Wife of former U coach Dutcher dies

  • Article by: ROCHELLE OLSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 1, 2010 - 7:28 AM

Marilyn Dutcher, wife of former Gophers coach Jim Dutcher, remembered as the "woman behind the man."

Marilyn Dutcher

At University of Minnesota basketball games, Marilyn Dutcher sat anxiously in the stands, keeping score -- especially of the fouls -- while her husband, Jim Dutcher, paced the sidelines as the Gophers coach from 1975-86.

She did the same when her son Brian Dutcher played basketball at Bloomington Jefferson High School. She clutched a stopwatch and tracked splits for her three daughters who swam at Jefferson and Bloomington Kennedy.

Former state auditor Judi Dutcher said her mom was the family's "tracker," a humble "woman behind the man."

Marilyn R. Dutcher, 77, died Monday at an Edina hospice after a brief battle with pulmonary fibrosis. Her family was at her side.

"She was very committed to her kids and the church," Judi Dutcher said.

Marilyn Dutcher was a private person who never wanted attention for herself, her daughter said.

She volunteered at her church and for Meals on Wheels.

Marilyn Hill and Jim Dutcher met at an art show in eighth grade in their native Alpena, Mich., and dated through high school.

After graduating near the top of her class, Marilyn worked as a secretary at the Huron Portland Cement Co. Jim, a basketball and football star, went to the University of Michigan on an athletic scholarship.

They were married in April 1958 after Jim returned from serving two years in Germany with the U.S. Army. They were together through his coaching jobs at Alpena Community College, Eastern Michigan University, the University of Michigan and the University of Minnesota.

The Dutchers raised their children in Bloomington, then moved to Eden Prairie.

In addition to husband Jim and daughter Judi Dutcher, Marilyn Dutcher is survived by son Brian Dutcher of San Diego, daughters Diane McNutt and Barbara Jacobson, both of Bloomington, and nine grandchildren.

A memorial service will be at noon Wednesday at Oak Grove Presbyterian Church, 2200 W Old Shakopee Road, Bloomington. Visitation is scheduled an hour before the service and from 4-7 p.m. Tuesday at the Washburn-McReavy Chapel, 2300 W. Old Shakopee Road.

Rochelle Olson • 612-673-1747

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