Kelland Hutchence was a warm and generous man whose passion for life was exuberant. He rose each day excited by activity, whether it was walking and talking with Susie, writing letters, working on his book, planning “Michael projects”, organising his gourmet food export business or entertaining friends. Sometimes he would spend the morning sitting on his balcony overlooking the glorious Sydney Harbour, sipping tea and reading the paper in the warmth of the Australian sun. His cat, Puskas, would never be far from him, looking on inquisitively. He loved life and even after the terrible shock of Michael’s passing, while bearing his own grief in private, he would put on a brave face, choosing to devote his energies to supporting and encouraging others in their grief.
Kell also took on the task of promoting Michael’s legacy with vigour and determination. It was his way of ensuring Michael’s life was not wasted and of seeing positive outcomes from a tragic circumstance. Nothing seemed to lighten up his eyes as much in those days as the love he felt for his family, particularly for his wife Susie, son Rhett and his grandchildren, especially precious Tiger Lily whose bubbly spirit was heaven sent.
But there were moments when he would fall deeper into despair, overwhelmed by the sorrow of Michael’s death. It was in those darkest moments that I believe the grace of God would comfort and shine on him. Occasionally alone during the day in the years following Michael’s death, Kell would find himself crying out. For him the writing of St Paul held so true that “the God of all comfort is able to comfort us through the comfort given to us by others who have also experienced God’s comfort.”
One day as I was returning from Sydney Airport, I felt a sudden need to call by and offer Kell support. Susie was at work. When he answered the door that day he hugged me saying he was very glad to see me. I offered to pray with him and he responded by saying it was the very help he needed. We had no sooner finished praying when the telephone rang. It was a friend from England who Kell had previously introduced me to. She told Kell that she had a strong feeling to pray for Kell to be comforted. It was so strong that she lifted the phone and called him. I remember Kell conveying to her that God had just answered her prayer as I had also that moment dropped by. The experience lifted him and re-assured him that he was not forgotten.
Kell, like Michael was also proud to be an Australian. In St Philips Church in Sydney is the original and only Bible that arrived with the first fleet of convict settlers. The Reverend Richard Johnson read from it on the occasion of the country’s first church service in January, 1778. The Bible is left open at the text the Rev. Johnson read from that day. “How precious in the sight of God is the death of his Saints”. Kell found the same comfort and peace in his own passing, assured that God would not abandon him in eternity because he was precious in the sight of his God.
We love you and miss you precious man; dear husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend.
Love and peace,
On behalf of the Directors of Michaelhutchence.org Susie Hutchence, Mario and Jacqui Ferrari and Ian Patterson.