Beloved Miss America from Utah dies
Miss America 1952 Colleen Kay Hutchins passed away early this morning in her home in Newport Beach, California at the age of 83, according to her son, Kiki Vandeweghe. Kiki said his mother had been ill for about six months.
Colleen was a Salt Lake City resident when she was crowned as Brigham Young University Homecoming Queen in 1947. Five years later she won the Miss America title. Crowned just prior to the television era, Colleen graciously stood over six feet in heels, and was said to have stopped a basketball game at the University of Pennsylvania by arriving late and walking down the sidelines. As a Miss America contestant she was not only an accomplished athlete, but had already achieved an undergraduate degree and was well on her way to earning a Master’s Degree in Drama.
Following Colleen’s year of service as Miss America, she performed on Broadway and toured Europe. She married her husband who was a physician and a member of the New York Knicks. They honeymooned at Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation. The Hutchins made Wiesbaden, Germany, their home for some time, developing lifelong friendships with many prominent Europeans. They later settled in Bel Air, California, and raised four All-American College and Olympic athletes who are now accomplished professionals in their own right. Colleen and her family have enjoyed a happy and fulfilling life, contributing to many social and community causes. She resided in Palm Springs, California, and devoted much energy to her philanthropic objectives and enjoyed the opportunity of guiding her grandchildren in their athletic and scholastic accomplishments.
Colleen is survived by her husband and four children, including Kiki Vandeweghe, who is the interim coach and general manager of the NBA’s New Jersey Nets.
Our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to Colleen’s family at this time of sorrow. We will treasure the memories and the legacy of our beloved Miss America 1952 Colleen Hutchins.