On May 27, 2021, Francis R. Hunter, Jr., beloved husband of Maureen D. Hunter, loving father of Mimi Higgins and her husband Doug, the late Bob Hunter and his surviving wife Christie, Jim Hunter and his wife Amy and Lynne Hunter, cherished grandfather of Colleen Higgins, Sean Higgins, Elizabeth Hunter, Robert Hunter, Patrick Hunter, Sarah Hunter, Megan Ornes and her husband Andrew.
Francis R. Hunter Jr. (“Frank”) was born in Bridgeport, CT to parents Francis R. “Doc” Hunter and Margaret “Peg” Payne and raised in the small town of Mamaroneck, NY, located just outside of New York City. He spent his youth, like most young men playing baseball and football, lifeguarding at the Orienta Beach Club, and occasionally accompanying his father on medical calls. Frank was immensely proud of his father, who served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific Theater during WWII and was a surgeon at Pearl Harbor for the fateful “day that lived in infamy”, December 7, 1941. His father later returned from war and became the town doctor, frequently going on house calls and taking food as payment for his services.
Frank graduated from Iona High School and went on to get his bachelor’s degree as a member of the Class of ‘57 from St. Vincent College, a small Jesuit college in western PA. He often regaled the family with stories of playing poker late into the night and his success in making a few extra dollars. The bonds he established at St. Vincent’s were long standing, as just last year, his roommates got together for their 60+ anniversary of attending the small college. He then earned his Juris Doctorate degree from Georgetown University in 1961.
Frank married his childhood sweetheart and the proverbial “girl next door”, Maureen Therese Dugan, on June 27, 1959. Life moved fast for the newlyweds, as they moved to Washington, D.C. and welcomed their first three children. Frank started his law career as a Congressional staffer on Capitol Hill and much to his and young bride’s delight, they attended the Inaugural Ball for John F. Kennedy. Frank then worked for the Southern Railroad in Arlington, VA. In 1965, he joined The Rouse Company’s legal team that orchestrated the nation’s first Planned Urban Development, the city of Columbia, that gained national recognition. He played an instrumental role in both the zoning and development of Columbia and the Inner Harbor renovation in Baltimore for the next 18 years. It was also during this time that Frank moved his family to Randallstown, welcomed their fourth child and relocated to Ellicott City in 1976. After his tenure at Rouse, in the latter years of his career, he established an independent private law practice supporting the community and citizens of Howard County for the last two decades.
Outside of work, Frank was a consummate family man, as he and Maureen and their four children were very active. Frank coached the boys in football and baseball (Randallstown Optimists and Howard County Youth Program). But it was his and Maureen’s love for golf that became infectious as the family joined Turf Valley Country Club. He could not have been prouder when his youngest daughter, Lynne, took this inspiration to a whole new level and made it her profession in life. The family traveled often, pouring into the family station wagon with the family dog and a boat in tow, to such places as Deep Creek Lake, where they shared a lakeside home with close family friends, and Hilton Head Island. Vacation memories are vast as their travels ranged from Disney World in Florida to San Diego, CA, and included the mountains of Maine and the lakes of New Hampshire. It did not matter where they went, they all traveled together. “Family vacations” was not just a slogan for the Hunter family, but rather a way of life.
In spite of being a transplant from New York, Frank was an avid Maryland sports fan. He rooted for the Terps, the Orioles (except when they played the Yankees!) and the Colts (until they left town!). A Ravens PSL owner, he loved tailgating with his family at home games. He and Maureen witnessed the Ravens 2001 Super Bowl win over the Giants in Tampa. Wherever his location during football season, Frank would search tirelessly for a place to watch the Ravens game.
In retirement, Frank and Maureen sold the family home in Ellicott City and moved to a small rancher on a golf course in Sunset Beach, NC. They loved their house and enjoyed playing rounds of golf with their groups of friends. But they were happiest when their children and 7 grandchildren came to visit and spend time with them both on the golf course and at the beach. Frank and Maureen also purchased a senior-living condo in Ellicott City to spend more time with family in Maryland during holidays and the off-season. Since retirement never came easy for him, Frank continued to donate his skills and expertise by serving as the president of his condo association and in providing legal guidance and expertise to the Sea Trail community.
Even in his final days, Frank was quick to tell his family that at age 85 he had lived a full and prosperous life and that he loved and will greatly miss his wife of 62 years, his four children and their spouses, and his 7 grandchildren. He will forever be remembered as a man of honor, commitment, and the highest values, and for his undying love of God and family.
Family will receive friends at the HARRY H. WITZKE FAMILY FUNERAL HOME, 4112 Old Columbia Pike, Ellicott City, on Sunday from 2pm - 5pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday at 10am at St. Augustine Church, Elkridge. Interment following at Crestlawn Memorial Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Bob Hunter Memorial Foundation, 3608 Platte Ct, Ellicott City, MD 21042, or to Lower Cape Fear LifeCare, 1414 Physicians Dr, Wilmington, NC 28401.
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