Joy Hunt, 87

Joy (Briggs) Hunt, age 87, of Klinger Lake in White Pigeon, died peacefully on Feb. 3, 2011, at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo after a short illness, with her family gathered around her.

Joy was born Oct. 9, 1923, in Wilmington, Del., the third child of Walter and Edythe (Fulton) Briggs.

She grew up in Philadelphia and attended Wilson College and the University of Pennsylvania, before she met her future husband Harry E. Hunt of Sturgis, who was a First Lieutenant in the United States Army.

They were married on April 15, 1944, and lived in both Sturgis and Philadelphia before settling in Sturgis.

Joy and Harry raised their three children (Russ, Merry, and John) in Sturgis.

Joy was active at St. John’s Episcopal Church, where she served on the Altar Guild and St. John’s Guild, and also for many years at First Presbyterian Church.

She was active with the Girl Scouts as a leader, in the Sturgis Garden Club, the Hospital Guild, and her bridge club. She continued to play bridge until just a few weeks ago. She loved to garden, swim, sail, and especially loved to read a good book.

She was very active in her children’s lives when they were young, planning trips to Chicago, New York, Detroit, Boston and out West to go to art museums and zoos, and especially to spend summers at the seashore in Ocean City, N.J.

In 1961, she enrolled at Western Michigan University, where she completed her bachelor of arts degree in English and history, graduating with all A’s. She taught High School English in Constantine.

She always loved to travel, so when an opportunity presented itself to visit France, she began the first of many trips overseas — to France, Scotland, England, Norway, China, Israel, Egypt and Iceland. She rode in a hot air

balloon in France and on a camel in Egypt. When she was 65, she was in a horse stampede in Wyoming, which left her with some broken ribs, but did not deter her continued traveling.

She loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and followed their lives with great interest. She loved Prince, the therapy dog.

She is survived by her husband, Harry, who co-founded Ventline Inc. in Bristol, Ind., and to whom she was married for almost 67 years; her sons, Harry E., Jr. “Russ” and Ursula Hunt of Bradenton, Fla., and John W. Hunt of

Sturgis and Patty Hunt of Sturgis; her daughter, the Rev. Canon Meredith “Merry” Hunt and the Rev. David M. Lillvis of Sturgis; her grandchildren, Kimberly Hunt Adams of Marshall, David John (Erica) Hunt of Grandville, Matthew Hunt (Vina) Lillvis of New York, John Hunt (Denise) Lillvis of Ferndale and Chloe Noel Hunt of Sturgis; and her great-grandchildren, Nicholas and Lauren Adams, Brendan and Kelcey Hunt, and Bailey Lam Lillvis and her brother, Walter S. Briggs Jr., of Wilmington, Del.

The family will receive friends from 9:30-10:45 a.m. Monday at the Great Hall of the St. John’s Episcopal Church, 110 S. Clay St., Sturgis, followed by the funeral Eucharist which will begin at 11 a.m. The Rev. Canon Meredith Hunt will officiate.

In accordance with her wishes, cremation will follow the service. Private burial of the ashes will take place in the St. John’s Memorial Garden at a later date.

The Hackman Family Funeral Homes — Hackman Chapel, 114 S. Nottawa St., Sturgis, is entrusted with the arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a memorial donation in Mrs. Hunt’s name be directed to the St. John’s Episcopal Church, 110 S. Clay St., Sturgis, MI 49091.

Her obituary is also at, where personal messages of support may be left for the family.

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