August 15, 1962– July 11, 2020
On Saturday, July 11, 2020, surrounded by her loved ones, Carlene (Hutchins) Erickson went home to Jesus’ arms. She fought a long battle with pancreatitis and diabetes, spending her last few months loving on her family and being a shining example of God’s grace, forgiveness and love, even in times of adversity and pain.
Carlene was born in Springfield, Oregon, on August 15, 1962, to Larry and Anita (Windom) Hutchins. Carlene grew up in Sweet Home. She attended Liberty Elementary School, Sweet Home Jr and Senior High Schools. She earned an Associate’s Degree in Literary Arts from Judson Baptist College in The Dallas.
Carlene worked alongside her Mother, Anita, with Little Promises Children’s Ministries for 16 years, and was an active member of the Sweet Home Evangelical Church. She spent her recent years working with the Sweet Home Economic Development Group/Oregon Jamboree, and was active in a number of community committees and projects. Well-known for her infectious laugh, many who interacted with her professionally came to regard her as a treasured friend.
Camping, days at the lake and riding jet skis, taking mountain ATV rides and reading were some of her favorite activities, although she often said her most joy always came from being with family.
She is survived by husband Sean Erickson (Sweet Home), children Hayley & husband Tim Matuszak of Jefferson, Larisa & husband Jordan Keeker of Keizer, Rylee Cole & fiance’ Grayson Francke of Salem, Colton Erickson of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Seth Erickson of Sweet Home, and Tanner Neal of Lebanon. Their full house was typically full of antics, laughter, and love. Sean gives Carlene the full credit for her dedication and patience to blend this group into a large, happy family.
She also leaves behind her parents, Larry & Anita Hutchins, brother and sister-in-law Randy and Linda Hutchins of Prineville, Sister & Brother-in-law Julie & Tim Crocker, and Brother & Sister-in-law Rick & Jill Hutchins, all of Sweet Home.
Carlene has two precious grandsons, Redington and Boone Keeker, who have been her heart’s delight, and affectionately knew her as “Gramma Fruit Snack”. Great nieces Braelyn and Brynlee Walker, Sophie Hutchins will also miss the warmth of her love.
Known for treating her nieces and nephews like her own children, Lindsay (Armstrong) Walker, Ty Armstrong, Dillon, Levi, Chace and Dallas Hutchins were all greatly nurtured by her love and laughter. A beloved nephew, Cody Hutchins preceded her to heaven, as did her Mother and Father in Law, Lynne and Erland Erickson.
While she will be missed terribly by her family, friends and all those whose life she touched, there is comfort in knowing she is waiting to greet them in heaven, with that characteristic sweet smile and warm laugh.
Memorial service plans are not yet finalized.
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