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'Hip' grandma fixture in city neighborhoods

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Rena Hutchins, Obit

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Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Rena Hutchins couldn't go anywhere in West View without bumping into a patient of her boss, Dr. William Harvey.

“They'd stop and tell her all their ailments,” said her daughter, Joy Ann Zuban of Manchester. “We used to tell her she could have been the mayor of West View.”

Rena C. Scarcelli Hutchins, a lifelong resident of Manchester, died Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, in Allegheny General Hospital in the North Side. She was 86.

A former school crossing guard who was the receptionist at Dr. Harvey's West View office for 39 years, she was no stranger to politics.

Her daughter was a Democratic committeewoman for the 21st Ward and whenever she went to a function or worked somewhere, her mother went along.

“If I didn't take her, all the politicians would say, ‘Where's your mother?' or ‘Where's mom?” Zuban said.

Despite her years, Ms. Hutchins was “hip,” said her grandson Jeffrey Zuban, who has been a cook at the Clark Bar & Grill on the North Shore for nine years.

“She always loved a good joke,” he said. “She and I had a special relationship. She was instrumental in my upbringing.”

In typical Pittsburgh fashion, she could swear with the best of them. And she loved the Black and Gold.

“She was adorable, fun, and will be missed,” said Debbie Doucette of Manchester, one of the restaurant's owners, who knew Ms. Hutchins since 1999.

A member of the Silver Sneakers at the YMCA, Ms. Hutchins also was a big movie fan.

“She saw every movie that came out,” said Joy Zuban. “Her and her sister, Dolores, would go to a show and dinner every Friday.”

In addition to her daughter Joy Ann and grandson Jeffrey, Ms. Hutchins is survived by two sisters, Dolly Alamo-vich of Mt. Lebanon and Dolores Adams of West View.

Friends will be received from 1 to 8 p.m. Sunday in Thomas P. Kunsak Funeral Home, 3552 California Ave., Brighton Heights A funeral Mass will be celebrated in St. Peter Church in the North Side at 1:30 p.m. Monday.

Craig Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5646 or

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