Kathryn Hunter was one of those people with whom you looked forward to spending time. She was smart, funny and accomplished. More, she usually knew just the right way to share what she was thinking, and those thoughts often were well worth hearing and considering.
Mrs. Hunter died Saturday at age 87, and few know better the contribution she made to the Akron community than those colleagues who served with her on the boards of so many organizations, from the Akron Community Foundation to the Akron Roundtable, from the Ohio Ballet to the University of Akron. She thought strategically, and brought an infectious spirit of this-can-be-done.
The latter was part of her own path. Thrown into editing a weekly newspaper as a young college graduate, she handled the assignment with aplomb. When her husband died in 1990, she took up the work of president of First Akron Corp., a mortgage banking and real estate firm, again, more than measuring up to the task.
As these two episodes suggest, Mrs. Hunter belongs in the category of pioneer. She blazed trails for women. In the 1960s, she gained her master’s degree and taught courses at the university with the aim of tapping all that women could offer, pointing a way forward much richer in opportunity and most beneficial to the community.
When the Akron Community Foundation recognized her many contributions with the Bert A. Polsky Humanitarian Award two years ago, it was hard not to place at the top the example she set, a woman living fully, succeeding in her own way, elevating what she shared with others.