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Mary Lilla (Mary Elle) Hunter
Longboat Key Friday, Jul. 19, 2019 1 month ago

Mary Lilla (Mary Elle) Hunter

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Mary Lilla “Mary Elle” Hunter died July 12, 2019, in Sarasota, where she had resided for 40 years with periods of out-of-area residency in Pinehurst, N.C.; Washington, D.C.; and Bismarck, N.D.
In Memoriam:

Mary Lilla (Mary Elle) Hunter
1928-2019

Mary Lilla “Mary Elle” Hunter died July 12, 2019, in Sarasota, where she had resided for 40 years with periods of out-of-area residency in Pinehurst, N.C.; Washington, D.C.; and Bismarck, N.D. 

Born in Akron, Ohio, May 21, 1928 to George Plumer Lyder and Lilla Riebs Lyder, Hunter spent most of her early years in Connecticut.  The family followed her father when he served in World War II as an officer of the Army Air Corps, mainly in Kansas, Ohio and Colorado. 

After the war, she moved to New York City where she worked in investments and real estate before her marriage to the late Ralph B. Hunter, founder and publisher of The Longboat Observer.  During the 1960s and 1970s, the Hunters lived in Orleans on Cape Cod, where they owned and operated AM/FM radio station WVLC.

Mary Elle had a varied business career, holding positions in broadcasting, hotel and property management and communications.  Marketing Director of Sarasota Ballet of Florida and Circus Sarasota, she later became an independent publicist for Sarasota International Dance Festival and Carreno Dance Festival and a free-lance writer whose work appeared in a dozen publications in Florida and North Carolina.

“After the war, she moved to New York City where she worked in investments and real estate before her marriage to the late Ralph B. Hunter, founder and publisher of The Longboat Observer.”

Manager of Far Horizons Beach Resort and The Beaches of Longboat Key, as well as Holiday Inn of Bismarck, Mary Elle served as executive director of American Women in Radio and Television; campaigned for the Equal Rights Amendment; and held lengthy membership in Business and Professional Women International. She wrote A Place Called Pinehurst, the paperback history of that North Carolina community, and she edited “Sharing Chagall: A Memoir” published by Belleray Press.  

Long an active member of the Presbyterian Church (USA), she sang in church choirs and community chorales and contributed her writing to First Presbyterian Church of Sarasota projects, including Invest in Children and profiles of new church members.   

Hunter is survived by her son George Bruce Hunter and daughter Janet Emily Hunter of Sarasota, as well as niece Allyson Stoffel Roe of Montclair, N.J., and nephew Jeffrey William Stoffel of Bluemont, Va., and cousin BJ Boyer of Lakewood Ranch and Bethany, Ill.  

Predeceasing her are her parents and sister, Katherine Anne Stoffel, of Pinehurst, N.C., and Sarasota.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Capital Fund of First Presbyterian Church of Sarasota; to Tidewell Hospice; and Sarasota Orchestra. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 27, at First Presbyterian Church, 2050 Oak St., Sarasota.

 

SERVICE:
Saturday, July 27, 1PM
First Presbyterian Church,
2050 Oak St., Sarasota

DONATIONS:
Memorial gifts may be made to the Capital Fund of First Presbyterian Church of Sarasota; to Tidewell Hospice; and Sarasota Orchestra.

 

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