Florence D. Hunt, Chesco trailblazer

Posted: June 23, 2005

Florence Dick Hunt, 72, of Malvern, a former East Whiteland Township supervisor and Republican Party activist, died of complications from Parkinson's disease Monday at home.

Mrs. Hunt was appointed to the township's Board of Supervisors in 1980 and was later elected to two six-year terms. She was the first woman to serve as a township supervisor. After retiring in 1993, she continued to serve on the township's planning commission and on its environmental board.

Her son Andrew said her two political passions were to oversee responsible growth in the township and to advance the roles of women in local government.

In 1976 Mrs. Hunt, then recorder of deeds for Chester County, was the first woman to run for Chester County commissioner. She lost, but several women have served as commissioners since then, her son said.

Mrs. Hunt was district administrator for the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue from 1979 to 1987. She was a former vice chairwoman of the Chester County Republican Committee.

A native of Lock Haven, Pa., she earned a bachelor's degree from Lock Haven State Teachers College (now Lock Haven University), where she acted in theater productions. She was considering moving to New York to act, her son said, when a friend who was applying for a position at Downingtown High School urged her to do the same. Mrs. Hunt was hired, and taught English and produced and directed plays and musicals at the school until her marriage to David M. Hunt Sr. in 1959. The couple, who had met on a blind date, bought a home in Malvern in 1962.

Their son said that after his father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in the early 1980s, his mother cared for him at home for several years.

After her husband died in 1997, Mrs. Hunt traveled to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. "She was always the life of the party," her son said. Though ill and using a wheelchair in recent months, she voted in last month's primary election.

In addition to her son, Mrs. Hunt is survived by son David Jr.; daughters Elizabeth Farhi and Susan Clifford; and five grandchildren.

The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Church of the Good Samaritan, 212 W. Lancaster Ave., Paoli. Friends may call from 6 to 9 p.m. tomorrow at Mauger Givnish Funeral Home, 24 Monument Ave., Malvern.

Contact staff writer Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or sdowney@phillynews.com.

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