The Vern Hunter
Remember and learn from Vern
Dedicated to the life and ripple of Vern Hunter, 11/14/1950 — 7/20/2011
Shortly after hearing of Vern's death by sudden heart failure in a movie lobby, I thought of a line from an old poem by John Donne who, speaking to Death, said, "And soonest our best men with thee do go." It is no stretch to say that everyone who had the privilege of meeting Vern thought of him as one of our best men, and that at age 60, Vern left us too soon. If you have any thoughts or remembrance of Vern you'd like to share, please post below. If you have any pictures (including captions), video clips, websites, book names, (art, poems, music..., that was of special interest to Vern), or whatever Vern related that might be added to this site, let this nerd know: alysion[at]gmail.com
Dick Woodward's Eulogy for Vern
Dan Valle's Eulogy for Vern
Kevin Dwyer's Tribute
Vern Photo Gallery See box on right to download the photos.
Vern's Favorite Quotes
Vern's Favorite Authors
Vern's Favorite Movies
Vern's Favorite Artists
Vern's Favorite Composers/Musicians
Vern's Favorite Movie Makers
Vern's Favorite TV
Vern's Favorite Activities
Vern's Favorite Interests
Website Dedicated to Vern
Vern Hunter Memorial DVD
call Annyce, Beyond Video,
Eulogy for Vern Hunter August 27, 2011
I lost a friend last week – Vern was a special man - and special men are hard to come by.
I met Vern about 3 years ago at OLLI. Vern - along with Duncan Scott - was leading a study group on WWI history and literature. Vern asked me to join a local self-formed group called the Literati Club or group. It was through the Literati group that I came to know the characteristics that so defined Vern.
Vern, Renee McGuire, Kevin Dwyer, Leonora Nixon, and a few others formed the Literati group in 2006 to study literature of the world. We meet every Monday night – for 3 hours - religiously.
Vern was the heart and soul The Literati group. Vern’s love and knowledge of literature is awe-inspiring. Our group is like a graduate seminar with Vern as the professor.
As we worked our way through Gilgamesh, Homer, Bhagavad-Gita, Beowulf, Cervantes, it was Vern that found the connections to other writers – among his favorites were Fitzgerald, Williams, Faulkner, Nietzsche, Hemmingway, and Shakespeare. If it is good writing and interesting ideas, Vern loved it.
He had a world-view of art, literature, and music. He loved people - he was a terrific listener.
When one of us went off on a tangent - liking the sound of our own voice - it was Vern who found a gentle way of getting the discussion back on track, sometimes as simply as inviting another into the conversation with “What’s on your mind, Elizabeth, Darlin ”.
Vern was always open about the joys and tragedies in his life. He loved to tell of how he - with his mother’s push - got to Pine Forge Academy in Pennsylvania. He never held back in describing the impact of the harsh deaths - of his brother and son.
He made our club a safe place for us to open up about the nexus between our lives and what we are reading. Vern never used what we exposed about ourselves in any self-aggrandizing manner. We all felt safe with him.
Vern had an incredible ability to sense what it people like about themselves. He would play on that characteristic to draw you out - so that he could find what it is about you - that makes you special.
Vern was all about helping others. If someone he liked needed help - there was no end to his involvement in working through the nitty-gritty details of whatever needed to be done.
But what I liked most about him was his joie d’ vrie. Vern loved life! It just exuded from him.
These are just a few of the things that made Vern a special man. He was literate, articulate, insightful, gentle, trustworthy, open, and full of life. Thank you, Vern, for inviting me into your life - and expanding mine. I miss you.
If Vern Were Here, a eulogy for Vern
If Vern were here and I was to call him, he would answer in his raspy voice, "Sir Daniel, how are you?" I don't know why he called me Sir Daniel, maybe out of respect or maybe because I was older than he, or just plain old... I would then ask him if he could join us for dinner or get together, but of course, he would respond by saying that he would love to but he was driving to Tucson International Airport to catch a plane to visit his family in Ohio, then he would go to Chicago to visit his son, Jason, and then he was going to Virginia to see his wife, Cindo," and while there, they would drive up the coast to Maryland and Pennsylvania to visit family, and maybe go all the way to Nova Scotia, etc., etc., etc. Vern, of course, loved to travel and seldom when I called was he home!
If Vern were here, he would tell me how much he enjoyed being on the SEACRS Board of Directors and after every meeting he would summarize all the great things that had come out of the meeting. He truly believed in this non-profit organization because it helps people with mental and behavioral health problems and he was totally committed to its mission, especially in view of the recent shooting here in Tucson and, this week in Norway, caused by people with apparent mental disorders.
If Vern were here he would tell me about how he loved to attend meetings in Tucson with his colleagues and friends of the Harvard Club and the Literati Club, respectively. He would continue talking about the great people he had met and how many had become personal friends. Vern's social network was extensive and covered the entire U.S. as well as abroad. Facebook would be jealous!
If Vern were here he would tell us how busy he was and that he had to go to this meeting and that appointment, and meet with this person and that club, etc. He would then tell me that a friend of his, to whom he had also complained about being too busy, once told him, "Vern, you know what is the problem?" Vern responded, "No," then his friend continued "You're the problem because you can't say 'no.'" Vern then chuckled and admitted that his friend was right!
