Carolyn Hutchison MacKenzie, 1930-2019

Carolyn MacKenzie and her husband John.

Carolyn Hutchison MacKenzie died September 26 in Ann Arbor, MI surrounded by love.


January 10, 1930 a day known throughout the world because Carol, otherwise known as the Intergalactic Birthday Empress, was born to Charles and Dorothy Hutchison in Plainfield NJ.

Carol attended school in Plainfield and earned an associates degree in commercial art from Endicott College near Boston.

At age 21 leaving behind a swath of disappointed suitors, she moved to Indian Village, Detroit, where she met and married a medical student John William MacKenzie and received a PHT degree (Putting Husband Through) from Wayne State School of Medicine.

After graduating, Carol and Jack spent a year interning in Tripler Army Hospital in Hawaii.

There they met Frances and Dick Gumpper who became lifelong friends.

The two couples settled in Flint, Michigan and raised their families together.

Carol became involved with many things including the The Flint Institute of Arts where she was a docent, Junior League, 20th Century Club, Shakespeare Club, and was a leading member of the fearsome carpooling choir mothers, the bane of the Flint Police Department as they raced to get that dozens of youngsters to choir practice at First Presbyterian Church.

Carol also sang in the choir for 30 years. Carol had a lasting impact on many things but her dedication and involvement with the International Institute of Flint, a program that offered home hospitality to foreign visitors was a tremendous achievement.

Over 25 years she hosted myriads of visitors from all over the world in their home giving her children a wonderful opportunity to think globally.

The program was so successful that the United States State Department began to send dignitaries to have a home visit experience.

One of Carol’s greatest gift was making friends and offering hospitality in her warm home. Another great love was travel which led the couple on multiple trips to many parts of the world. Her hobby was painting, and each trip would result in a painting of a scene from that country.

Her love of birthdays resulted in a group of friends who traveled annually for over in the US and Canada.

Carol was also an avid volunteer and supporter of the Genesee County Humane Society, and brought home many dogs over the years.

Following Jacks medical retirement they moved to Charlevoix, MI where Carol participated in the garden club, antiques club, and supported the Women’s Resource Center in the Congregational Church. Carol and Jack were the home to many wonderful Golden Retrievers over the years.

She was preceded in death by her brother Robert (Bob).  She leaves behind her children Heather (Victor Katch ), John (Nadine Alpern), Robert/Scott (Jane), and Martha/Muffy (Dick Beedon 2018), grandchildren Ashley, Ian, Katie, Camden, Jesse, Erika, Leslie and Frances, and 5 great-grandchildren There are also many dear cousins, nieces and nephews and wonderful friends with whom she continued loving relationships.

She also leaves behind her husband of 66 years who loved her dearly.

Carol will be remembered for many things, including her warm hospitality and great interest in those who cross her path.

In Lieu of flowers please contribute to the Charlevoix Area Humane Society or the Women’s Resource Center at the Congregational Church in Charlevoix.


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