Obituaries

Christopher Jay Hunt: loving father, musician, caring soul

Christopher Jay Hunt: graduated UC Berkeley in 1979 and practiced law in the Bay Area for more than 30 years

On April 26, 2012, Christopher Jay Hunt, who lived in Berkeley for 40 years, died peacefully, holding hands with his daughter Cara, at UCSF Medical Center. He was 62 years old.

Chris was born on January 3, 1950 in Highland Park, Michigan to David and Jean Hunt, the first of three children. He attended Detroit Country Day School, supported by his father who worked at a tool and die shop and his mother who worked as a beautician and elementary school secretary. During this time Chris began to develop his passion for music, and also won the Detroit Area spelling bee, which earned him a spot in the national championships in Washington DC.

In 1968 he moved to Cambridge, MA to attend Harvard University. While there, he forged life-long relationships, played in a country rock band called Granfalloon, participated in the student movement, and in his spare time managed to graduate with a degree in English literature.

Following his graduation from Harvard, Chris returned to Michigan and met his first wife, Esta Brand, via a Berkeley-bound posting on a ride-sharing bulletin board at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He started his life in Berkeley as a high school teacher.

Eventually he landed in law school at UC Berkeley from which he graduated in 1979. There he and four close friends formed The Diminished Capacity Review, a band that continued to meet for regular practice sessions and to perform for the rest of his life.

His legal career began with a clerkship with Alfonso Zirpoli, a federal district court judge in San Francisco. Then he worked as a litigation attorney, and partner, at SF law firm Keker & Brockett for a number of years. He subsequently moved to the law firm Bartko-Zankel-Tarrant-Miller, where he flourished for nearly 20 years, specializing in intellectual property, antitrust, and litigation on behalf of victims of Ponzi schemes.

While the law was his trade for more than 30 years, it offered only a glimmer of his talents and passions. He was by all accounts an extraordinary writer, with an unmatched ability to conjure words from all corners of the English language in a quest to state every thought as precisely and eloquently as possible. He loved music deeply, from his early days attending Woodstock (as a paid ticket-holder no less) to his involvement in performance. He was often most at-home at his piano bench. He was an avid reader, an NPR enthusiast, and an overall devourer of information.

Christopher is survived by his wife, Louise Palmer, son, Damon, children from previous marriages, Sam, Rebecca and Cara, brother Dennis, sister Vicki, and parents David and Jean.

Christopher was a tremendously compassionate, loving, and caring soul, whose concern for others was a priority above himself, even to his last days. His love for, and pride regarding, his children knew no limit. He frequently cited fatherhood as his greatest passion and nowhere was his selflessness more apparent than with his children.

Christopher’s network of friends and loved ones was vast and he will be dearly missed by every one of them.

Berkeleyside is always honored to publish, at no cost, obituaries of members of the Berkeley community. Please email text and photo(s) to tips@berkeleyside.com

Print Friendly
Tagged , , ,
  • Pat Mapps

    Chris was our longtime neighbor. We will miss him. We offer deepest condolences to his family, friends, and co-workers.