Susan W. “Susie” Hunter, a former nursery school teacher and avid gardener, died Sept. 21 in her sleep at Edenwald Retirement Community. The former longtime Southland Hills resident was 81.
The former Susan Wills, daughter of Richard Norman Wills, a McDonogh School teacher and farm manager, and his wife, Margaret von Marees, a registered nurse, was born in Baltimore and raised on McDonogh Lane near the Owings Mills campus of McDonogh School.
Mrs. Hunter attended Roland Park Country School and graduated in 1957 from the old Hannah More Academy, where she was an equestrian and played field hockey, basketball and lacrosse.
In 1959, she earned an associate degree in early childhood education from Marjorie Webster Junior College in Washington and later obtained a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Beginning in 1959, she taught nursery school at Friends School before going to work at the cardiac unit at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. She later became secretary to Dr. Louis Lasagna in the department of pharmacology, also at the hospital, and returned to teaching nursery school students at Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church.
After the death in 1977 of her husband of eight years, Samuel Longstreth Cook, who worked in the marketing department of Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., she continued teaching at Brown Memorial until 1979, while also selling World Book Encyclopedias.
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Mrs. Hunter served from 1986 to 2007 as a member of the board of Pickersgill, and after stepping down continued volunteering with her husband at the West Towson retirement community. In honor of their long service at Pickersgill, family members endowed the Susie and Bill Hunter Endowment Fund.
She took great pride and interest in her gardens and was a member of the Roslyn Garden Club. She was a former member of the L’Hirondelle Club and had been a longtime member of the Roland Run Club.
Since 2013, she was a resident of Edenwald, where she was co-chair of the Residents' Flower Box Committee, helped arrange flowers every Tuesday for the dining room table and served as a member of the Building and Grounds Committee.
She was a 49-year active member of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Ruxton, where a private service will be held Friday.
In addition to her husband of 41 years, Mrs. Hunter is survived by her two sons, Samuel Longstreth Cook Jr. of West Towson and Charles Dohme Cook of Timonium; a brother, George S. Wills of Towson; and four grandchildren.