Share This Page

'Hip' grandma fixture in city neighborhoods

| Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Rena Hutchins, Obit

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 csmith@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.