Folsom Funeral Service

Hunt, Bernice

Bernice Andrus (Hayes) Hunt, a resident of New Pond Village in  Walpole for almost 18 years, and a Summer resident of Brewster for most of her life, died Monday, March 23rd, 2009 at the Caritas Norwood Hospital in Norwood, MA after a brief illness.  She was 97.  Bernice was born Aug 18, 1911, in Dayton, Ohio, the daughter of John Howard, and Marion (Coburn) Hayes.  She grew up in Arlington, Massachusetts and  graduated from Arlington High School with the Class of 1928 and from Wheelock College with the Class of 1932. In 2002 she attended her 70th college reunion as the oldest living graduate, and was honored to lead the procession of graduates along with the president of the college. 

Mrs Hunt worked as the Director of Girl Scouting in Connecticut and in Massachusetts.  She also taught kindergarten, and during the time she lived in Jamaica Plain and ran her own dancing school.  Bernice worked as the Director of Religious Education at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Jamaica Plain, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Wellesley, St. John’s Episcopal Church in Newtonville, and St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Dorchester. While living in Dorchester Bernice became a member of the Codman English Handbell Ringers in which she eventually served in the director’s capacity for over 30 years.  She carried her love of bell ringing with her to Walpole where she established the New Pond Village Bell Choir, which she taught and directed until just recently. 

Mrs Hunt’s church life was extensive.  She was asked to read at the World Day of Prayer service as a young clergy wife in 1946 and was involved with that organization ever since.  Her leadership skills made her a natural for the Church Women United organization.  She was their State President from 1973 to 1976, a regional coordinator, and a member of the National Board’s Common Council.  In 1980 Church Women United bestowed upon her its highest honor, the Valiant Woman Award.  She has also been an officer and/or on the Board of the Church Periodical Club in the Diocese of Massachusetts for many years.  St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Dedham is her current home parish.  She began ringing the tower bells there in 1979, and in 1984 became the primary chimemaster.  She and her team rang the bells on Sundays and on New Years Eve, including this past one.

Drawing on her lifetime of summers on Cape Cod, Mrs Hunt became a published author in 1994.  A While Ago …… In Brewster is a history of her personal memories and family photographs depicting the adventures of vacationing on Cape Cod in the days before electricity and running water.  Bringing her bells to  Brewster, Mrs Hunt has participated in “Let Freedom Ring” on July 4th since 1995.  Organizing her family and neighbors, she directed the official “13 Rings” exactly at 2 PM, joining with other ringers across the country and as far away as Guam.  The Town of Brewster honored Bernice in 2007 by designating her the “Elder Brewster Honoree” for the Brewster in Bloom parade.

She was the wife of the late Reverend Warren G. Hunt, her high school sweetheart and classmate, whom she married in 1938; and the sister of the late Richard C. Hayes.  She is survived by her son, Robert Gardner Hunt of Aledo, Texas; her daughter, Judith H. Scherzo of Essex Fells, New Jersey; her six grandchildren, Dianna, Rebecca, Jodi, Mauri, Timothy and Gregory; and three great grandchildren.  A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, March 28, 2009 at 2 PM at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 59 Court Street, Dedham, MA.  Private interment will be in Mt Hope Cemetery in Boston.  In lieu of flowers donations to the Brewster Historical Society, Box 1146, Brewster, MA  02631 or to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 59 Court Street, Dedham, MA 02026 for the Bell Tower Maintenance Fund, would be appreciated.

Guestbook Entries

  1. Rev. William Underhill
    March 26th, 2009 | 5:43 pm

    My sincere condolences to Bernice’s family. I remember her and Warren very well. Each had a long and distinquished ministry in Massachusetts. Bernice was a kind and gracious person with many gifts. I may be mistaken, but if memory serves me well she had a long and gifted work with a handbell choir she organized, trained and conducted for many years. They played at many locations throughout the diocese, including at least once at St. Chrysostom’s Church in Wollaston while I was rector there. I have fond memories of her and Warren, and know she will make beautiful music with our Lord in heaven. Hers was a life to be celebrated with joy and thanksgiving.

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Folsom Funeral Service

Folsom Funeral Service