mark (Joyce) Johnson of Osceola, Indiana; grandchildren Jessica (Charles) Fetherolf of Fishers, Indiana, Jennifer (Jason) Duis of Niles, Nicole (Zach) Tomlinson of Indianapolis, Indiana, and Zachery Johnson of Fort Wayne, Indiana; eight stepgrandchildren; three great-grandchildren, Maxwell, Ruby and Emma; five stepgreat-grandchildren with one more on the way; and many extended family members and close friends.
A memorial service to celebrate Mickey’s life will begin with a time of visitation beginning at 2 p.m., followed by the service at 4 p.m. Sunday, July 21, at Brown Funeral Home.
Mickey’s neighbor and friend, the Rev. Darrel Leroux, will be officiating. After the service, the family will be hosting a time of food and fellowship at the Niles Elks Lodge. She will be laid to rest, at a private ceremony, in the family plot in Rice Cemetery in Elkhart.
Those wishing to make memorial donations in Mickey’s memory may do so to Caring Circle, the hospice organization that cared for her, at 4025 Health Park Lane, St. Joseph, Michigan 49085.
Condolences, photos, and memories may be left for the family at www.BrownFuneralHomeNiles.com.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Brown Funeral Home & Cremation Services, of Niles.