July 22, 2020
Aug. 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, 57, was born Aug. 15, 1962 in Springfield to Larry and Anita (Windom) Hutchins, and grew up in Sweet Home.
She attended Liberty Elementary School, and Sweet Home Junior and Senior High Schools. She earned an associate’s degree in literary arts from Judson Baptist College in The Dalles.
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 activities.
She was 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 her husband, Sean Erickson of Sweet Home; children Hayley and husband Tim Matuszak of Jefferson, Larisa and husband Jordan Keeker of Keizer, Rylee Cole and fiance Grayson Francke of Salem, Colton Erickson of Colorado Springs, Colo., 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 and Anita Hutchins, brother and sister-in-law Randy and Linda Hutchins of Prineville, sister and brother-in-law Julie and Tim Crocker, and brother and sister-in-law Rick and Jill Hutchins, all of Sweet Home.
Carlene has two precious grandsons, Redington and Boone Keeker, who have been her heart’s delight, and affectionately know her as “Gramma Fruit Snack.” Great-nieces Braelyn and Brynlee Walker will also miss the warmth of her love.
Carlene was 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’s waiting to greet them in heaven, with that characteristic sweet smile and warm laugh.
Memorial service plans are not yet finalized.