Jean Marie Hunt passed away November 1, 2021, surrounded by family in Naples, Fla. Having dealt with Type 1 diabetes and heart disease for most of her adult life, her body gave way at age 80 after surgery for a hip fracture.
Jean and her beloved husband, R. Brian Hunt, spent summers in Harbor Springs, Mich., and more than 30 winters in Key Largo, Fla., moving to Naples in January 2021 to be nearer to family.
Jean was born April 5, 1941, in Detroit to parents Marcella (née Augé) and Martin McDonald, both of Minnesota. She graduated from Saint James High School in Ferndale, Mich. in 1959. She grew up to attend Catholic Mass often; her deep was faith instilled by her mother who had joined the Convent until arthritis made her duties too difficult.
At age 14 she met her soulmate, Brian, whom she married in a double wedding with her sister in 1960. For their honeymoon, Jean and Brian drove a hard top convertible to New York City. They were amazed to find so many preachers in Times Square as they hit the game show circuit.
Their first child, Daniel Brian, arrived 9.5 months later, followed by three daughters in the next eight years. Raising her children in Sterling Heights and Rochester Hills, Mich., she made up games for them in their backyard pool; forged adventures at Mt. St. Patrick, Canada with Brian’s family and at Lake Marie, Mich. with her siblings’ families. She took them skiing across Michigan and on trips to Quebec. Holidays were all about family visits, hayrides, scavenger hunts, charades, Christmas carols, fondue dinners, turkey feasts, beef tenderloin, and always: Waldorf Salad and Mom’s apple pie. Jean’s home was open to friends away from their own families and she often took meals and gifts to those in need at the holidays.
Jean dedicated her time to Christ Child Society of Harbor Springs and Keys Children’s Foundation in Key Largo, bringing care packages to children in need and seeking new ways to raise funds for them. As a Life Member of Christ Child Society, she hosted fundraisers in her backyard for many years and auctioned off “Perch on the Porch” dinners to raise tens of thousands of dollars. Her deep empathy arose from her own childhood experiences.
Jean believed in and lived the American Dream. Her kids’ development and education were her top priority. She also supported her husband in his hard work, long hours and extensive travel to help bring animals to accredited zoos worldwide. Jean and Brian enjoyed the world too, visiting Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Kenya, South Africa, Russia, Peru, the Caribbean, Cuba, much of Europe, many Canadian provinces and most of the United States.
Jean cherished her friends, which she often expressed by playing jokes on them. She loved Broadway shows and country music. She was an avid tennis, golf and bridge player, often bringing home trophies in club golf tournaments. She played bridge as often as she could, attaining rank of Golden Age Life Master. She came very close to her goal as Gold Life Master as she sought out regional tournaments before Covid.
Her family will miss her immeasurably, especially for her quick wit, empathy, resilience, strength, loyalty, wisdom, impatience, compassion, determination, courage, friendship, generosity, and sense of adventure and wonder. They will reminisce about her radiance in red, white wine spritzers, and sweet walks with her dogs. They are deeply grateful for the many years they had with her while remembering her adage, “life is for the living.”
Jean did not depart alone: Brian’s beloved sister and Jean’s dear friend, Diane Carpenter, 78, sadly also passed in the same hour on that All Saints Day.
Jean is survived by her husband of 61 years, Brian, sister Shirley (Denny) Vachon, daughters Holly Hunt, Julie Hunt, Heather (Steve) Ziegler, daughter-in-law Shwu-Ying Hunt (wife of late son Dan), granddaughters Elizabeth Curcuru, Stephanie Curcuru and Anna Marielle Ziegler; Guard Dog Extraordinaire Henry; and her cherished brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews and friends. Jean is preceded in death by her beloved son Daniel Brian Hunt, parents Marcella and Martin McDonald, brothers Frank McDonald and Martin McDonald, and Shih Zhu, Omar.
A small family mass has been held at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Naples where her cremated remains were entombed. A Celebration of Life for her is intended later with family and friends.
In lieu of flowers, the family would welcome donations in Jean’s memory to Christ Child Society of Northern Michigan, P.O. Box 132, Harbor Springs, MI 49740-1430, https://christchildsocietynorthernmichigan.com.
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Christ Child Society of Northern Michigan
P.O. Box 132, Harbor Springs MI 49740-1430