Click the link below to read more updates about Tom from his family:

Singing together somewhere in time

Singing together somewhere in time
Tom & Gwen

Tom Hunter

For information about Tom Hunter, his ideas, and his music, visit

Tom Hunter left all of us a legacy of celebration, music, compassion and giving to our communities. Throughout his lifetime, Tom worked with people of all ages and backgrounds to teach new ways of learning and living. We all are committed to "keeping it going" by remembering his smile and his music and his voice.

There was a tremendous outpouring of support for the Hunters during this transition, and the family is deeply grateful.


Tom Hunter was diagnosed on May 20, 2008 with Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease and died on June 20, 2008.

On September 2, 2008, a letter from the National Prion Disease Pathology Research Center confirmed that Tom had what's called 'sporadic CJD' (sCJD). His was an extremely rare type of sCJD that one in 4.5 million people are diagnosed with annually. We're very grateful that he did not have the inherited form, but it's critically important that a cure for all forms of CJD (caused by scrapy proteins in the brain which can take up to 40 years to manifest and kill their victims) are found. All forms of CJD are fatal.

The most accurate and up-to-date site for learning about CJD and supporting efforts to find a cure is .

Tom and Gwen

Tom and Gwen

Tom and Aeden

Tom and Aeden
May 8,2008

Tom and Irene

Tom and Irene
May 24th, 2008

To live on this earth
you must be able
to do three things:
To love what is mortal;
To hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
And when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

mary oliver


Please help provide financial support by sending whatever you can. We are hoping for lots of $25. hugs- or whatever works for you - to help the Hunters with medical and transition expenses. They also want to protect the wetlands, forest and farm* that have seen so much of their love over the years and to help keep Tom's work alive in the world. (*Contributions given specifically for the mortgage have been moved with overwhelming gratitude to the new Tom Hunter Memorial Account described above.) If you wish to make a donation please make checks payable to Tom Hunter Family Donation (or to Tom Hunter Memorial Account) and mail to:

Whatcom Educational Credit Union
PO Box 9750
Bellingham, WA 98227

If you'd prefer to donate safely and securely using your credit/debit card, use this button:

Now the focus narrows to just the steps ahead. You have a chorus of knowing, loving voices all over this planet to sing you home.


Many of the photos from this page and also new ones have been moved to their own page and can be viewed by clicking on the link below. If you have photos to share please send them to us at Thanks.

Singing with friends

Singing with friends
Salem Oregon 1990

Laughing at a story

Laughing at a story
June 7th from Marie
"All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today" Indian Proverb
with love from Gege Manolis

Tom and Irene

Tom and Irene
June 2008


To leave a comment for Tom and his family please scroll to the bottom of this page, and then come back up to today's date on the left side. Click on "comments" and leave your message in the box on the right side of the comments page. Your comment will not show up immediately as all comments go through the postmaster. They will be posted as soon as possible. If your comment is not posted within 24 hours please contact the postmaster at

There are many ways to help. Please click on under Music, Meals, Flowers, Yard Work, Farm Work below or look for the How to Help section opposite the daily comments on the right side of the blog towards the bottom.

The Hunter Family

The Hunter Family

Words from Tom's Dad

May 26
Somebody noticed what you did today
Somebody noticed little things along the way
How you watched how you listened to what children do and say;
Somebody noticed what you've done alway
'Tis grace has brought us safe thus far,
And grace will lead us home.

May 29
And the Angels took care of him.

