Elsie Page Hunt of Montecito passed away on Mother’s Day, May 12, 2013.
Elsie was born on May 1, 1921, in Boston, the daughter of John Emmons Wheeler and Kathleen Page Wheeler. She had two sisters, Margaret (nicknamed Peggy) and Helen. The family moved to Santa Barbara when Elsie was 4. She attended the Santa Barbara Girls School, where she was very active and social.
She married a local Santa Barbara boy, William “Bill” Hunt, with whom she had four children; John, Marcia Holiday, Robert and George.
Growing up, Elsie’s mother was the local dance teacher at what is now the Montecito Country Club. Additionally, for a while her mother managed the Edgecliff Beach Club at the end of Eucalyptus Road (now a rebuilt private residence), and Elsie actually lived there for a time. Elsie worked some summers at the Miramar Hotel selling sunscreen and snacks.
After marriage, Elsie and Bill moved to Buellton, where they ran a small farm during the war. After the war, Bill worked for Pea Soup Andersen’s and the family moved several times. By 1959, the family settled in Santa Barbara for good and lived at several residences throughout the city.
Elsie and Bill Hunt had been many things in their day (farmers, parents, marketing professionals), but they hit their stride when they became real estate brokers and opened Hunt Realty in about 1960. The two had a small company that was well respected; they operated with the utmost in professional ethics for nearly 30 years until their retirement. Their grandson, Mark Ashton Hunt, and his wife, Sheela, are now real estate agents with Village Properties in Montecito, carrying on this family tradition here in town.
Elsie lost her husband of 55 years, Bill Hunt in 1996. Shortly after, she became close to a long-time family friend, Myron Gretler, (known to friends as Gret), who had also been widowed, and the two of them spent the past 16 years keeping each other company and enjoying dinners and time together, and ultimately moving to Casa Dorinda, where she has been these past 11 years.
Elsie died quietly with Gret by her side, under the care of Hospice at Casa Dorinda, at 92 years of age, as a result of old age and a revisit from cancer that she thought had been overcome in 1990.
Elsie was also very active at All Saints By-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Montecito, having been married there and raising her four children in the church. She enjoyed her Bible study group.
Elsie is survived by her four children — John (wife Mary) of Ashland, Oregon; Marcia (husband Bill) of Seattle, Washington; Robert (wife Annie) of Vermont; and George, of Austin, Texas. Also surviving are four grandchildren: Caitlyn, Colin Claire and Mark Hunt and his wife, Sheela; her great granddaughter, Sareena Hunt (Mark and Sheela’s daughter, a sophomore at Santa Barbara High School); and her nieces, Nancy Brandt-Ericson and Alice Rooney, her nephew, David Gledhill (his wife Patti Jacquemain); and by her dear friend Mr. Gretler.
A memorial service will be held in early July at Casa Dorinda. For more information please email Mark Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org.