Sara Hutchings Maust

Sara Hutchings Maust, 98, a native of Falls City, died Sunday, March 10, 2013, in Santa Barbara, CA, after a short illness.

She was born in Falls City, the daughter of Mary Davies Hutchings and John Henry Hutchings.  Sara had one brother, John (Jack) Henry Hutchings Jr., who was two years her senior.

After graduating from the University of Nebraska, Sara earned a degree in library science from Columbia University.  A year later, she married a classmate, Joseph (Joe) Towne Wheeler.  Ten months after the birth of their only child, Mary Jo, Joe was killed on the Italian front in World War II.

Sara’s career as a children’s librarian began at the New York Public Library and continued at the Oak Park Public Library in Illinois, where she was head of children’s work.  While there, she earned an M.A. from the University of Chicago in anthropology.

In 1955, Sara accepted a professorship at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she taught children’s literature and storytelling.  Sara wrote many articles for library journals, and for the World Book Encyclopedia, and had a storytelling program on local television.  When she resigned in 1965, she was president of the Woman’s Faculty Club, the Newberry-Caldecott Committee of the American Library Association (ALA) and of ALA’s Division of Services for Children and Young People.

She married her high school sweetheart, Irving (Bud) Clayton Maust in 1972.  When Bud retired, they settled in Santa Barbara near Sara’s daughter, Mary Jo, granddaughter Sara and Mary Jo’s husband, James B. Hartle.  Sara and Bud enjoyed traveling, often to visit his three children in Michigan.  Sara served on the boards of the Santa Barbara Women’s Club, the Friends of the Santa Barbara Public Library and the Women’s Board of the Community Arts Music Association.

Sara and Bud moved to Valle Verde in 2001 and he died in 2005.

She is survived by her daughter, Mary Jo Hartle, her granddaughter, by Bud’s children, his seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. April 7 in the Social Room at Valle Verde.  Sara may be remembered by gifts to the Friends of the Santa Barbara Public Library or to Planned Parenthood of Santa Barbara.  Arrangements have been entrusted to McDermott-Crockett Mortuary.

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