John Stephen Hunta writer, world literati and global human-rights activist based in Chicagodied March 17 of natural causes in Chicago. He was 85.
Hunt came out as a 20-year-old gay man during his U.S. Army Service. For years he was a resourceful link and activist-connector for U.S. and emerging worldwide LGBTQ-rights movements. He lived at The Malden Lakefront Property group, on Chicago's North Side, near Andersonville.
He was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Aug. 20, 1935. He traveled to and lived in Canada, Mexico, the UK, France, Germany and Dominican Republic, and took special interest in post-apartheid South Africa. He was U.S. Correspondent for Out! New Zealand Magazine. In 2000 he helped champion and sponsor the early development of Our World Center in Lugansk and Kiev, Ukraine. His first lover, Marine A. Perez-Minino, and a later lover, Harry Gregory of Minneapolis, who succumbed to AIDS, each had posts in diplomacy (Dominican Republic and Turkey).
Hunt was generous with his skills and speaking time during a years-long successful recovery he made through Chicago's New Town Alano Club. He also gave contributions and media counsel to Gerber/Hart Library and Archives, He was a co-founder of Lambda Resource Center for the Blind, a program of Horizons. Paul Samuelson, of Chicago; Dorr Jones, of San Francisco; and William B. Glensek, of Toronto were mentoring friends he considered especially important to his own development. In turn, Hunt frequently encouraged younger writers, reporters and artists. He fostered four children of Hindu faith in Kancheepuram, India.
Apart from his global travel, he made his home in Michigan, West Virginia, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Oregon, North Carolina, Washington D.C., Colorado, New Mexico, Indiana, New York, California and Massachusetts, settling in Chicago in spring 1971. Hunt was an associate member of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, attended Unity in Chicago, and was a student of Religious Science under Dr. Carleton Whitehead at Water Tower Place. He was an early graduate of The Phoenix Project, a national grief-healing group process. As a senior, he benefitted as a counselee of CJE, Chicago. A trained direct psychic counselor, he was recognized by American Association of Professional Psychics. Hunt gained listings in both Marquis Who's Who in the Midwest and Who's Who in the World.
He especially identified with the spiritual teaching of ancient Egypt, the Great Tradition, and the widest prospects that Aldous and Laura Huxley opened up. Hunt said "I am grateful my lifetime occurred during a period in human history when the essential meanings of our spiritual and cosmic situation were even more fully unfolding on the planet."
Hunt was educated at University High School (Ann Arbor), George Washington University, the University of Exeter (UK) and the University of California/Berkeley, with a summer at Harvard University. He wrote published sonnets and read widely, encouraging others. He enjoyed gardening as an avocation and was a beekeeper. He was known and loved for his short witticisms and hopes to be remembered for his sense of humor and for being a cybernaut news-bringer and an encourager of others.
Memorial services are pending. Following cremation, he requested his ashes be scattered by friends and reconciled church members in the High Peony Garden, University of Michigan Arboretum, Ann Arbor.
He knew the arboretum as a boy and first saw the Northern Lights therelights that, as an adult, he internalized following spiritual quests, peak experiences and enlightenment.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to the Gerber/Hart Library and Archives, www.gerberhart.org/ .
Arrangements by Cremation Society of Illinois, 773-281-5058 or www.cremation-society.com