During the years Albert and Joan Hutchins operated Hutchins Funeral Home on William Street in Portland, she would regularly kneel beside the casket and recite the rosary for family and friends of the deceased before the funeral service began.

Joan Hutchins, who died Tuesday at age 86 after a five-year fight with Alzheimer’s disease, will be honored in the same way. The rosary will be recited at 9 a.m. Monday at her son’s funeral home, A.T. Hutchins Funeral & Cremation Services in Portland. A funeral Mass will follow at 10 a.m. at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, 72 Federal St. in Portland.

“It’s one of the unique things she died,” said her son Michael Hutchins Sr. of his mother’s gesture of reciting the rosary. “It added that little extra piece of compassion to the families and the deceased.”

Mrs. Hutchins and her husband ran the funeral home from 1965 to 1979. The couple lived on the second floor and raised three children there. Her sons recalled Friday the years they spent tiptoeing upstairs while a wake was going on below them. One son said she would often open their home to guests of the deceased if additional room was needed. A family member added that Mrs. Hutchins served families in every way she could, such as getting death certificates from the hospital.

“I was about 11 years old when we moved there and I lived there until I got married,” recalled her son Mark Hutchins, owner of A.T. Hutchins Funeral & Cremation Services. “If you could have asked my mother what the best years of her life were, she would have told you working in the funeral home. She loved helping people. She made a lot of great friends through that.”

On weekends, Joan and Allie Hutchins would retreat to their trailer on the top of Foster’s Hill in Freeman Township, just outside Kingfield. When they retired, they built a home on their land there and enjoyed the peace and solitude of the area. They went snowmobiling and cross-country skiing, and volunteered to help children in the area, especially during the winter Special Olympics at Sugarloaf.

“They loved it there,” Michael Hutchins said.

Mrs. Hutchins moved back to Portland soon after her husband died in 1991.

Her sons talked about her devotion to family and the community, and the impact she had on others. In her early years, she volunteered helping to raise money for the Sisters of the Precious Blood on State Street. In her later years, she volunteered at St. Joseph’s Manor and St. Peter’s Church.

“Anytime she could help someone, she would,” Michael Hutchins said.

Her sons reminisced about the impact she had in their lives, too. When Mark Hutchins decided to open his funeral home in 2010, he sought his mother’s advice.

“We talked it through,” he said. “She was very supportive. She was looking forward to coming back to work at 80 years old, but I couldn’t pay her, she said.”

The rosary will be recited Monday morning by her daughter-in-law Donna Hutchins and a granddaughter, Theresa Hutchins. Following her funeral, family and friends will gather to celebrate her life.

“She wanted a party. That was her wish,” Michael Hutchins said.