OBITUARY

David Paul Hunter

June 11, 1945August 2, 2020

Well, 2020 continues to be an unmitigated disaster. Our beloved "Pop-Dave" has cast off his last line.

David P. Hunter, 75, of St. Pete Beach, FL & Beach Haven, NJ (formerly of Newtown, PA and Moorestown, NJ) passed away with family and friends by his side. David was born in the Brooklyn Naval Yard, grew up in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania, graduated from Ursinus College and received his Master's in Healthcare Administration from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

David was a legend in healthcare. As the son of two nurses, he began as a nursing home orderly, became a hospital CEO (Nicholas H. Noyes in Dansville, NY and Burlington County Memorial Hospital in Mount Holly, NJ), was COO of Voluntary Hospitals of America, the largest national network of non-profit hospitals in the US, and was CEO of VHA Supply, a national group purchasing organization before founding The Hunter Group - the premier healthcare turnaround firm of the late-‘80s, ‘90s and early 2000s. There is no denying the impact The Hunter Group had on healthcare, focusing on turnarounds, mergers, healthcare system development and performance improvement. Fortunately, in January of 2020, David was able to join many of his colleagues for a Hunter Group reunion. David was featured in numerous articles including the cover of the New York Times business section “Bitter Pills for Ailing Hospitals” (10/31/1999). He was also selected as #23 on Modern Healthcare’s inaugural list of the Most Powerful People in Healthcare (8/26/2002). From his days of teaching hospital administration at Duke University in the mid-’70s to his recent affiliation with his alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health (where there is an endowed scholarship in his name), David never stopped mentoring leaders in healthcare. There are generations of healthcare executives that have benefited from David’s insight, wit and friendship.

And while he was a force in the healthcare industry, his "work hard, play harder" mentality made him a larger than life personality. He had a love of the water, beginning with his early days of fishing in a little boat on the Susquehanna River. He graduated to sailing on the Chesapeake Bay, to running his own fishing boats along the Jersey Shore and Boca Ciega Bay in St. Pete Beach...even earning his US Coast Guard Captain's License. He was an avid fisherman and taught multiple generations to fish, often talking first timers into kissing their first fish caught or biting the heads off shrimp. David was a father and grandfather to people that extended well beyond his actual family. His generosity knew no bounds, and if you met him, he likely bought you a beer at Ott’s, Buckalew's, The Temperance House, The Black Whale, The Wharf or one of many other bars he loved. There are many bartenders that will miss him (and his large tips)!

David was fortunate to be able to take incredible trips with friends and family. He and Mary visited many countries and enjoyed different cultures and pubs the world over. The fishing trips he took with his sons and friends all over the east coast, Florida and Costa Rica made for great stories and memories. And the fishing trips he enjoyed with his grandsons to Key West, Boca Grande and other Florida fishing spots, created bonds that will last for generations, and since Pop-Dave’s rule was that none of those tales can be shared with their parents, many of us will never know the mischief wrought.

David is survived by his loving wife Mary (née Roberts) who was at his side for 46 years including the last few months as he fought pancreatic cancer; his five sons: Perry 'Rip' (Liz) Warren, Edward 'Ned' (Patti) Hunter, Seth (Maureen) Warren, Josh (Kathleen) Warren and Eli (Roberta) Hunter. Grandchildren: Charles (Kathryn) Warren, Molly (Greg) Dobkin, Becca & Anna Belle Warren; Paden & Meredith Hunter; Hunter, Christian & Quinn Warren; Olivia, Ben & Lily Warren, Kait & Colin Sullivan; and Charly Hunter...and many, many friends that were also family including David & Karen Brock and family; Jan, Karl & Kyle Larsson; David Gillon and so many more. David was preceded in death by his parents Edward & Dorothy Hunter and his grandson Peter Warren.

We mourn a man that was larger than life and we’ll "have to go on with our party without him.” But since the pandemic is preventing us from having a party that is worthy of his memory, we plan to have a big celebration at a later date. Until that time, since it’s five o’clock somewhere, hoist a drink with your friends and family in his honor.

