DJ Wendy Hunt - A Memorial Support Fund

For: Wendy Hunt
Wilton Manors, FL
Organizer: Kavita Heidi Hunt
DJ Wendy Hunt - A Memorial Support Fund (Wendy Hunt)
$11,052
of $5,000 goal
100% Complete
Raised by 140 donors

The Story

With a broken heart, we share with you that Wendy Hunt - known in her beloved world of music as DJ Wendy Hunt, or Wendella Blendella, or the Queen Mother of Disco - left this world on August 7.  

For all of us, this is a tremendous loss. Beyond words.

Wendy was an exceptional DJ whose keen ear and skillful hands brought forth music that packed dance floors and delighted flaggers from Boston to Florida and across the US.  She was passionate about her craft, and was never more content than when mixing music - live, or on media - from 1974 'till just this past Sunday afternoon on the Sundown mix.  Expressing her vast creativity through the medium of music, sharing her passion with dancers and flaggers, Wendy brought joy and transcendent experiences to us all.  

Wendy was also an ardent volunteer for Lab Rescue of Florida - and lover of her own adored dogs.  Wendy offered a foster home for Labs, many of whom were seniors and/or in dire health.  She nursed and loved them back to health with the help of her own dogs (Clarice, and later Idgie), then graciously released them to approved homes.  Wendy also had a decided knack for match-making rescued Labs with the perfect adopters.  On both coasts of Florida, Wendy devoted herself to the welfare of dogs in need.

Behind the public eye, Wendy often walked a delicate balance between living and dying.  In recovery from cocaine and alcohol addictions, wrestling with the rigors of bi-polar disorder and post-traumatic stress, Wendy did what was within her power to wake up each morning and see the day through.  After decades of struggle and suffering - some shared publicly, though most she endured privately - Wendy took her own life. 

Many of Wendy's friends have asked if they can help in any way.  As Wendy was of few means at this stage in her life, we would be most grateful for financial assistance with her cremation and memorial arrangements, and otherwise concluding her final affairs.  Thank you for any support you can offer.  It means more than you can imagine.


May Wendy’s bright and beautiful spark shine on in our lives. Please hold Wendy in your hearts.  We trust she is feeling our love.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on December 16, 2017

UpdateImage

Posted on December 16, 2017

Dear Friends, 


Quite a few folks contributed anonymously to Wendy's YouCaring fund, and I wanted to include you in the Thank You's - so I am posting a note here in hopes you will see it.


As well, some of the the Thank-You notes I sent through the YouCaring fundraising site seem to have vanished in the ethers.  So, hopefully this note reaches everyone. 


Thank you for your support after Wendy died.  I am grateful for your calls, notes, prayers and blessings, lodging, companionship, and generous contributions to the YouCaring fund.   


Everyone’s support made it possible for Cheryl and me to tend-to Wendy’s affairs with helping hands and kind embraces, and without financial duress. Your donations also gave a tremendous boost to Wendy’s beloved volunteer organization, Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida.    


You continue to honor and celebrate Wendy in so many ways.  Wendy’s name was included on the Congregation B’nai Olam (Fire Island Pines) Roll of Remembrance – in remembrance of those whom we loved and honored in life.  A Remembrance in Prayer in Wendy’s name was offered at the Dominican Monastery of the Mother of God.  Several memorial dance parties for Wendy have taken place (most recently, Revival A Tribute to DJ Wendy Hunt fundraiser for Poverello Center in South Florida).  I’ve heard from Wendy’s friends of their personal celebrations of love for her, with rituals and blessings of all kinds. 


Wendy and I were candid with one another about her struggle to stay here on earth.  She sometimes expressed these thoughts to others, or on social media.  We had poignant, intimate, forthright conversations about the possibility that she might one day take her own life.  Perhaps oddly, part of me imagined if the time did come that Wendy ended her life, I would be prepared.  Rationally, I was.  Emotionally, I was not.  My heart is gutted.  Bereft.  Perhaps some of you share that experience.  


As well, I am relieved and grateful that Wendy is no longer suffering.  While I don’t claim to know what happens after we die, I sense that Wendy is at peace now in a way she seldom experienced in this life.  Perhaps some of you sense this, too.  


