Mary Ann Hunter
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May 13, 1939 - December 21,2012
Resident of Walnut Creek
Born in Oakland, CA on May 13, 1939 to Charles Frederick and Bernice Mitchell, Mary Ann passed away on Friday, December 21 at John Muir Hospital with her husband, Bill, and their children, Mitchell and Heidi, at her side.
Mary Ann grew up in San Leandro and attended Roosevelt Elementary, Bancroft Jr. High, and San Leandro High School. She graduated as Valedictorian with the highest scholastic average in her graduating class. She was an accomplished pianist giving several recitals on radio and television.
Mary Ann developed a passion for tennis during her childhood. She was playing tournament tennis by the time she was in Jr. High which she continued until her freshman year at the University of California, Berkeley. Her abilities led her to be ranked 10th in the nation in women's tennis. She won the National Hard Court Championship, competed in the U.S. Open, represented the U.S. State Department on tour in the Pan American Games, and participated in many other major tour events.
Mary Ann set her tennis career aside to pursue her education at U.C. Berkeley majoring in Child Development. She became a member of the Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, Prytanean Society (for outstanding scholarship), Mortar Board (Sr. Women's National Honor Society), Student Judicial Committee, and was appointed to the Chancellor's Committee on Discrimination. At the end of her junior year at Cal, she met Bill Hunter. They were married in Berkeley on October 7, 1961 three months after her graduation.
Mary Ann taught elementary school in San Leandro for 7 years until 1968 when she stopped to raise a family. The family moved to Rochelle, Illinois in 1974. In Illinois, Mary Ann was eventually reunited with her tennis passion teaching college tennis and was the head professional and manager at the Clock Tower Racquet Club in Rockford, Illinois. It was difficult for her to leave her many friends and position behind, but the family moved back to California in 1984 and settled in Walnut Creek.
For the next 11 years, Mary Ann taught tennis at what has become the Valley Vista Club, followed by giving private lessons on various courts. She developed many close friendships during this time both on and off the courts. In 1995, she stopped teaching tennis to enjoy retirement. She spent much time with her family and friends at their townhouse at Lake Tahoe. She and Bill enjoyed traveling abroad and visited Hawaii each year for extended periods of time.
In 2001, Mary Ann decided to revisit her second passion in education by teaching part time at the Huntington Learning Center in Walnut Creek. At Huntington, she was involved in general tutoring but focused on preparing students for the SAT and other college entrance exams. She enjoyed teaching very much and made close friends with many staff members.
Mary Ann and Bill celebrated their 50th Anniversary in 2011 with a week in Palm Springs with their children and grandchildren.
Mary Ann was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother and was a good friend and an inspiration to those who knew her. She gave much of herself and many benefited from her vast talents that she so willingly shared through her ability to teach. She is survived and loved by her husband, Bill, her son Mitchell and his wife Missy of Walnut Creek and their two children Lainy and Colin, her daughter Heidi and husband Jeff Vinsonhaler of Roseville and their two children Hunter and Mack, and her sister Betty Jane and her husband Peter Van Houten of Twain Harte.
By Mary Ann's wish there will be a celebration of her life limited to family and a few friends at her home.
If you choose, donations can be made to The
or the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Published in Contra Costa Times on Jan. 1, 2013