Shirley Hunt Chartrand peacefully passed on December 2, 2020, at the age of 95. Shirley was born on October 24, 1925, on Staten Island, New York to Elmer Fleetwood Hunt and Lowra Pace Hunt. Their home sat on the highest hillside overlooking the harbor. Her father told her and her older sister, Beverly, the name of every cruise ship and tub boat going in and out of the harbor.
Shirley kept asking her father for a horse but he continually declined. When she soon asked for flying lessons, her father decided that riding a horse would be much safer than flying lessons. His reply was simply: "Go buy a horse today!!" Shirley enjoyed riding her horse all over Staten Island especially since the island was quite rural in the early 40's. For college, she attended Bennett College in New York.
Her family would spend the month of August at Lake Placid Country Club. This is where she met her first husband, Victor J. Chartrand from New Jersey. They married in September of 1948. They had two children, Craig and Renee, who were also born on Staten Island. After she and Victor were divorced in 1957, Shirley moved to Scottsdale with her two children - driving all the way in a Studebaker.
Eventually, she met and married William D. Eikner in Scottsdale in 1960. They divorced in 1968.
Shirley was a wonderful and caring Mother who stayed active with volunteer work as well as riding and showing her horses. She stayed involved with the different horse shows in Arizona but the 'Carousel Horse Show' was her first love. She also loved riding 'Ol Blue' in the Scottsdale Parada del Sol along with one or two of her children.
Her other favorite horse show was the Del Mar State Fair Equestrian Show. She rented the same beach bungalow every summer. This was the main annual summer family vacation to gather her children and grandchildren.
Besides horses, Shirley always had a Great Dane or two that she obtained from a Great Dane Rescue Group, along with a few parrots, a raccoon, and desert tortoises. Never a dull moment. She also collected old horse brasses and enjoyed reading, puzzles, and doing crossword puzzles.
Because of her involvement with horse shows in Arizona, she became good friends with Patricia and Raoul Castro. When Mr. Castro became Governor of Arizona, she volunteered to be Pat's Social Secretary. She enjoyed her 'Social' obligations in this. Then, when Governor Castro was appointed as the U.S. Ambassador to Argentina, Shirley went with them for a few months to help them get settled and assist with entertaining other area dignitaries.
Shirley is survived by her Children - Craig and Renee; Grandchildren - Christopher, John, Lowren and Megan; and five Great Grand Children.
They will always have the memory of their beloved Mother and Grandmother to live on within them, not as a monument to misery but as a source of strength, love and inspiration. To everyone who knew and loved Shirley, she was "Best of Show."
Published in The Arizona Republic from Jan. 8 to Jan. 10, 2021.