May 31st
The Lord bless and keep you. The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you, your family, the city of Bellingham, and the world, peace-- both now and forevermore. Amen

Tom with the love quilt

Tom with the love quilt
From First Congregational Church of Bellingham

Aeden, Tom & Willard Hunter

Aeden, Tom & Willard Hunter
Three Generations

Tom and Cindy

Tom and Cindy
Prayer rocks from Lummi Island
"Sometimes healing is more than getting better. Sometimes it's love revealed....." - Tom Hunter

Aeden and Tom, April '08

Aeden and Tom, April '08
For my dad
May 20, 2008

Here I sit, feeling my feet on the floor
An image of grounding you’ve used lots before
Trying to make sense of this surreal, difficult time
While loving where I came from with infinite pride

It’s been amazing how many lines from your songs
Have been lights in the darkness when it all feels wrong
Have comforted, questioned, been profound and fun
Your capacity for humanity is second to none

This world is a better place because of who you are
And that’s known widely – near and far
In music, education, and matters of the heart
You’ve bettered lives right from the start

I’m so proud of you, of where I’ve come from
You’re a huge part of me and have taught me a ton
About being human, love, laughter, and tears
And how to keep going despite life’s fears

Please don’t worry about the rest of us
We’ll take care of each other and will always feel your touch
Your laughter, music, compassion, and voice
Will always be with us in the midst of life’s noise

So here I sit, feeling my feet on the floor
With love and gratitude deep down in my core
I’m so grateful for the time we have had
You’ll always be my mentor, my best friend, my dad.


Irene and Tom last summer

Irene and Tom last summer
The very best dad in the world
Laugh Lines

i’ve always loved your laugh lines,
the way you smile ear to ear
and you always have this easy way
of crushing any fears.
we’ve shared so much so far in life
and i’m so proud and glad
that i can say with confidence
i have the very best dad.

from raspberries to hasty moves
and the cutting edge again?!
to times when you have comforted me
over troubles with my friends.
you know how to relieve the weird feelings
when things don’t feel quite right
you let me put them in your hands
and throw them into the night.

we’ve shared trees against the sky
and books, poems, songs and walks
you taught me respect by looking again
and i’ve always loved our talks.
from dream stories to lake padden eagles
and coloring outside the lines
i can say with ease and confidence
you have the most lovely mind.

i remember all those wakeful nights
and running down the hall
you and mom sang lullabies
and sound asleep i’d fall.
i’m your goofball now—
i’ll always be whether we’re near or far
i’ll hold you close in who i am
no matter where we are.

i know it’s getting harder
to take in this fantastic world
just know i love you—i always will—
as daddy’s little girl.


May 22, 2008 After baptizing little Maddie

May 22, 2008 After baptizing little Maddie
Exchanging blessings

To My Old Brown Earth by Pete Seeger

To my old brown Earth
And to my old blue sky
I'll now give these last few molecules of I

And you who sing
And you who stand near by
I do charge you not to cry

Guard well our human chain
Watch well you keep it strong
As long as sun will shine

And this our home
Keep pure and sweet and green
For now I'm yours
And you are also mine

with thanks to Cori Dusmann

May 22, 2008 At the Shepherd's

May 22, 2008 At the Shepherd's

"I want my music to be grounded in the realities of what kids and teachers know. I want it to 'ring true; as it helps people laugh, cry, remember, celebrate, and learn."

— Tom Hunter

Tom in his backyard Labor Day 03

Tom in his backyard Labor Day 03
"I've been visiting schools to sing songs for almost 30 years. I've been in a lot of classrooms, presented a lot of workshops, talked with a lot of teachers, and sat on a lot of floors with kids. If I bring reminders of what's important in education, they come from finding those moments when the heart shows up, moments that peek around the corner and need to be invited farther into the room so we can see them. Such moments might seem ordinary but they are way too important to be captured in test scores. They fill teachers (and sometimes children) to overflowing."

Quoted from Tom's introduction to his book of essays : "Visits to the Heart of Education: Remembering What's Important" (available from Song Growing Company - see link below)
"But what if we can't get there?
What if it's too far?
What if we can't find our way from right here where we are?
What if it doesn't matter
that we can't find our star?
What if God comes anyway
right here where we are?"
-Tom Hunter

Northwest Teachers Camp

Northwest Teachers Camp
from Cori Dusmann


If you have photos of Tom that we can use on the blog, please email them to us at
Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
and frightened. Don't open the door to the study
and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.

Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

Rumi, the Sufi Poet

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015


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