John Stephen Hunt, 85, writer and global human rights activist based in Chicago, died March 17, of natural causes in Chicago.
Hunt came out as a 20-year-old gay man during his U.S. Army Service. For years he was a resourceful link and activist-connector for American and emerging worldwide LGBT rights movements. He lived at The Malden Lakefront Property group, on Chicago’s north side.
He was born in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Aug. 20, 1935. He traveled to and lived in Canada, Mexico, UK, France, Germany and Dominican Republic and took special interest in post-apartheid South Africa. He was U.S. Correspondent for Out! New Zealand Magazine. In 2000 he helped champion and sponsor the early development of Our World Center in Lugansk and Kiev, Ukraine. His fist lover, Marine A. Perez-Minino and a later lover, Harry Gregory of Minneapolis, who succumbed to AIDS, each had posts in diplomacy (Dominican Republic, Turkey).
Hunt was generous with his skills and speaking time during a years-long successful recovery he made through New Town Alano Club, Chicago. He also gave contributions and media counsel to Gerber/Hart Library and Archives, He was a co-founder of Lambda Resource Center for the Blind, a program of Horizons, Chicago. Hunt frequently encouraged younger writers, reporters, and artists. He fostered four children of Hindu faith in Kancheepuram, India.
Apart from his global travel, over the course of his life, he made his home in Michigan, West Virginia, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Oregon, North Carolina, Washington D.C., Colorado, New Mexico, Indiana, New York, California, and Massachusetts, settling in Chicago in spring, 1971. Hunt was an associate member of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, attended Unity in Chicago, and was a student of Religious Science under Dr. Carleton Whitehead at Water Tower Place. He was an early graduate of The Phoenix Project, a national grief-healing group process. As a senior, he benefited as a counselee of CJE, Chicago. A trained direct psychic counselor, he was recognized by American Association of Professional Psychics.
He especially identified with the spiritual teaching of ancient Egypt, the Great Tradition. Hunt once said, “I am grateful my lifetime occurred during a period in human history when the essential meanings of our spiritual and cosmic situation were even more fully unfolding on the planet.”
Hunt was educated at University High School (Ann Arbor), George Washington University, and the University of Exeter (UK), University of California/Berkeley, with a summer at Harvard University. He wrote published sonnets and read widely, encouraging others. He enjoyed gardening as an avocation and was a beekeeper. He was known and loved for his short witticisms and hoped to be remembered for his sense of humor and for being a cybernaut news-bringer and an encourager of others.
Memorial services are pending. Following cremation, he requested his ashes be scattered by friends and reconciled church members in the High Peony Garden, University of Michigan Arboretum, Ann Arbor.
He knew the Arboretum as a boy and first saw the Northern Lights there—lights that as an adult he internalized following spiritual quest, peak experiences, and enlightenment.