If Vern were here I would call him and leave a voice mail because he did not answer. After 30 minutes or so, he would call me back to tell me that he was at the opera or a play and it was intermission, and asked what he could do for me. Or he might call me after he had just seen a movie at the theater and he would not hesitate to give me a critique of what he had just seen.
If Vern were here he would tell us about the couple of times the Border Patrol pulled him over on Highway 90 between Sierra Vista and Benson, and I would ask him why, and he would say that he looked like he was from South of the Border!
If Vern were here I would tell him what a good friend he had been for the last 10 years and how much my wife Olga, our daughters, our families and I had enjoyed his company and genuine friendship which ended so suddenly and too soon. I would also thank him for helping us by giving our three daughters, who really respected and loved him, great advice and for calling to check up on them over the years.
If Vern were here he would tell us how crazy he was about his wife Cindo and his son Jason. He would go on and on about how lucky he was to have them and his entire family as well!
Finally, if Vern were here I would tell him all of us were already missing him greatly, but we wanted to thank him for all the love and friendship he gave us all. I would also ask him, "Where is this place you have gone to?" I'm sure he would say, "Well, Dan, this actually is a pretty nice place and I am relaxing and enjoying myself. I'm reading a lot of books, and might even finish the book I've been writing for years!" He would then look at me, wink and smile, put his hand on my shoulder and continue by saying, "And you know, Amigo, it's beautiful here and I'm doing just fine."
If Vern were here...
At the urge of Renee, I am writing this email about Vern Hunter, so you will have some information on how Vern affected people who have come in contact with him. I am one member of the Literati Club with weekly meetings on Monday nights. As we already have a most capable representative for our Club to speak at the Memorial Service, Richard Woodward, I do not wish to speak at the Service. This is from my perspective. All the sentiments and observations written here are yours to use or incorporate as you see fit.
The Literati Club was founded by Vern and Renee in February 2006. We get together talking about literature, philosophy, psychology, and moral issues, always following a set program on literature. Vern was our leader and the facilitator for the discussion. With his brilliant mind, amazing memory and his superb analytical skill, Vern can always move our discussion to a higher level.
His wisdom and direction was unfailingly dispensed with finesse and subtlety. His worldview was expansive and inclusive, so was his dealing with all who know him. In other words, he was respectful to all people and ideas. His non-judgemental and accepting ways made whomever in his presence feel special and valued. He was the guiding light of the Literati Club. This bright shining light was also very soothing with his gentleness and consideration.
Vern's untimely passing will be a loss irreplaceable and be felt by all time and time again. But in our deep shock and disbelief, I believe we can feel fortunate and honored to have known such an extraordinary man. In our esteem, Vern will live on forever.
Thank you for your time.
With deep sorrow,
Website Dedicated to Vern
On April 14, 2011, early in the morning, I sent out as an email, "Beginnings: First Lines from Scriptures" to the Literati group. Later that morning I read Vern's reply. In the afternoon I was hit by a truck, a near-death experience, and I could remember absolutely nothing of that day nor of the next two weeks of my next month in hospital (later, reading an MD's notes, he referred to my "literatic" condition, apparently a previously unrecognized mental disorder (actually a misspelling of "Literati" which provided us with some unintended humor). Convalescing at home I read my old email again and remembered Vern's reply/approval—one of the only memories I can associate with that day. Compiling first lines from various scriptures was nearly the last thing I ever did. I decided to turn the material into a website that others might also find interesting. I was uploading this site and tinkering with it on the afternoon of July 20 when I received word of Vern's death. The obvious soon came to me—dedicate the site to the polymath:
“Above all, do not mistake me for someone else.” Nietzsche
“& the moon never beams without bringing me dreams….” E. A. Poe
"But he who is unable to live in society, or who has no need b/c he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god." Aristotle
"It is love we monsters tell ourselves. We love too ardently, too anciently, too honestly, too bestially." Roderick Anscomb
"Madness in great ones must not unwatched go." Shakespeare
"Power without guilt, love without doubt...." Strick & Harrison
"The long delayed but always expected something that we live for." Tennessee Williams
All Things Emerson
All Things Thoreau
All Things Kierkegaard
All Things Poe
All Things Whitman
W. B. Yeats
D. H. Lawrence
All Things Buddha
All Things Shakespeare
Just a FEW Favorite Movies:
City of Angles
The Sixth Sense
Weill and Brecht
And Among My Favorites:
Led Zeppelin Official
Nat King Cole
Favorite Movie Makers
I Love All Things Hitchcock
All Things Capra
All Things Fellini
All Things Antonioni
All Things Billy Wilder
M. Night Shyamalan
Benicio del Toro
Coen Brothers - Joel + Ethan
Curb Your Enthusiasm
The Larry Sanders Show
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
The West Wing
Hill Street Blues
The Dick Van Dyke Show
All in the Family
Thinking and Writing
Sunrise and Sunset Watching
And the H
David Kimutai Too