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Linda Hunter

January 21, 2024
Linda Hunter
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Obituary for Linda Hunter


(Baker) Hunter 9/16/1940 – 1/21/2024

Linda Baker Hunter, daughter of Ruth and Lou Baker, grew up in Great Neck, NY surrounded by her extended family headed by her grandmother, Sarah Dancis Goldberg, an immigrant from Ukraine. Linda graduated from Wellesley College and attended Stanford University.

She married Jamie Hunter and they moved to Oregon to teach at the University of Oregon. They then sailed the South Pacific for a year on the ‘Flying Cloud” landing in Lahaina, Maui three months pregnant. They swapped their share of the boat for land on the slopes of Haleakala. There, Linda raised her children, Sarah and Lono on their self-sustaining farm. They grew most of their food and lived without electricity or a phone much to Linda’s mother’s dismay! There, she learned that she loved helping plants, animals and people grow.

Linda loved to learn and went back to school over and over again and became a Social Worker and Psychologist. On Maui, she helped found Maui Family Reunion. As a family visitor, she supported newborn families with Maui Family Support Services. She worked at Queen Liliuokalani Children’s Center, and Aloha House. Linda’s passion became using Sandplay and Play Therapy with children and families. Later,  Linda moved to Palm Beach, Florida to care for her parents and was a co-founder and board member of the Association for Community Counseling. ACC was an all-volunteer organization which used a client centered philosophy to serve clients of all ages within a group format. She trained hundreds of professionals and volunteers to use Sandplay and Play Therapy in Florida and all over the world. She volunteered in Bosnia, South Africa, Tanzania, Ghana, China, India, Peru, Costa Rica and more. Her love of travel complimented her love of teaching, and she was often invited to present her material to professionals and parents wherever she went.

Linda’s true loves were her children, Sarah and Lono, her partner Ray and her grandchildren Ciara, Malina, Xavi and Micah as well as many “grand-dogs”. Her love of gardening, reading and being with children continued. She especially loved sharing time with her grandchildren. She always made time to read with them and to sit on the floor to play whatever game they wanted her to play. They loved visiting Grandma’s play rooms and loved playing with her in the sand.

Linda’s adventures were cut short by a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease in 2013. She knew her “swiss cheese brain” was not as sharp as it had been. (She had two PhD’s, three master’s degrees and had written a book,Images of Resiliency.)

At that point she turned to her family to escort her through increasingly challenging years in New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

As a practitioner of mindfulness meditation, Alzheimer’s was her ultimate practice in being present and connected. She knew and enjoyed her family all the way until the end. Linda is survived by her brother, Jerry Baker, her daughter Sarah O’Brien, and her son Lono Hunter and her four grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers or gifts, donations may be made through Sarah to benefit play therapy programs serving Maui fire victims’ mental and emotional health.

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