Cover photo for Viva B. Hutchens's Obituary
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1928 Viva 2024

Viva B. Hutchens

June 24, 1928 — June 15, 2024

Lawrence, Kansas

Viva (Ankenman) Hutchens, age 95, passed away peacefully on June 15, 2024 with family by her side at the Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Lawrence, Kansas. She was born on June 24th, 1928, the oldest of 7 on a rural farm southeast of Wilsonville, Nebraska to Gerald Neil and Thelma Marie (Balderston) Ankenman.

Viva was 11 years old when her family moved from Nebraska to Boise, Idaho. She attended school in Meridian, Idaho and there attained the honor as Salutatorian in her Senior High School.

Her parents remained friends with neighbors from back in Nebraska, so much so that one summer, Tom and Dot Hutchens and a couple of their boys traveled on vacation with a stop over in Boise to see their old friends. It was then that Tom and Dot’s son Harry met Viva, and a life-long love affair began. They married on September 1, 1951.

Harry was inducted into the United States Marine Corp. on October 15, 1951. When Harry was released from active duty, they made their home in Boise for a short time, but the love of the farm life brought them back to Nebraska where they made their home South of Hendley. To this union, 2 sons were born, Patrick and Neil.

Viva worked very hard helping Harry on the farm. She enjoyed vegetable gardening, flowers, canning fruits and vegetables, making jams and jellies, and so much more. 

She was an active member of the Hendley United Methodist Church. She enjoyed family visits, traveling to see family, quilting, and researching and recording genealogy, and bowling.

Viva was preceded in death by her husband, Harry Hutchens, son, Neil Hutchens, parents, Gerald Neil and Thelma Ankenman, brothers, Ralph Ankenman, Richard Ankenman, Leslie Ankenman and Doyle Ankenman. 

She is survived by son Patrick and wife Lana Hutchens of Eudora, Kansas, grandson Johnathon and his wife Jennifer Hutchens of Smithville, Missouri and granddaughter Jacqueline Hoobler (Hutchens) and her husband Ryan of Gardner, Kansas, and many nieces and nephews.

The family suggests in lieu of flowers, that memorials be sent in Viva's memory to the City of Hendley for the Hendley Cemetery fund, or to Jerry Smith, c/o the First State Bank of Holbrook for the Hendley Community Building Fund in Hendley, Nebraska.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Viva B. Hutchens, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, June 28, 2024

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

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Private Service

Hendley Cemetery

nw hwy 89, Hendley, NE

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