St. John Tradewinds News

Alan Hunt, Pioneer in Retirement and Health Care Innovation

Alan Hunt

Alan Reeve Hunt, a Philadelphia lawyer and Quaker leader died peacefully at his home at Kendal at Longwood in Kennett Square, PA on May 28 from a progressive nerve disorder.  He was 77.

Mr. Hunt is survived by his wife of 47 years, Margot, their two sons, David and Bruce, and daughter-in-law, Alice. He and his family were winter residents of St. John, US Virgin Islands for 40 years, and had lived in Kelly, Wyoming; Swarthmore, PA and Chincoteague, VA.

He was known as an innovator in retirement planning and health care. He was one of the first in the early 1970’s to establish the legal basis for “life-care” communities that are commonplace today.  His vision for how these should be formed, financed, and governed took full expression in his leadership at Kendal, a Quaker retirement community where he was a founder, board member and Chairman for over two decades.  As Chair, he worked deliberately to develop a genuine community spirit that embodied key Quaker principles of Quaker governance, empathetic health services, and guaranteed health care. Under his guidance, the Kendal Corporation now encompasses 14 life care communities throughout the United States, with more than 2,800 residents and 1,900 employees.

The hallmark of these communities, which were very different from the standards at the time, included promoting the well-being and quality of life of the residents, the quality of work experience for those employed, and the sponsorship of  research and innovation on caring for the elderly. Mr. Hunt testified in 1989 before the Senate sub-Committee on Aging where he asserted that is far riskier to keep physical restraints on infirm patients than not to, which helped spawn the movement known as “Untie the Elderly,” a practice now embraced on a national scale.

Alan Hunt was the son of Everett Lee Hunt, Dean of Men at Swarthmore College, and Dorothy Hunt. After surviving the harrowing experience of being a student at a college where his father was Dean, he went on to get his law degree from the University of Michigan and his Master of Law from Harvard, a degree he often referred to as the world’s most obscure academic title. He was a partner for many years with Duane Morris LLP, beginning in 1955, and for the last two decades with Montgomery, McCracken, Walker and Rhoads LLP, serving at both firms in their trust and estate practices.

Hunt was a leader with high aspiration but low personal ego. He empowered colleagues, always looking for ways to give credit and energy to others. His position as one of the most respected trust and estate lawyers in Philadelphia was built on his personal warmth, his empathy for others and for his even and careful consideration of all points of view. One of his most memorable characteristics was his casually delivered but perfectly perceptive wit; he radiated humor and charm as a way of connecting with each individual at a very human level.

A memorial service will be held at Kendal at Longwood on June 16 at 4 p.m.

Memorial contributions may be sent to the Kendal Employees Fund, Kendal at Longwood, Box 100, Kennett Square, PA 19348, or to the Chincoteague Island Library Building Fund, 4077 Main Street, Chincoteague, VA 23336.

– Submitted by Family