Wendy’s generous heart and acts of caring for people and animals shine enduringly.  Her sparkling smile and buoyant laughter live in our hearts.   Wendy’s musical legacy is a lasting gift, as we listen and dance to her mixes.   


In recent years, Wendy told me several times she wanted everyone to have access to her music after she died (free-of-charge access).  Her MixCloud page - https://www.mixcloud.com/djwh8/  - currently has 34 of her mixes available to all who wish to listen and share them.  They date from 1979 to 2017.  


I have a carton-full of Wendy’s mix tapes and CD’s and aim to have them digitized in the new year, then upload them to MixCloud (I am not a techno-wiz, so this could take awhile – I welcome your suggestions for digitizing old media).  Wendy loved bringing music, dance, and joy to others.  Sharing these mixes celebrates her legacy, and I’m eager to bring this to fruition.  


For those who may not know how donations were distributed, you will find an accounting under the August 26th update, below.  If you have any questions or concerns about the funds – or anything else – please don’t hesitate to contact me.  


A remarkable storyteller named Brother Blue (the late Hugh Morgan Hill) once graced the streets of Boston and Cambridge.  I first saw Brother Blue in the late 1970’s as Wendy and I walked through Harvard Square heading to the record department at the Harvard Coop (of course!).  Blue often started / ended his stories “From the middle of the middle of me, to the middle of the middle of you …”, speaking of the heart as ‘the middle’.  


From the middle of the middle of me, to your hearts, Thank You for extending your love for Wendy to Cheryl and me during this time of loss and remembrance.  


May kindness and greater balance prevail in 2018. 


Much love,   Kavita 


Posted on September 1, 2017

UpdateImage

Posted on September 1, 2017

Dear Wendy's Community,


Your donation to Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida (LRROF) has been gratefully received.  Please see the accompanying letter for verification.


Pat Bayers of LRROF District 8 created a wonderful, loving photo presentation on Facebook in memory of Wendy, called Beloved Volunteer Wendy Hunt - you can find it by entering this phrase in the search box in Facebook:   Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida-District 8 Pasco,Pinellas,Hernando  (I cannot provide a workable link, my apologies).  Scroll to August 30th to find the post. 


In the series of images Pat composed,  it's easy to see how much Wendy loved volunteering with this group, and how committed she was to this aspect of her life. 


Thank you for your many kindnesses these recent weeks, and for reaching out in all the ways you have.  It's a heartbreaking time for all of us, for so many reasons - in our hearts, our communities, and in our world.  


Your generosity eased financial concerns after Wendy's death, and I am deeply grateful to you all for lightening my (and my spouse's) burden in this way.  The recent weeks have been emotionally stressful beyond measure, but your offerings made it possible for us to take each necessary practical step supported by your generosity and love for Wendy.  Thank you. 


As I move through Wendy's material matters each day, her laptop and paper files, her belongings, I see her recent years of life in a far broader context - the context no one else saw, and no one else knew entirely.  While it doesn't ease the heartache of loss, my appreciation for the tremendous challenges Wendy endured - and her remarkable perseverance in the face of significant physical and cognitive diminishment - is far greater now, as is my respect for the terms by which she lived and died.  


Before she died, Wendy wrote:  

I LOVE each and every friend I have.  You've been there for me through thick and thin and, for that, I'm forever grateful.


I offer you - her friends - love, respect, and heartfelt gratitude.     


This YouCaring page will no longer receive donations, and if you wish to make a donation in Wendy's memory, please consider making it to her beloved Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida:  

http://lrrof.org/donate/make-a-donation/make-an-in-memory-donation/


In the weeks ahead, I look forward to writing a note to each of you.   


With kindness, 


Kavita (Heidi)





Posted on August 26, 2017

Posted on August 26, 2017

Dear Wendy’s Loved Ones,   


A categorical accounting of Wendy’s after-death expenses is posted below, provided as promised in the August 12th update.    


The following details are offered to ease the worries of YouCaring donors who have expressed concern as to how their donations are being spent, in response to questions raised by someone on social media about the quality of Wendy’s after-death care, and claims that these YouCaring gifts are being misappropriated for personal gain. The false assertions have been removed from public view on social media, but not rescinded.    


