Barbara Austin Hutchins July 29, 1950 - July 3, 2019 EAST MONTPELIER — It is with profound sadness that the family of Barbara Austin Hutchins announces her passing on July 3, 2019. Barbara was a devoted mother to Blake Sheldon Hutchins and Logan Austin Hutchins, and a longtime companion of Andrew B. Hutchins. Barbara was a beloved high school art teacher who inspired hundreds of young artists, sculptors, photographers and jewelry designers, among others, at Montpelier High School (37 years), Cabot High School (three years) and Spaulding Graded School (three years). Committed and passionate about art and teaching, she hosted MHS’s infamous annual student art show where she dazzled and fascinated those who attended with her custom-designed wedding dress art pieces. Using the dresses as her canvas, she would sketch images, spray paint, add rhinestones, spikes, antlers and neon lights as the inspiration hit her. She also led MHS and U32’s Project Graduation activities and fundraised and chaperoned groups of students on numerous trips to Italy, Greece and Spain. Barbara was the beloved daughter of William Arthur Austin (1926 to 1995) and Marjorie Alice Cummings (1927-1988). She was born and raised in Montpelier and graduated Montpelier High School in 1968. After getting her driver’s license at the age of 26, she adventurously drove cross country by herself and in the mid-1970s, moved to Alaska for a year. She proudly purchased her first home at the age of 28 in Worcester. Several years later, Barbara moved to East Montpelier, where she lived for many years growing her family. Barbara is survived by her two sons and their respective families, Blake’s wife Jamie (Hackett) and their son, Liam Austin Hutchins, and Logan Hutchins and companion Logan Amell and their daughter, Lacie Skye Hutchins; and by former husband, Andrew Hutchins; and her sisters Abigail V. Austin and Beth Austin-DeFares and their respective children Leevi and Marshall, and Jakob, Nate and Jayde DeFares. She also leaves behind her dear cousin, Scott Curtis, uncle Bob Cummings and many dear friends. If you knew Barbara, please take a moment to reflect on your memories of her and all the wonderful times you had. Remember her accomplishments, her hard work, her ability to motivate and her wonderful individuality. Barbara truly was one of a kind. A memorial service will be held on Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier.

(3) entries


...Sorry, this is Christine Leno Christensen.


Barb always had a larger than life presence! Her energy was infectious. As a child growing up on Barre Street, playing with Abby and Beth, always loved being near Barb! She will be missed! Abby and Beth, I am so very sorry. I send my love and hugs and peaceful prayers to you all.

Brenda Bean

I attended Montpelier schools with Barb and was always in awe of her energy, enthusiasm, flair. I did not really know her because I was shy and felt Barb travelled in an orbit and universe far different from mine. In her life, she had a big impact on many people. It's sad but perhaps not surprising that - to paraphrase Elton John - her "candle burned out long before [her] legend ever did." Condolences to family and close friends of the shining star who was/is Barbara Austin. Sincerely, Brenda Bean

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