Mr. Kenneth H. Hutchens, age 82, of Benton; passed away Saturday, March 25, 2023, at 3:30 a.m. in Carbondale Memorial Hospital, Carbondale Illinois.
Visitation is from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 1, 2023, with funeral services to follow at 3:00 p.m. at Immanuel Baptist Church, 516 North Main Street, Benton, Illinois 62812, with Pastor Eddie Paul Davis officiating. Interment to follow at Masonic and Odd Fellows Cemetery of Benton. The Leffler Funeral Home of Benton is in charge of the services.
Kenneth Henry Hutchens was born November 12, 1940, in Benton, Illinois to Herman Hutchens and Alice (Moss) Hutchens.
He married the love of his life, Betty Pinson, on June 15, 1961, and they were married for almost 62 years.
He owned and operated Hutchens Bit Service in Benton, Illinois for over 50 years. He started welding and building bits while in high school. Once he graduated high school and got married in 1961, he went to work as an underground boss at Old Ben Coal Co. #24. While working as a miner he still built bits and ran a business out of his garage. He started his business full time, with the new location in 1973.
Mr. Hutchens attended Immanuel Baptist Church.
Surviving is his loving wife Betty Hutchens of Benton; Children: Lisa (Richard) Irvin of Belle Rive, IL; Drs. Douglas (Betsy) Hutchens of Florida; Susan (Doug) Nolen of Benton, IL; Grandchildren: Will (Tereon) Beaty of Texas, Wyatt Beaty, Celia Beaty of Benton, IL; Dr. Megan (Lumbardh) Bejtullahu of New Jersey, Samuel Hutchens of Scotland, Grant (Julie) Nolen of California, Gavin (Madaline) Nolen of Benton, IL, and Emily (Nick) Culbreth of Macedonia, IL; Great-Grandchildren: Beni George Bejtullahu, Osceola Nolen, Hazel Anne Nolen and Jack Nolen, Calvin Culbreth and Archer Culbreth; sister-in-law Ola (Don) Dalby of Benton; Special friends: His secretary of 49 years who was like a daughter to him, Tina Hopkins of West Frankfort, IL, and his best and lifelong friend Kenneth Hungate of Benton, IL. He had many nieces and nephews, employees, and friends.
He was preceded in death by his Siblings, all of Benton, Illinois: Raymond (Jaunita) L. Hutchins, H. Eugene (Dora Lee) Hutchins, Robert “Bob” (Mary) Hutchens, and a sister Ethel (Jack) Gunter;
Brother-in-laws: James (Emmie) Pinson, Robert (Dorothy) Pinson, and John Pinson
He was a generous, kind, and loving husband and member of the community. He was well known for treating people fairly and helping many along the way. He had a strong work ethic from an early age that lasted until he was totally disabled. This started with multiple paper routes in grade school to building his own oil and water well drilling bit business while still working in the coal mines.
He sponsored all form of little league and helped multiple high school students with their first job at Hutchens Bit Service where they were exposed to many aspects of the business including welding, lathe work, and general shop work.
Kenny loved all sports but especially St. Louis Cardinals baseball and Benton Rangers Football and basketball. He enjoyed playing and watching sports throughout his life. He was a good athlete and played multiple sports from a young age through high school and later enjoyed spending time with his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren including fishing, throwing the ball, and challenging them to a race. He loved dancing and was quite proud to be the best dancer in the family.
His favorite thing in life besides his family was breeding, raising, and racing thoroughbred racehorses. His favorite time of the year was foaling season. This was a passion he shared with his son, Doug, throughout his life. As a thoroughbred horse owner and breeder, his Hutchens Stables achieved much success winning hundreds of races, multiple stake races and was awarded the State of Illinois Breeder and Owner of the Year.
Memorial Contributions may be made to the Immanuel Baptist Church, and will be accepted on Saturday at the services, or may be mailed to the Leffler Funeral Home, 401 East Main Street, Benton, Illinois 62812.
To leave online condolences to the family, or to share memories of Mr. Kenneth Hutchens, visit www.lpfuneralhome.com
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