Wendy and I often discussed dying, death, and after-death (as a student of forensics, such discussions were natural for her).  With regard to Wendy’s after-death wishes, I am following them.    


Wendy wanted to be cremated. She did not want to be buried. Several years ago, Wendy discovered it was possible to have her ashes incorporated into a “living reef” or “memorial reef”. She and I researched the cost. Much as Wendy loved the concept, the cost seemed excessive to her. So, Wendy’s ashes will be scattered in several locations she loved.     


Wendy’s body was respectfully cared-for by Ed Kalis of Edwards Cremation and Funeral Services. I contacted six funeral homes in the Fort Lauderdale area and explored their offerings carefully. For many reasons, Edwards Cremation and Funeral Services was the best choice for us. Ed Kalis is a man of caring and integrity, he lives and works in the community (generations of his family are local), and his after-death services are – and always have been – authentically gay-friendly.    


Regarding a funeral, Wendy did not wish one. Since her early days as a DJ, Wendy was clear that after she died, people should celebrate her life with music and dance (as she described, “… a big, BIG dance party …”).    


To that end, Wendy’s dance parties have already started. Club Café in Boston held a DJ Wendy Hunt Memorial Tea on August 13, and Hunter’s in Fort Lauderdale held a Friends of Wendy’s benefit on Saturday August 19 (Wendy was scheduled to play that night). I have been told larger gatherings are in the planning stages in Boston and Fort Lauderdale, likely Provincetown, and perhaps elsewhere. May it be so.   


This YouCaring page will be closed when: (1) I am able to download the full accounting of donations and fees from the service provider WePay, and, (2) after I post the confirmation of the donation to Lab Rescue of Florida. Likely this will be the first or second week of September.   


Thank you all for loving Wendy, for your generous expression of that love on this donations page, and in your heartfelt words shared here and elsewhere. I love reading your notes, and I look forward to sending thank-you notes (via email, as I do not have your mailing addresses) in the weeks to come.    


Your donations made it possible for Cheryl and I to travel to Florida for 4 days, take care of Wendy’s personal matters and belongings, meet some of Wendy’s loved ones (including Idgie’s new family) as well as the professionals who cared for Wendy in death. Your generosity made it possible for us to do these things without the added stress of incurring financial debt.  I am more grateful to you than words can express.   


Total Donations: $ 11,102.    

Expenses:   

$ 1,358.80 - 2 R/T flights Hartford CT – Ft Lauderdale FL   (economy class, booked 2 days prior to travel hence higher cost)   

$ 378.42 - Enterprise car rental (economy class car)   

$ 352.41 - Food    

$ 183.50 - Administrative / Sundries (includes 10 death certificates at $15/each)   

$ 86.49 - UHaul packing materials to ship Wendy’s belongings to our home   

$ 376.78 - FedEx Ground shipping of Wendy’s belongings to our home, and  USPS shipping (sending some of Wendy’s artwork to the friends  who gave them to her as gifts)   

$ 1,195.00 - Ed Kalis of Edwards Cremation and Funeral Services (direct cremation)   

$ 700.00 - Wendy’s rent for 2 months (August and a prior month owed)   

$ 426.40 - Sunday Boston Globe Death Notice (a brief notice with a direct link   to the South Florida Gay News full obituary)   

$ 56.05 - Parking (long-term airport and local)   

$ 74.32 - External Hard Disk Drive - storage for Wendy’s laptop files. Wendy’s laptop (cleared of Wendy’s personal information) is being given to a longtime friend and DJ colleague for playing gigs.   

$ 364.41 - WePay payment service provider fees (2.9% + .30 per transaction) for YouCaring site donations ___________   

$ 5,552.58 - Total expenses to date      

$ 5,549.42 - Balance after expenses donated to Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida - In Memory of Wendy. Pat Bayers of LRROF is creating a memorial page honoring Wendy and her work with Lab rescue.  The page will include photos of Wendy working at LRROF Adoption Days and fundraisers. (Proof of this donation will be posted here when I receive it.)   


Anyone wishing to make donations in Wendy’s memory, please make them directly to Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida.   Thank you. 

http://lrrof.org/donate/make-a-donation/make-an-in-memory-donation/

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