Dr. Claire Hunt

Mon, 08/15/2022 - 1:15pm

Dr. Claire Hunt, 91, of Boothbay, Maine, died peacefully at home on Aug. 9, 2022, surrounded by her family.

She was predeceased by her husband, William Hunt, and her granddaughter, Jane Thompson, but is survived by her five children: Edward Basco of Bargemon, France; Nancy Matejak of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; Susan Bartos of East Boothbay, Maine; Loraine Thompson of Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan; and Barbara Weigel of Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan. Her legacy also includes eight grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

Born in Massachusetts, Claire spent most of her life in Michigan, where she attained her undergraduate and graduate degrees, culminating in a Ph. D in behavioral psychology from Wayne State University. Her professional career in educational administration was a distinguished one.

At the time of her retirement in 1990, she was director of Special Education for Grosse Pointe Public Schools, had authored a teen suicide-prevention guide used throughout Michigan and other states, and was a sought-after speaker to state and national educational groups.

Next to her family, perhaps Claire’s greatest legacy is her involvement with the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay as a founder, board chair, tireless volunteer and driving force behind its inception, design and expansion. Known informally as “the godmother of the Gardens,” Claire’s extraordinary passion, leadership, and organizational expertise helped shape a wooded multi-acre plot of land along the Back River into a world-class botanical mecca that attracts nearly 350,000 visitors each year and contributes almost $42 million to Maine’s economy.

Claire’s family will hold a celebration of her life at the Gardens at a later date and would welcome contributions in her memory to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, P.O. Box 234, Boothbay ME 04537.

Hall’s of Boothbay has care of the arrangements. To extend online condolences, please visit