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Irene M. Hunter

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Irene M. Hunter 1918 - 2008 MANCHESTER, VT. Irene Mennen Hunter of Manchester, and Delray Beach, Fla., died Oct. 1, 2008, after a lifetime of community volunteerism and philanthropy. Born in Newark, N.J., in 1918 to Irene and William Mennen, the founder of the Mennen Company, she graduated from the Emma Willard School in 1935, and Smith College in 1939. She was married for 57 years to the love of her life, the late James "Bing" Hunter, and she leaves their four children, Elizabeth Solomon of Park City, Utah, Jim Hunter of Williamstown, Mass., Bonnie Trotta of Mount Kisco, N.Y., and Susan Hunter of Dedham, Mass. She also leaves their 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, Virginia Solomon of Los Angeles, Ross Hunter of Boston, Mass., Sarah Hunter of Prince Edward Island, Canada, Margaret Hunter of Williamstown, Katama Eastman and her children, Merrill, Jack, and Oliver Eastman of New York, N.Y., Peter Guernsey of Los Angeles, James Trotta and Johnny Trotta, of Mount Kisco, N.Y., Colby Previte and her son, Carter Previte, of Rochester, N.Y., Kristin Hunter-Thomson of Monterey, Calif., and Whitney Hunter-Thomson of Chicago, Ill. She leaves her brother, William G. Mennen of Carmel, Calif. From chairing financial campaigns to making wreaths for the church bazaar, both Mr. and Mrs. Hunter spent their lives improving their communities. Mrs. Hunter's philanthropic interests were directed primarily toward education and the arts. Over the years, she sat on the boards of, or financially endowed, Emma Willard School, Alumnae Association of Smith College, Bennington College, Williams College, Southern Vermont College, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Jacobs Pillow Dance Company, Williamstown Theater Festival, WGBY, American Museum of Fly Fishing, Hunter Park, Burr and Burton Academy, Long Trail School, Pine Cobble School, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, The Vermont Symphony, Hildene, First Congregational Church of Manchester, New England Tropical Conservatory, and Northshire Day School. Together with family and friends, she shared a passion for golf, skiing, travel, and the Red Sox. Along the way, she even found time to earn her pilot's license. Mrs. Hunter earned the only Lifetime Achievement Award ever awarded by The National Association of Fundraising Professionals. From those to whom much has been given, much is expected. This is her legacy. FUNERAL NOTICE: A Memorial Service will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 6, at the First Congregational Church in Manchester, Vt. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Northshire Day School, 5484 Main St., Manchester Center, VT 05255 (802) 362-1395. BREWSTER FUNERAL SERVICE in Manchester has been entrusted with the care of Mrs. Hunter's funeral arrangements.
Published in Bennington Banner on Oct. 3, 2008
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