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Obituary: Lois Hunt

Jack Scheich, president of the Committee for the Beautification of East Norwich (CBOEN), had some sad news to report to members of the civic group. He said that Richard Bock, a member of the CBOEN, saw an article on Lois Hunt, in the July 28 New York Times.

Mr. Scheich said, “Lois Hunt, former president of the Committee for the Beautification of East Norwich (and a star in her own right), has passed away.

 

“Lois was our president for several years following Winnie Curry. For those of you who didn’t know her ... Lois donated one of our Christmas trees in memory of her long-time companion and business and singing partner, baritone Earl Wrightson, who died in 1993. Lois also brought the idea of planting the daffodils all around East Norwich to the CBOEN. [A project that was carried out with great success along the main roads around the unincorporated area.]

“In addition, she single-handedly began the campaign of taking down illegal tag sale signs amongst many other achievements to make East Norwich a nicer place to live,” said Mr. Scheich. [A project Mr. Scheich has continued to champion.]

She was one of the celebrity guests at the 300th anniversary celebration of the unincorporated village that took place at Chelsea Center.

“In approximately 1996, after Earl’s death, Lois left the CBOEN and moved to Frenchtown, NJ, to be closer to her son, Jeffrey Hunt and family. Believe me, those were ‘large shoes’ to fill when I became the president,” Mr. Scheich said. He added that, unfortunately, the long obituary in The New York Times mentioned nothing of Lois’ achievements in East Norwich.

Lois Hunt, 84, was an operatic lyric soprano. She died on Sunday, July 26, of complications from open-heart surgery, The New York Times reported. Born Lois Harriet Marcus in York, Pennsylvannia, she began her singing career in junior high school. Much of her public recognition came from her appearances on the then “new media” television.

Many readers will remember Ms. Hunt’s voice as it blended with Mr. Wrightson’s as they sang on The Robert Q. Lewis Show, in the early days of television from 1953 to 1956. They also appeared on The Arthur Godfrey Show. From there, the couple went on tour, did concerts and made record albums of classic music and musicals.

The Enterprise Pilot did an interview with Ms. Hunt in the 1990s, in her charming home on Highwood Road, where the walls of her study were filled with stage memorabilia of the couple’s career. She gave singing lessons in her East Norwich home to talented young people and had great insights on what it takes to be a star: the talent to sing, but most important the desire to perform, she said. Ms. Hunt stopped singing publicly in 1987.