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 The false assertions have been removed from public view on social media, but not rescinded.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.
$ 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.