Hilda Hutchins McCollum
BANGOR – Hilda McCollum, 83, passed away on Friday, July 10, at her home in Bangor. Born January 7, 1937, the first of three children of Curtis M. and Ruth R. Hutchins of Bangor, Hilda had battled health issues for many years. She was a 1955 graduate of the Madeira School in McLean, Virginia, although she often attended the Bangor High School class reunions with her friends, and a 1958 graduate of Colby-Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire. Hilda married Otis McCollum in 1960 and they lived and raised their family in Washington, DC until 1995, when she moved back to the family homestead overlooking the Kenduskeag Stream in Bangor and wintered in Placida, Florida.
Hilda’s highest honor were her two children, Courtney McCollum and her husband Jim Woodman of Sarasota, Florida, and Bradley McCollum and his wife Rana of Boulder, Colorado, and her grandchildren Grace and Marshall McCollum of Sarasota, Florida. She was a behind-the-scenes leader of one of Maine’s most respected and successful family businesses, Dead River Company. She exemplified what neighboring, friendship and community are all about by being involved in subtle but significant ways. Hilda was one of those people who loved to share, be it a book, a good job, a wonderful conversation over a meal, her beautiful home for a good cause.
Hilda lived her life with resolve to give back to the community and helped make the world a better place through her active involvement with charities, colleges, churches, and the fine arts. She served as a Trustee of her alma mater Colby-Sawyer College as Vice Chair of the Board of the Bangor Theological Seminary, and as Trustee and member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of Husson University. While living and raising a family in Washington, D.C., Hilda began as a volunteer with Goodwill Industries of America. While in our nation’s capital, she chaired the Board of Governance for the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, became treasurer of Washington’s “The Lighthouse” charity, and chaired the National Cathedral’s largest annual charity event, “All Hallows Guild Flower Mart.” In recognition of her outstanding service, President Reagan appointed her to his National Commission on the Disabled. Upon her return to Bangor, Hilda became active on the Boards of Good Samaritan Agency, the Bangor Symphony, and the Maine Tree Foundation, and chaired the Endowment campaign of the Advisory Board to the Maine Center for the Arts. In 2008 Hilda received the University of Maine Stillwater Award for her family’s contribution and interest in the University, and she accepted the Collins Center for the Arts Willie Legacy Award in 2009 on behalf on her family. She was awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Public Service from Husson University in 2008 in recognition of her life of service to others and her philanthropic leadership for Husson’s Kenduskeag Research Institute in its athletic complex, its Meeting House complex, and its “Gracie Theatre” named for her granddaughter Grace McCollum. In 2010 the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce named Hilda the recipient of its Community Service Award, and in 2011 Hilda was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award by Colby-Sawyer College.
Hilda was predeceased by her parents, her brother Christopher Hutchins and his wife Sandra Hutchins. Surviving her are her two children and two grandchildren; her sister Hope Hutchins Benton; her nephews Charles Hutchins and wife Kelli; Brit Hutchins, his wife Cara and their children Remi and Lilia; Alec DiNapoli and wife Andrea and their children Claire and Charlie; and her niece Julia DiNapoli and her children Noah Bracken, wife Maya and son Thomas, and Hadley Bracken.
Hilda’s children would like to extend many, many thanks to her caretakers and companions in Bangor and Florida for their kind, loving and dedicated care of their mother. They would also like to acknowledge the faithful support and friendship provided to Hilda and her family by Charlie Simpson and Karen Schacht. The family asks that anyone wishing to remember Hilda in a special way do so with a donation to Husson University’s Gracie Theatre, One College Circle, Bangor, ME 04401 or to the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, Office of Development, 1825 K Street, NW, Suite 1103, Washington, DC 20006.
A memorial service for Hilda will be scheduled at a later date with details published at that time.
Condolences to the family may be expressed at BrookingsSmith.com