I was going to author some concise words about my very good friend, John Curtis Hunter, but decided the very BEST way for him to be remembered is with his own words.
John created his own website – “Stuff you probably don't care about” – but I think if you knew him (and respected/liked him, as I did), you might find what he wrote to be, at the very least, "interesting.” The site is in two parts, but you can reach the second from the first, which is at http://tinyurl.com/8uxsrnt.
He writes about darn-near everything, including politics, sex, religion, Mensa® and the many books he read; he was a voracious reader and had one of the largest private libraries I have ever seen.
Regarding death, he quoted singer/composer Joni Mitchell: “Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone" – and his ex-wife: "Life is queer with its twists and turns, as each of us sometimes learns."
John was born on April 16, 1948. He was an accountant by trade and was retired from Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo).
He suffered his entire life with ArterioVenous Malformation (AVM), an abnormal connection between veins and arteries that caused him to have epileptic seizures on the left side of his body. His left arm was non-functional, but, surprisingly, both legs worked well enough that he could walk short distances with the aid of a cane.
He was fiercely independent, refusing to use a motorized wheelchair/scooter. After the death of his friend and platonic roommate, Hilary Litwak, in 2005, he also refused to have another roommate or even a live-in housekeeper. His attitude was basically, "If you don't use it, you will lose it", and felt a caretaker would be "surrendering" his independence and personal mobility.
A Life Member of Mensa® since 1977 was a remarkable achievement that allowed him to conquer and vanquish – without drugs – one of his greatest personal (and unspoken) fears: Agoraphobia. It was yet another testament to his stubbornness and determination that he dealt with that fear head-on and simply made it "go away".
John’s hobby was taking oceanliner cruises, which he often did with a few female friends. He also hosted a once-a-week local gathering, where he could meet with his fellow Mensans and mostly listen as they discussed an endless array of subjects. While not all that much of a talker in groups, he was an excellent listener, hanging intently on every word spoken to him. However, he had no hesitation about expressing his opinions, when asked.
There is far, far more to tell about John, which I will do in the September MindBets. But he can, to an extent, be summarized as: a mass of contradictions, intensely private, somewhat cynical, yet good-humored – he loved to laugh – a man who never had a public unkind word to say against anyone (save politicians – a favorite target) and an all-around good guy.
It was an honor to know him and be his friend. I'll think about him every single day, for the rest of my life.
Rest in peace, John.