Sandra “Sandy” Jeane Hutton, known for her endless devotion to her family and beloved for her infectious smile and belief that laughter, and perhaps music, are the best medicine in life, died March 11 after a courageous two-year battle against ALS. As she had done throughout her life, she made sure all was well with her loved ones before she drew her last breath with her husband holding her hand and family all around her. She was 82.
Born Aug. 16, 1940, she was the middle of three children of William Paul Brumlow and Minnie Jeane Brumlow. Her father was a fiery Baptist preacher. Her mother was a schoolteacher.
After graduating from M. B. Smiley High School in 1958 in Houston, TX she moved to Brownwood, TX to attend Howard Payne University to pursue a degree in Music. There, she met and married the man of her dreams, Jerry Bob Hutton, on July 17, 1959.
The next year, Jerry graduated from Howard Payne, and Sandy and Jerry welcomed their first child, Cindy, in 1961. A year later, Jerry got his master’s degree from North Texas State University and the young family moved to Sandy’s hometown of Houston where he maintained a private practice in psychology while they added three boys and another daughter to their family by 1967.
Once Jerry got his doctorate from the University of Houston, the family, along with their piano, moved to Duncanville, TX where Sandy and Jerry built a life in the community and maneuvered through the challenges and joys of raising their family. Sandy delighted in her role as a full-time mother and homemaker and stayed at home until the youngest child, Jennifer, had entered the sixth grade, then enjoyed working in the administrative offices at Duncanville High School and the DISD. Sandy and Jerry found a home in the First Christian Church of Duncanville where they participated in church activities and sang in the choir. Sandy was nurturing and active. She and Jerry exposed their children to everything from music, camping, swimming, water skiing, snow skiing, and travel throughout Texas and beyond. On the countless road trips in the family station wagon, Sandy was amused when cars would slow down to count the number of children in the back of the car. When her children started to misbehave, Sandy’s arm could somehow stretch to the very back seat to give a little pat when needed. Usually, however, one look from Sandy was all it took. From PTA to graduations, swim meets to cheer competitions, football games to choir concerts, and all things in between, she never tired. Sandy had endless amounts of energy that never ceased. She rested only after she took care of everyone else and their needs.
Jerry shifted his career into education and taught at a myriad of universities, eventually landing at East Texas State University, in Commerce, TX. Sandy and Jerry moved from Rockwall to Commerce in 2003 where bonfires, fishing in their pond, and 4th of July fireworks celebrations were highlights. Surprisingly, the fire department was called only once. Jerry served for many years as Dean of the College of Education and Human Services at what became Texas A&M Commerce, where they loved attending football games and music department concerts.
Sandy paid great attention to detail in all aspects of life. She had a taste for fashion and a selfless heart. She could light up a room but shied away from the camera or any spotlight on herself. She was gracious and lovely. Friends and family say Sandy greeted everyone with a warm smile and showed her love by being the consummate hostess with her fine cooking and entertaining, especially during the holidays. Dominos and card games were always on the menu, and Sandy enjoyed telling family stories and having a good laugh. She would always say “laughter is the best medicine.” Sandy loved traveling through many parts of the world and experiencing different cultures and architectural wonders, as well as gardening, wine and food clubs, and volunteering at The Bargain Box store that benefitted the Hunt Regional Emergency Care in Commerce.
Her life was enriched by singing in the choir at the First United Methodist Church-Commerce. After she was diagnosed with ALS and began losing strength in her arms, her fellow choir members turned the pages for her so she could continue singing and enjoying the fellowship with the group.
Sandy’s children say she was every bit as caring and dedicated to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren as she was with them. They believe it was her absolute devotion to her family that fueled her valiant, two-year struggle against ALS. From that magical day in Brownwood, when Sandy met Jerry, they never left each other’s side, and as she lost the use of her muscles, one by one, her fiery brain was still taking care of the family, and Jerry was still holding her hand.
Husband, Jerry Bob Hutton Sr., of Midlothian; Brothers: Randy Brumlow (wife, Bette) of Snook, TX; and Paul Brumlow (wife, Patti) of Houston; Children: Cindy Withrow (husband, Doug) of Midlothian, TX; Jerry Hutton Jr. and Blake Hutton, both of Albuquerque, NM; Jeff Hutton (Husband, Michael Lively) of Dallas, TX; and Jennifer Barrow (husband, Darren) of Caddo Mills, TX.; Grandchildren: Lindsey Withrow Poole (husband, Hunter) of Midlothian, Carley Withrow Boone (husband, James) of Mansfield, Spencer Withrow of Dallas, Hailey Barrow Oliver (husband, Jake) of Caddo Mills and Hannah Barrow of Caddo Mills; Great Grandchildren: Sadie Poole, Ronin Poole, and Cannon Bartley; countless relatives, friends, and colleagues.
The family would like to thank these caregivers: Marie, Destiny, Tabitha, Tabby, Cindy, Randi, Allison, Chef John, Joseph, Patricia, Taylor, and others at Legacy Oaks Assisted Living, Lakewood House Assisted Living, along with Clarice Bishop, for their compassionate and tireless care for Sandy during the challenging final months of her life.
You’re invited to a Celebration of Life on Saturday, March 25th from 2:00 to 4:00, at the First United Methodist Church-Commerce Fellowship Hall. 1709 Hwy 24, Commerce, TX 75428. (903) 886-3220. The family plans a private burial.
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations to be made in Sandy Hutton’s honor to the ALS Association Texas Chapter, https://alstexas.org/about-us/