The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

In Their Darkest Days, Loving Friends Bring Day of Warmth to Hutson Family

by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher/Owner

After the sudden loss last week of a 41-year-old only son and farming partner Matt Hutson of Nauvoo, his grieving parents Bill and Marcia Hutson of rural Niota, wife Brenda, three sons Matthew 19, Brady 15, and Noah 10, and sister Mindy, had a day of sunshine on Friday as area farmers, neighbors, businesses and friends came together Friday to harvest around 700 acres of corn and beans.

Dan Sullivan on behalf of Sullivan Auctioneers furnished morning donuts, dinner catered by Witches Rib BBQ of La Harpe for 150 people, and later pizza and beverages for all who helped in this act of compassion and brotherly love.

Matthew "Matt" Merle Hutson, a fun loving, hard working loyal friend and family man, passed away at 12:56 a.m. Thursday, October 12 in the emergency room at the Fort Madison Community Hospital in Iowa after struggling with a blood clot which is believed to have caused his sudden death. An autospy report was not in as yet, his wife Brenda said.

Although the pain is heavy, Marcia said, it really helps to be surrounded by a caring community of good neighbors during such a loss. They have been wonderful every since word got out, she said.

Eddie Wilkens of Nauvoo who was assisting with food said the day of harvest was put together in about three days when Roger Hogan, Douglas Marshall, and Brent Sparrow started organizing the event. Wilkens and many others offered their assistance until nearly 20 combines, 50 trucks and 15 grain carts and over 100 people offered assistance. Out of 150 dinners, only 10 containers remained after delivering throughout the area with some refusing to stop to eat.

"Our community is great!" Wilkens said. "There were lots of offers right away. We've always stepped in to help. We found out about it at the funeral and they had a meeting the next day in organizing the harvest."

Doug Marshall of Nauvoo said around 170 acres of beans and 500 acres of corn were marked as being harvested Friday.

Another 200 plus acres of rental ground in West Point, Iowa were to be harvested by Iowa neighbors there, he said.

CGB had offered semi's from their Gladstone facility. Grain was being hauled to their Ferris, Nauvoo, and Dallas City elevators and to the Hutson home bins.

According to Bill Hutson, there is approximately 1500 acres he owns or rents, but he and Matt had around 400 harvested. When neighbors finish, he said that he and his grandson Matthew will be able to finish the 250 acres on the other side of the highway and over the railroad track.

Young Matthew had been working at Roquette in Keokuk, Iowa until three weeks before his father died. He had just quit and returned to help his dad and grandpa on the farm. "I'm going to have some big shoes to fill," Matthew said about his dad.

Matthew is the only one who knows how to drive the tractor and he might have to teach his grandpa how to drive it. "But he'll teach me a lot more than I'll teach him."

Of the community outpouring of support, Matthew said, "I am not surprised. This is what my dad always expected us to do, to help our neighbors whenever we could."

His mother Brenda said, "I am very appreciative of everyone, I am very happy. We live in an awesome community. We stick together."

Brenda said it still was very overwhelming in the amount of farmers who stopped farming during their busiest time and came to the funeral for the day which was Monday morning at St. Peters and Paul Catholic Church in Nauvoo. "There were 500 programs printed and they had 200 more printed," she said. Even her younger twin sister Bridgitt Hutson was overwhelmed with the amount that stopped farming and came to the funeral for the day.

Matt's uncle Jim Hutson, retired from GE said he and Bill had another brother Stan who passed of cancer in 1996, suddenly after complaining of his back. It was a shock to the family and Matt quit his job and came right to the farm to help his dad and take over Stan's responsibilities.

Since Jim was allergic to corn and bean dust, his parents had sent him to town to get a job since he was no use on the farm, he said. "I loved farming and missed it, and I still love to plow and I do when I can."

"Through the highs and lows, there's a lot of emotions with farming," he said. "You do all the work but not sure what you're going to get 'til the end of the season," he said.

"You depend on each other, but you have something the kids can work up to and it teaches responsibility and chores where a lot of kids don't have it.

"Family and neighbors are closer on the farm-in good times and bad-they have to pull together and sacrifice.

"Bill and Stan were farming together and Matt came along and took Stan's place and now he's gone at 41!" Jim said. "The family has taken some major blows, and shocks."

Jim got up from the table and walked over to watch his two sons Jerry and Jim help take grain from a truck and put it in two of the bins near Bill and Marcia's home, unable to talk any more. His brother Bill soon arrived and visited:

"To say its wonderful is an understatement, it fantastic, I feel so blessed in the outpouring of love and friendship. Harvest is coming really fast today-they're such a good community. Good ole America in this part of the country where you trust and can count on all your neighbors."

Mike Pollock of Chem-Gro said, "It's amazing, absolutely amazing how a community comes together like this."

Josh Dooley, friend of young Matthw said "This is what he'd expect." If it were someone else, he and his dad would be right there to help."

Tony Herdrick, Colusa said, "Joy can still come out of a tragic event."

19-year-old Matthew Hutson stands with his arm around his 10-year-old brother Noah, and with his mother Brenda Hutson as he tells WGEM-TV -Quincy that he has some mighty big shoes to fill in helping his grandfather (Bill Hutson) run the family grain and cattle farm.

Matthew, Noah, and their brother Brady, 15, suddenly lost their father Matt Hutson, 41, from an unknown heart condition, a blood clot he had been dealing with, or something else, but until the autopsy report is revealed, it is not known for sure. But after the funeral Friday, plans were made and an outpouring of neighbors and friends poured in to help Matt's dad and his son harvest Friday.

"I'm very appreciative of everyone, I'm very happy," Brenda said. "We live in an awesome community. We stick together," she said.