Ontario collector Robert Hunter dies at 79

Robert Hunter, a long-time stamp collector and president of the Cambridge Stamp Club, died on Sept. 1 at age 79.

Born on April 19, 1942, Hunter is fondly remembered as a dedicated collector, an accomplished sportsman and a passionate volunteer. Together with his wife of 51 years Jane Hunter, he was a familiar face at local shows across southern Ontario. A more than 15-year president of his local Cambridge Stamp Club, which he also served in other executive roles, “Bob” amassed a vast worldwide collection. From 1973 until 1990 – 17 years – he also worked as a mail carrier with the Cambridge Post Office.

“Bob and Jane were fixtures at local shows,” said dealer and auctioneer Bill Longley, of Waterdown, Ont. “Philately was in Bob’s blood as he worked for many years at a post office and upon retirement continued to expand his enormous collection. I certainly remember how friendly he was at shows, and you could always find him wearing his stamp club name badge.”

Aside from his philatelic accomplishments, Hunter was well known for raising world-class racing pigeons, which he supplied for the opening ceremonies at the 1976 and 1988 Winter Olympics in Montréal and Calgary, respectively. In Calgary, he placed third in the opening ceremonies’ pigeon race, earning a bronze medal. He was also a long-time member of the Cambridge Pigeon Club.

In his hometown of Cambridge, Hunter was a long-serving active member, elder and Sunday School teacher at the Lincoln Avenue United Church and later at the St. Andrews Hespeler Presbyterian Church.

“He was active in his church and drove to Central America dozens of times on missions,” said Longley. “He even employed several families devastated by a hurricane. They washed and soaked millions of stamps off paper under the warm tropical sun.”

A visitation will be held at T. Little Funeral Home, on 223 Main St. in Cambridge, Ont., on Sept. 10 from 8:30 a.m.-noon. Pandemic protocols will be followed.

A funeral service will be held later that day at 1 p.m. at Westside Church. Guests must reserve a spot at the church service as space is limited.

Hunter will be interred at the Cedar Creek Cemetery at a later date.

His family is accepting donations to help cover their funeral costs via GoFundMe.

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