Trust the Torch!

Anna Marie Hunter, 93

died unexpectedly on Wednesday, Feb.

7, 2024, after a wonderful, happy day

enjoying the beautiful sunset, making

exciting plans for the future, and radiating

joy, in the arms of

her daughter, Evelyn,

with her family

near and far with

her in spirit.

She was born

on May 29, 1930,

in McHenry to

Emil and Hermina

(Schwarz) Herdrich,

the youngest

of seven children.

She was born deep in the Great

Depression and told amazing childhood

stories: of her father’s immigration from

Rust, Germany, in 1924 to provide a

new life for his family; of her mother and

her three young children’s trip across

the ocean to Ellis Island in 1927, when

they spoke no English; and of her life on

the farm up on the hill. Stories of picking

rocks out of the field with a horse

and plow with her brother John; of waking

up on a winter morning with her sister

Marge with a glass of water frozen on

their dresser; of the special homemade

Springerle that Aunt Louise would bring

out from the city. She endured a hard life

that got only harder as her family barn

burned down twice, and her brother Fred

left for Iwo Jima in World War II. Through

it all, Ann maintained a positive, kind

spirit. In high school her nickname was

“Giggles,” she loved athletics and home

economics, and she was beloved by all.

Ann was very independent at a young

age, going to work as a summer housekeeper

on McCollum Lake when she was

a senior in high school, and upon graduation

from McHenry High School in 1949,

she lived in town as a house-sitter while

she worked as a bookkeeper at Hester’s

Service Station.

Ann’s childhood dream was to be a

farmer’s wife and mother, a dream that

came true when she met Everett Hunter

on St. Patrick’s Day 1950. Ann and Everett

had grown up on farms with adjoining

fence lines, but she was a St. Mary Catholic

School girl, and he was a one-room

Joyce B.

Shook

country school boy, and their paths did

not cross until they were introduced by

their siblings, Jim Hunter and Marge

Granath, who were dating. It was love at

first sight, and the two married on Oct.

28, 1950, the 30th anniversary of Everett’s

parents Donald and Laura Hunter.

Ann moved up to Hartland to live with

Everett’s family on the farm, and soon her

childhood dream became a reality, with

five children, 10 grandchildren, and 13

great-grandchildren.

Ann worked endless hours to raise five

children, take care of the house, maintain

a large garden, and support Everett as

he started his own business as a welder

and mechanic. During Everett’s years

of sharpening saws, Ann was his righthand

woman, running the “saw route”

every Wednesday and Saturday. In later

years they opened Hunter’s Fine Handcarved

Wood Signs, and she was once

again Everett’s right-hand woman as she

shared in painting and installing the signs.

She spent endless hours tending her

cherished rose gardens, many of which

are the same she planted decades ago.

She dearly loved nature, birds, crosscountry

skiing, being out in the fresh air,

water-color painting, and was always up

for an adventure, even at 93. Ann loved

to travel, visiting Evelyn in California and

New York, visiting her son Dan in Colorado,

her son Pat in California and southern

Illinois, her son Tony in southern Illinois

and Wisconsin, her daughter Judy

in Libertyville, and of course visited the

Grand Old Opry in Nashville. In her last

years she was an unwavering supporter

of her devoted grandson Jack, and never

missed one of his band concerts, track

meets, honors ceremonies, or other

events. Ann and Evelyn spent the last

five years of Ann’s life together every day,

finding gratitude with every morning and

joy with every beautiful sunset. They were

the best of friends and kindred spirits;

working in the gardens, exploring nature

preserves, walking with her dogs, Bronte

and Arwen, at the dam at Brookdale Conservation

Area, going on road trips, and

visiting family. Most of all, Ann loved her

family and kept every card, note, drawing

or photo ever sent to her. Ann was kind,

gentle, supportive, sweet, wise, funny,

goodhearted, pious, a hard worker, and

is deeply missed by her family who loved

her so much.

Ann is survived by her five children,

Tony (Jan) Hunter, Pat Hunter, Judy

(Glenn) Craver, Dan Hunter, and Evelyn

Hunter; her 10 grandchildren, Todd

(Sarah) Hunter, Ryan (Laura) Hunter, Joy

(Chris) Sawlsville, Charity (Darrin) Rogers,

Jeremy (Brittany) Hunter, Lisa (Bret) Armstrong,

Laura Craver, Ariel Granat, Jack

Granat, and Ellie Granat; 13 great- grandchildren;

and many nieces and nephews

who loved her dearly for her kindness,

spirit, and thoughtfulness.

Ann was preceded in death in 2019

by her husband of 68 years, Everett; her

parents, Emil and Hermina; her brothers,

Fred and John, and her sisters, Pauline,

Hilda, Gertrude, and Marge.

A celebration of life will be held on June

8, 2024, at the place of so many happy

memories for her, the Brookdale Conservation

Area in Harvard, Ill., from 2 to

4 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations

to Ann’s friends at Georgia’s Place

Bird Sanctuary in Harvard, GeorgiasPlaceBirdSanctuary.

org.

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