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Antonia "Toni" Breck

1955 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Antonia "Toni" Breck Obituary
Antonia Hunter Breck

September 21, 1955 - February 21, 2018

Antonia "Toni" Hunter Breck passed away February 21, 2018, surrounded by her loving family after a short battle with cancer. She was without fear and full of grace, gratitude and love until the end.

Toni was born in San Francisco on September 21, 1955, to Fredericka "Dricka" Haswell Hunter and Derek "Derk" Kenneth Hunter of Woodside, California, where she was raised as the eldest of four spirited and very fun siblings. Toni attended Crystal Springs School for Girls in Hillsborough, California, where she was a proud member of the "Fabulous Fifty" class of 1973, and was active in theater. At Stanford University, Toni studied psychology and art history, spent an unforgettable year as a "Dollie" and met the love of her life, Peter Beaudoux Breck. On their first date, Peter's arrival at the door carrying a bouquet of flowers and a Joni Mitchell album, sealed their future together. Six months later, they were engaged. After graduation in 1978, they married and moved to London, the first of their homes that later included ones in Piedmont, CA, New York City, Locust Valley, NY, San Francisco and Ross, CA where they raised their two sons. In the past decade, Toni and Peter moved to Sun Valley, Idaho, where they lived a stone's throw from the Wood River in the beautiful house and garden that Toni designed.

Toni's early love of art, gardens and flowers led her to pursue post-graduate studies at the Inch Bald Institute of Design in London, extensive coursework in Interior and Landscape Design, Horticulture, and the Marin Master Gardener program. Toni then started a successful landscape and garden design business and upon moving to Sun Valley, created an interior design business, Hunter-Breck Designs. Toni loved her work, which flourished due to her lifelong learning and expertise.

In addition to her business, Toni devoted her passion and energy toward causes she cared about, particularly education opportunities for at-risk youth and the environment. As a natural leader, she chaired many successful benefits for her sons' schools in Marin County, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Wood River YMCA. Toni greatly enjoyed her twelve years of service on the founding Board of Summer Search San Francisco, and her ten year association with The Garden Conservancy of America, where she served on their National Board. Toni also was an active member at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Sun Valley and loved the community there. Wherever she focused her attention and talents, significant improvement resulted.

Toni was a beloved friend across communities and generations. Happy and kind, she brought brightness and solace into hearts and lives. Curious and caring, Toni had genuine interest in the story of each person she met. She looked for and found the best in people, which made them feel valued and loved. Toni's self-deprecating humor, storytelling gift and dramatic flair inspired countless episodes of side-splitting laughter. Her sense of fun and hilarity brought much joy to all who knew her.

Toni and Peter reveled in hiking with family and friends in the Sierras, Colorado Rockies and the mountains around Sun Valley. In addition to being an avid hiker, Toni was an amateur botanist and a passionate horsewoman and fisherwoman. She was happiest when striding on a trail with fly rod and wildflower identification book in hand, galloping across a high mountain meadow, or Nordic skiing in Sun Valley, all the while chatting and laughing alongside loved ones. Upon reaching a trail summit, Toni's custom was to raise her arms high, and shout out lines from her favorite poem by e.e.cummings:"i thank You God for most this amazing day…."

Toni possessed an outsized place in the hearts of her family. She was a true partner and best friend to husband Peter; a devoted and loving mother to son Hunter Beaudoux Breck and daughter-in-law Erin of San Rafael, CA; son Samuel Beaudoux "Beau" Breck II and daughter-in-law Emily of Denver, CO; and cherished and delighted grandmother of Forest Breck. Toni was predeceased by her beloved mother, Dricka, and is survived by her father, Derk Hunter, and his companion Kingsley Jack of Woodside, CA. Toni not only was sister to her three siblings, but also their treasured friend. She is survived by sister Helen and brother-in-law Brad Miller of Woodside; brother Deke and sister-in-law Lori Hunter of Portola Valley, CA; and brother David Hunter of Los Osos, CA. She also is survived by her adoring in-laws: Helen Breck of Carmel, CA; Amy and Kirby Wilcox of Nicasio, CA; and Kristen and Ted Breck of Kentfield, CA. Her thirteen nieces and nephews dearly loved their Aunt Toni, as she did them.

A memorial service for Toni will be held at 3:00 pm on Wednesday, March 21 at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, with a reception to follow. Gifts in honor of Toni can be made to The Garden Conservancy of America at The Garden Conservancy, PO Box 219, Cold Spring, NY 10516; or to the Wood River YMCA at P.O. Box 6801 Ketchum, ID 83340, Attention: Mike Wolter.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Mar. 4, 2018
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