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  Mildred Hunter

Everyone who knew and was inspired by Mildred Pixton Bower Hunter will be saddened to know of her death.  She was the final half of the whole of one of the greatest genealogical gifts to the Bland family. Her husband Albert Sinclair Hunter (October 21, 1908 – January 22, 1991) was the other half.  Cousins Al and Millie were an unmatchable team of avid genealogists. Both were possessed of a critical intelligence and seemingly unbounded energy, with universal interests in not only Bland family research but genealogy in general.  They were among my earliest supporters and teachers when I was still writing Vision of Unity. I first met them by mail in 1981 and our collaboration, beginning that way, continued for a decade, in which they provided a steady stream of information about the Bland family, about Al’s family line, he was the Bland (born in Green County Indiana, his grandmother was a Bland who married a Hunter, he was descended through line 25A6A), but also about other lines and about genealogy in general. Al was a big, barrel chested man with a booming voice who loved to talk genealogy. I well remember the summer of 1983 when my family visited Al and Mildred in their home in State College Pennsylvania and Al took me to the Campus of Penn State University. Though he was a full thirty years my senior and could not walk without a prosthetic aid (I don’t remember what), he surprised me by bounding up several flights of stairs while I was gasping for breath. Both were good friends, Mildred the gentle adviser and critic, who was always anxious to analyze line by line what I had written, and to provide helpful suggestions. Both were my good friends and a source of spiritual and intellectual strength in our family.
Al met Mildred at the Utah Agricultural College, where both graduated in 1938. Mildred did her graduate studies at Columbia teacher’s College in Food Science and obtained her masters degree in 1940. She taught and studied at Utah State, Iowa State and Cornell University, where she was pursuing her doctoral degree when she met and fell in love with Al Hunter. Mildred finished her PhD in Foods and Nutrition from Cornell University and she and  Al were married in September 1947.  From the time of their marriage, they divided time between their lives in academia and a love of genealogy, spurred by their religion and also, I suspect their shared drive for an active life. Their work took them to California, New York, Oregon, and Utah, Brazil and Argentina and a home base at Pennsylvania State University after 1957.  Here’s to Al and Millie!!!! St. Peter will have his hands full with them. I loved them both and they will be missed.

See my tribute to Al Hunter in AC 9-1, pp. 4-5. sources for this essay include “Short Biography of Albert S. and Mildred B. Hunter” by Alice Hunter Walker, December 2007, and Obituary notice, “Mildred Pixton Bowers Hunter 1913-2007” provided by Alice Hunter Walker.

Mildred Hunter
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