Donations in David's memory may made be to:

A Love for Life (funds pancreatic research in partnership with Abramson Cancer Center at The University of Pennsylvania) 117 N. Lincoln Ave., Newtown, PA 18940 or aloveforlife.us

Hunter Group Health Policy and Management Student Scholarship Award (scholarship David created - please use code DHUNT) University of Pittsburgh PAE, 107 Park Plaza, 128 North Craig St., Pittsburgh, PA 15260 or giveto.pitt.edu

Riverview Health Foundation (hospital where he received care near end-of-life & his son Seth is CEO) 395 Westfield Rd., Noblesville IN 46060 or riverview.org/foundation

Services

No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

David Paul Hunter

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Tom Rhody

August 29, 2020

I was privileged to know Dave long, long ago at Ursinus College. He was a man's man, a great gonzo man's man. And under his rabelaisian love of life, I recall a man with a very squared away sense of values and a keen intelligence. A big soul.

Mo Vear

August 28, 2020

Seth,

So sorry to hear about the loss of your dad. While I may not have known him, he was clearly an amazing human being who passed on to you (and yours) all the things that truly matter. We are keeping all of you in our prayers and lifting your dad up in spirit. Love, Mo, Andy, Danny and Mark

Anthony Sanzo

August 12, 2020

Professor, There was never one like you and it is unlikely that one will follow. From the early days at Duke to our most recent encounter, your ability to mix education with humor, your well told stories, and your generosity will be chief among the memories of you I will hold close. You are and will be missed by many, not just by this insignificant student who owes you so much. Rest peacefully.

Linda Orndorff

August 11, 2020

My heartfelt sympathy goes out to Mary and the Hunter Family. May your memories of him help you through this difficult time. He brought so much good into this world for our health care system. It sounds like I missed the boat when I didn’t take him up on going fishing. I don’t know if I would have wanted to kiss my fish that I caught or bite the head off of the shrimp though! I’m sad that I only had the pleasure of meeting him once. He had to have been a wonderful person. May you Rest In Peace.

Jonathan Shapiro

August 11, 2020

Sincere condolences to Mary and the Hunter family. Even though it's been > 40 years since we saw you, that constant grin and nonstop busting the chops of that Ivy league jock from northern MN will always be with me. And, YOU were one of the few Duke faculty who really believed in me and acknowledged how my obscure undergraduate major in cultural anthropology "... gave me the unique ability to interact with primitive tribes of physicians!"
I so regret not connecting with you since our Duke days, especially knowing how much you loved fishing and being out on the water - a passion I've had since boyhood. RIP Big Guy; you were THE ABSOLUTE BEST! Jonathan (and Susan) Shapiro

Marc Gelinas

August 9, 2020

I first met Dave 43 years ago when he ambled in, after what must have been a really fun weekend, to begin teaching a MHA course on ambulatory care at Duke University. One year later, I joined him and his marvelous family at BCMH in New Jersey. Six years later, he was Best Man at our wedding at Mardi Gras in New Orleans. One of everyone's favorite pictures from that weekend was Dave in his top hat at the wheel of the street car that took many people to the church. So many great times! So many great memories! Dave is still a Best Man for so many of us.
Marc & Lillee Gelinas

Jim McWilliams

August 9, 2020

I remember meeting Dave in my early years in Health care at BCMH in Mt. Holly when he was the Administrator and I was the newly hired food service supervisor. Mr. Ewig, the Director of Food & Nutrition back then had me make fresh oyster stew for Dave for a special meeting during my first week of employment. Needless to say I was concerned that my time in health care would be over. Dave was so grateful and loved the stew.
He was the only Administrator that I knew during my 40 plus years in health care that would make it a point every day to roam the halls and talk to his hospital staff and patients before going home. You always knew that Dave was coming or was just there by the aroma of his pipe. RIP Dave

David Hart

August 8, 2020

Losing someone we love is nothing easy, we can realize that we are blessed to have been able to share in his life. My condolences to Mary and the Hunter and Warren families.
Be it fishing in Costa Rica ,Florida,Jersey shore or a football game or just at the local pub, every moment with Dave was always awesome.
Rest In Peace Captain Hunter

Marianne Logsdon

August 8, 2020


David Hunter was bigger than life in many ways. I am grateful that fate led me to work at the Hunter Group and to know David and his loving family.

Gail Thompson Wilson

August 7, 2020

I met you only once, but The Hunter Group, and the many of those who worked with you, had such a great and positive impact on my life. I will be forever grateful for that, and for the many friends made during that time. My prayers go out to the family, and the many friends that loved you. Sail on, David...the winds are in your favor.

FROM THE FAMILY

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