Katharine Porter Steel Hutchin, 63, the wife and daughter of Army officers who was honored by the Army for her volunteer work here and abroad, died Wednesday in a hospital in Oakland, Calif. She had diabetes.
Mrs. Hutchin was born in an Army tent in Nogales, Ariz., to Col. Charles L. and Katharine Steel. She grew up on Army posts in this country and in Panama. She met her future husband, Claire E. Hutchin Jr., when they were both children, both living in the Panama Canal Zone. They were married following his graduation from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1938.
Claire E. Hutchin Jr. retired from the Army as a lieutenant general and commader of the First Army, based at Fort Meade, in 1973. Gen. Hutchin died in June 1980. Mrs. Hutchin moved to Fremont, Calif., that same year. Prior to that, she had lived in the Washington area since 1971.
Mrs. Hutchin accompanied her husband to posts in this country and abroad, becoming active in charitable and service work, especially the Red Cross and the Girl Scouts, wherever he was stationed. She was the recipient of the "Golden Eaglet," the Girl Scout's highest award, for her volunteer work. She served on the executive board of the North Atlantic Girl Scouts.
She was a member of the Maryland Board of the American Red Cross. While her husband was stationed in Hawaii in 1968, Mrs. Hutchin helped found the Hawaii chapter of the women's division of the Valley Forge Freedom Foundation. About this time, the Army Department awarded her its certificate of appreciation for patriotic civilian service. In 1970, while living in Germany, she received an award for her volunteer efforts from the Armed Forces Network.
Mrs. Hutchin's survivors include two daughters, Katharine Menhennet and Marion Hutchin, both of Fremont, Calif.; a son, William, of Hawaii; a sister, Ella-Keen Gunster of St. Petersburg, Fla., and two brothers, Retired Army Col. Charles L. Steel Jr. of Little Rock, Ark., and Retired Army Col. James H. Steel of Norcross, Ga.
The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Diabetes Association or local chapters of the Heart Association, Boy Scouts, or Girl Scouts.