Susan Elizabeth (Bird) Hunt


image of Susan Elizabeth Hunt

Susan Elizabeth Hunt

After a short illness, Sue passed away in hospital on Saturday, March 16th, 2024 at the age of 91, with her husband, Bud by her side.

Susan “Sue” Elizabeth (Bird) Hunt was born January 30, 1933, in Spokane, WA to Robert G. and Elizabeth “Betty” A. (Theobald) Stauffer of Kansas. Betty had chosen to give birth in Spokane under the care of her brother-in-law, Dr. John T. Bird. Sue’s father, Robert, had remained in Kansas to tend to the family farm. One week after Sue was born, Betty died of medical complications. This was the depression era and the family in Kansas was impoverished so, when she was four months old, Sue was adopted by her uncle and aunt, Dr. John T. and Susan (Theobald) Bird. Sue’s 12-year-old brother, Robert “Bob” Stauffer also came to live with the Bird family.

As a child, Sue attended Hutton Public Elementary school and Washington Junior High in Spokane. She was an active Girl Scout earning, in 1946, the Curved Bar Award, Girl Scouting’s highest rank. In the fall of 1946, Sue entered St.Paul’s Boarding School for Girls in Walla Walla, WA, graduating in 1950. She then attended Whitman College for two years and Washington State College (WSU) graduating with a BS degree in biology. Sue then moved to New England, enrolling in a year-long Medical Technologist course at Boston Memorial Hospital. She returned to Washington and began work as a Med Tech.

On July 28, 1956, Sue married Dr. James “Bud” Harry Hunt, Jr. in a ceremony at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Seattle. Sue and Bud first met when they were classmates at Whitman College, but it wasn’t until her return to Washington that they were reunited and began courting. Bud was a recent graduate of the University of Washington Dental School and after the wedding, they were off to New York where Bud served in the United States Coast Guard Public Health Service. Stationed on Staten Island, they began to raise a family with the birth of their son, Jim in 1958. Bud left the service in 1959 and he and Sue moved back to Western Washington where he established his own dental practice, first in Tacoma and later in Seattle. Their family grew to five with the births of John and Ann, and they settled into their current family home in Innis Arden, Shoreline.

Sue loved the outdoors and shared that with her family. She introduced Bud to snow skiing, which led to the whole family skiing together nearly every weekend in the winter when the kids were young.  She also enjoyed tennis and hiking with friends – even climbing Mt. St. Helens.

In 1979, Sue suffered a partially disabling stroke. However, her resolve to live a full life afterwards, aided by the devotion of her husband and children, was amazing. Sue regained her speech and learned to drive again. She became active with the Evergreen Stroke Association and volunteered countless hours visiting patients at Northwest Hospital (Seattle) with packets of information and resources, along with messages of support and hope in their recovery process. Sue spoke to support groups locally, presenting a slide show of her post-stroke travels. She joined a popular 80’s walking group, Volksmarching, with whom she was featured in the local papers sharing her post-stroke accomplishments. Her dedication to this community of stroke survivors earned her many friends and she and the “Stroke Club,” as she called them, enjoyed many adventures together including travel and sailing.

Sue was a devoted friend and understood that to have a friend, you had to be a friend. She was very sociable and enjoyed meeting new people. She had a beautiful smile and loved to laugh. She would often invite friends and family to have lunch at the University Women’s Club to which she belonged. Sue loved to attend productions at Seattle Children’s Theater with her grandchildren and the Seattle Ballet’s Nutcracker was a holiday tradition with them as well.

She was artistic and creative – winning awards for her Dahlia floral arrangements; stitching intricate needlepoint canvases with her “stitch and bitch” group; also, handmaking beaded jewelry and fusion glass artwork, which she sold or, more often, gave away as gifts.

Sue loved to travel, having visited China, India, Europe, and Russia. Post-stroke, she traveled in the sag wagon accompanying Bud during bicycling group trips in Chile, Holland, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand and around the Pacific Northwest and Canada. She and the family vacationed several times a year in Lake Chelan and, in her later years, she was a Snowbird (no pun intended) as she and Bud split time between their homes in Shoreline and Tucson, AZ. Sue’s outgoing nature and love of life drew people in, and she developed many friendships in Tucson.

For the last five years, Sue called Aegis Living in Shoreline her home. As was typical, she created many friendships there, too. She was loved and adored by the staff and residents, and her radiant smile and bright spirit earned her the nickname, Sunshine Sue. She loved her Aegis family and the time spent with them on Saturday field trips, the nightly movies and getting creative in the art room.

Sue is predeceased by her brother, Robert B. Stauffer and her son, James “Jim” Harry Hunt III. She is survived by her husband James “Bud” Hunt of Shoreline, WA; son John David Hunt of Everett, WA; Daughter Ann Marie O’Connor (Gib Mastri) of Edmonds, WA; three grandchildren, one great-grandchild and numerous cousins, nephews, and nieces.

The family thanks Aegis Living, Shoreline, for their excellent care of Sue over the past few years.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 20th at 12:00PM, at St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church 722 N. 145th St. Shoreline, WA.

Following the memorial service, a Celebration of Life will be held at 2:00PM  on the third floor at Aegis Living Shoreline, 14900 1st AV NE

Private Family Burial, Acacia Memorial Park, Seattle, WA

In lieu of flowers, contributions to Seattle Young Adult Stroke Survivor group by check payable to Seattle YASS (mail to Ann O’Connor -620 Glen St. #302, Edmonds, WA 98020) or by PayPal to

5 Responses to “Susan Elizabeth (Bird) Hunt”

  • Greg Ferrer says:

    Dear Bud, John and Ann.

    I am so sorry for your loss. Sue was one amazing person. What a fighter. She suffered so many setbacks over the years but never gave up. Her attitude and stamina was an inspiration to us all. I have SO MANY great memories of her and your entire family. Ski trips. Snorkeling. Boy Scouts. Just general messing around and exploring the ravines of Innis Arden.

    Thanks for the memories and your continued friendship.

    With love,

    The Ferrer Family. Greg, Shannon, Bijoy and Champaka

  • Greg Ferrer says:

    I’m not real religious. And I hope it’s okay to say this. But if there IS a Heaven, now my mother, Barb, has some VERY GOOD company. They were such good friends and had many long [landline – LOL] phone conversations. My mom loved your mom so much.

    Greg Ferrer

  • Chris Richards says:

    A remarkable and joyous woman. She was so kind to me! Gone but not forgotten.

  • Karl and Fran Winckel says:

    Sue was a very special, sweet lady who always had a smile on her face. I was amazed at all of the beautiful handwork that she did using just one hand. She never complained and I loved seeing her scooting around the park here in Tucson. She was a lovely lady and Bud, you and Sue made a very special couple. Our hearts go out to you.

  • Donna Ray Knox says:

    Bub, Sorry to hear of Sue’s passing. My prayers and thoughts are with you and family. We had many happy times with our group here Tucson on Thursday evening.We have missed you both. I will miss Sue and her wonderful Smile she always had ln her face.

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