John Samuel Hunter II

samWOODSTOCK VALLEY, Conn. – John Samuel Hunter II was born in Hartford, Conn., on Nov. 27, 1928, and died peacefully on Nov. 21, 2022, near his home in Woodstock Valley, Conn. He was 93. Sam was the beloved husband of Pamela Peaslee Hunter, and was a wonderful father, brother, grandfather, and friend to many.

Sam was raised by his parents, Col. D. Gordon Hunter and Laura Russell Hunter, in West Hartford and Farmington, Conn. He graduated from Kingswood School in 1946, Yale in 1950, where he studied History and Engineering, and Harvard Business School in 1955.

In 1951, between Yale and Harvard, Sam enlisted in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Fort Belvoir, Va. He graduated as a Second Lieutenant. Sam’s service eventually brought him to the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, during the Korean War. Of Sam’s many lifetime accomplishments, his military service was among his proudest.

As a child, Sam’s family summered on Chebeague Island, where his lifelong love of sailing and adventures along the New England coastline began. He was a member of the Chebeague Island Yacht Club, and throughout his life sailed everywhere from the rugged coastline of northern Maine to the clear blue waters of the Caribbean. Sam enjoyed every moment on the water and was happiest at the helm of a boat or when asked to recall stories of his travels.

In 1960 Sam married Susan Ware Cross of Worcester, Mass., whom he met through mutual friends. In 1961, Sam and Sue became parents to John Samuel Hunter III, followed by Alison Louise Hunter, Deborah Holden Hunter, and Laura Russell Hunter in 1963, 1967, and 1971 respectively. Sam was an amazing father and grandfather, all of whom benefitted from his never-ending love, care, and fantastic sense of humor.

Sam had a career as a General Manager in the manufacturing field, which led the family to live in many special places including Marblehead, Mass.; Ontario, Canada; Palatine, Ill.; Lincoln, Mass.; Yarmouth, Maine and Stratham, N.H.

Sam enjoyed many activities including skiing, hiking, traveling, reading, working with his hands, learning about wooden boats, mentoring others, and above all, storytelling. Sam had a prolific ability to tell stories and almost always made himself laugh while sharing them. His love of the outdoors included a 40-year membership at the White Mountain Ski Runners “White Mules,” of North Conway, NH, where he and his family enjoyed both summer and winter activities with close friends and families from the Boston area. Sam proudly taught all four of his children to ski.

A Kingswood School reunion in 1996 became a significant event for Sam, as he bumped into an old friend, Pamela Peaslee, who was the wife of a late classmate and friend, Steve Peaslee. Pam and Sam had known each other for decades, had many friends in common including Sam’s brother, Russ, and were both available at the time. The old friends dated for two years and in 1998, Sam and Pam married in Putnam, Conn., surrounded by their families and close friends.

Sam and Pam thoroughly enjoyed their 24 years together. They had many overlapping circles of friends, which gave them frequent opportunities to travel and visit those they were fond of in locations across the U.S. and Canada, from California to Chicago, Hawaii, Banff, and beyond. In recent years, Sam and Pam spent time traveling back and forth between homes in Woodstock Valley, Conn., and Yorktown, Va., as well as frequenting many spots along the East Coast. One favorite destination was the Outer Banks of North Carolina. They made friends with everyone they met along the way.

We will greatly miss many, many things about Sam, including his hearty laugh, his wonderful storytelling, his big heart, and his unconditional love.

Sam was predeceased by parents D. Gordon Hunter and Laura Russell Hunter, a sister Peggy, and brothers David and Russell. He leaves behind his wife Pamela Peaslee Hunter of Woodstock Valley, Conn., his sister Polly Hunter Memhard of Ridgefield, Conn., and children, John Samuel Hunter III of Chicago, Alison Louise Hunter of Del Mar, Calif., Deborah Hunter Bonenfant and son-in-law Brian of Richmond, Va., and Laura Russell Hunter of Exeter, N.H. He also leaves behind five grandchildren; Joey, Emily, and Marie Bonenfant and Aiden and Ryan Hunter; and Pam’s five children.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Sam’s honor to the
Chebeague Island Historical Society,
PO Box 28,
Chebeague Island, Maine 04017