Longtime Phoenix attorney and community leader
Raymond M. Hunter: A Man of Great Accomplishment; A Model of Courage
By Greg O’Brien
To say that Raymond M. Hunter was a loving husband and father and a man of resolute courage is to say the sun rises in the morning by chance. The understatement is lost in the greatness of the man and the moment.
Ray, 67, A Native of Arizona and an accomplished Phoenix attorney specializing in commercial and business law for more than 40 years, died Friday night, December 2, at his home in Phoenix after a long, intense battle with cancer. His fight taught others around him—family, friends and colleagues—the meaning of love, passion and perseverance; how to stand firm in ways unimaginable. Beyond a lengthy resume that would render most of us underachievers, his enduring legacy is his heart and a spirit of will that lives on. Ray, principal of a boutique Phoenix law firm specializing in a wide range of business and commercial matters, gave new meaning to the term: a man in full.
An avid reader and the dutiful husband of Martha McGeorge Hunter for 41 years, Ray always believed that a good story tells itself. And so it does.
Born in Phoenix in 1944 to parents Franklin and Lois Hunter (both deceased), he was student body president at Central High School, which began a lifelong pattern of becoming president of every organization or cause that he embraced. He attended Stanford University, where he was president of Delta Upsilon fraternity, played on the collegiate basketball team, and was graduated in 1966 with a Bachelor of Arts. He then attended George Washington University, where he earned a law degree.
His first professional assignment was as a staff assistant in Washington, D.C. to then U.S. Senator Paul J. Fannin of Arizona, and he later clerked for Justice Jack D. H. Hayes of the Arizona Supreme Court. In years to follow, he became a partner with the Phoenix law firm Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite and was also General Counsel and Senior Vice President of MeraBank. In 2008, he established the sole proprietorship of Raymond M. Hunter, P.C.
A renaissance man in all ways, Ray treasured geography in the belief that it defined human history. He read atlases in bed as if they were novels. He was a far-sighted and consummate critical thinker, a man of great intellect and even greater gentleness. An experienced world traveler, Ray loved Arizona, and his appreciation for the state’s extraordinary natural beauty was beyond measure. He hiked regularly in the Grand Canyon and frequented perhaps every mountain and significant trail in Arizona. He was always humbled by what he saw, and never failed to be awed by the beauty of Arizona’s vast skies.
Ray also contributed generously to professional organizations and community groups— among them, The Wellness Community-Arizona that last spring launched the Hunter Hope Fund to honor Ray’s contributions during his two-year tenure as the organization’s board chairman.
In addition, he was board chairman of Audubon Arizona;former Thunderbirds chairman of the Phoenix Open PGA golf tournamentpast Big Chief of The Thunderbirds and a life member; past chairman of the Valley Field Riding & Polo Cub; past chairman of the City of Phoenix Commissions on Housing and Human Relations; past vice chairman of the Central Phoenix Commission for Development of City of Phoenix Downtown Specific Plan; past president of the Orpheum Theatre Foundation; past president of Luke’s Men; and past president of the visiting Nurse Service.
Fully, he was a man in full.
Ray is survived by his wife, Martha, and three children: Matt Hunter of Brooklyn, NY;
Brian Hunter and wife Stephanie of Portland, Ore.; and Dr. Molly Hunter and husband Marcos Robles of Tucson. He also is survived by four treasured grandchildren: Monica Beatrice Hunter-Hart of Northampton, MA; Libby Ellen Hunter; Maria Elena and Javier Hunter Robles; a sister and brother-in-law, Janice and Terry Hoeschler; and a brother and sister-in-law, Jim and Joanne Hunter.
A memorial service will be held 3 pm Monday, December 19 at St. Francis Xavier Church at 4715 North Central Avenue. In remembrance, contributions in Ray’s honor may be made to Audubon Arizona, 3131 S. Central Ave., 85040 or the Hunter Hope Fund of the Wellness Community-Arizona, 360 E. Palm Lane, 85004
The resume and range of his accomplishments do not begin to tell the story of Raymond M. Hunter. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.”
Ray Hunter was braver than most for a lifetime.
And those who knew and loved him are all the better for it.
(Greg O’Brien, a former Arizona Republic writer, is Ray Hunter’s brother-in-law)