The Lavena Hutchison Scholarship for Chapel Youth in Pursuit of Higher Education

The Lavena Hutchison Scholarship Application is Open Now!

If you know of a youth associated with Chapel by the Lake who is pursuing post High School education, please encourage them to apply. The deadline for applications is July 31.


The Lavena Hutchison Scholarship, A History

Meet Lavena and Keith Hutchison

The Hutchison’s were very early members of Chapel, joining the fledgling log church at Auke Bay in 1959 when Keith transferred to Juneau with the USFS. Keith had turned down a promotion to Washington DC opting instead for the wild beauty of Southeast Alaska.

The Hutchison’s settled in the waterfront home on Fritz Cove that was originally constructed in the 1930’s by James and Marie Drake. Marie, who famously composed the Alaska Flag Song, was also a founding member of Chapel by the Lake.

Upon settling in Auke Bay, the Hutchison’s began worshipping at Chapel. Keith held positions of elder, deacon, and trustee, and Lavena as a deacon. Both Keith and Lavena were reliable members of the choir, and as they grew of age so also were their children Bruce and Pam. (Later in adulthood, Pam became a choir teacher at the newly built Floyd Dryden Jr. High School, and when married, her husband Charles Northrip, also served as Chapel’s pre-eminent director of the 60+ member choir.) Keith and Bruce labored on the construction of Smith Hall, and Lavena supported such efforts by helping prepare food for the many work crews. Lavena was often a contributor to Auke Talk – and even one of the founders of Auke Talk!

Lavena was an accomplished homemaker and her notable skills included pastry chef, cake decorating, flower decorating, and sewing. Some of her Chapel contemporaries recalled how she regaled the Chapel community with her love and homemaking skills. Musically, aside from her considerable vocal ability, Lavena played the piano and organ and was a devoted grandmother.

Lavena died, tragically, on October 26, 1988, as a passenger in a car accident at a left-turn intersection that no longer exits from Safeway onto Glacier Hwy, heading towards town. She was survived by her husband Keith, children Bruce and Pam and grandchildren Kristan, Katherine, and David by David; and Anne, Ian and Zan by Pam. grandchildren. Eventually, there came 11 great grandchildren, but Lavena did not survive to know any of them.

The Hutchison Legacy

For 31 years, Lavena was the consummate pillar of our Church. She had flair, she was fun, joyful, hard-working, devoted, and she loved. She loved God and she served Him always. Loving friend, woman of enduring faith and cheerful servant in any situation that landed on her doorstep. Her joy and caring are ingrained into the fiber of our Church, and for this we give thanks to God.

When her husband Keith went to be with the Lord in 2011, his parting desire for Chapel by the Lake was that Lavena be remembered. Not just lovely Lavena, but the beauty of Christ that Lavena embodied. In his will, Keith endowed Chapel with funds for the Lavena Hutchison Memorial Scholarship. Keith’s directions only state that the Session (who is the trustee of this bequeath) “from time to time award funds for a scholarship purpose to beneficiaries.” Lavena’s family wrote that “the twin pillars of Lavena’s life were her family and Chapel by the Lake. And, she placed great value on education, not only as preparation for a career but perhaps more so, as preparation for life and the greater understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of life…..and also as education enables one to more fully contribute to the community in which one lives and collaborates. So, given the foregoing, a scholarship administered by Chapel seems fitting.”

The Lavena Hutchison Scholarship Is Well and Her Legacy Impact Is Strong!

Since its inception, the original investment earnings have provided scholarships for approximately 14 Chapel-associated youth seeking post high school education. Today, these funds are performing well and are ably managed by the Chapel’s Finance Committee.

Lavena Hutchison Q&A

  • Q: But I’m interested in diesel mechanics? Going to AVTECH, can I apply?
  • A: Are you a “Chapel associated youth?” Then yes, please apply.
  • Q: I’ve applied before, can I apply again?
  • A: Sounds good. Probably, we’d favor new applicants, but you know what? We are also looking to support all “Chapel associated kids” who are living “the Lavena life,” so please apply y’all!