JEAN ADAMS HUNNICUTT
Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Jean (Adams) Hunnicutt, formerly of Avon, Conn., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, peacefully passed away in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., on Jan. 10, 2022, of natural causes. Born in Willimantic, Conn., on Feb. 12, 1933, to Catherine and S. Clifton Adams, she spent her childhood years there. Jean attended Teachers College of CT (now Central CT State University) in New Britain, Cconn., where she earned her degree in elementary education and met her lifelong friends, Janet, Evelyn and Nancy. She taught for a number of years in West Hartford, Conn., before marrying her former husband and the father of her three daughters, Frank Hunnicutt, and starting to raise her family in Avon and Clinton, Conn. After moving to Florida in 1969, Jean created a beautiful home and life for her family and continued to nurture her Connecticut friendships as many also transitioned to retirement in Florida. “The Connecticut Group” maintained a lasting bond throughout Jean’s later years. Jean returned to teaching in the 1970s after receiving her Master’s degree from Florida Atlantic University, and taught elementary grades at Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale for over 20 years. She had a deep connection with her students and their parents, with many keeping in touch over the years; as well as fellow teachers, several of whom became dear friends and were in Jean’s close circle in her retirement.
In the early 1990s, Jean was introduced to Bill Quarton of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who became the love of her life. They shared a fulfilling and loving relationship for over 14 years until Bill’s passing in 2007. She was the happiest version of herself during the treasured years that she spent with him. They were inseparable, and enjoyed traveling, the arts, friends and the communities where they shared their life. For many years, they split their time between their beautiful homes in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Their travels literally took them “around the world” as they were on the last voyage of the Concorde, and took several other trips to Europe. Jean and Bill were very active with the Cedar Rapids Art Museum, Coe College and Brucemore Mansion, among other philanthropies.
Jean was a very loving, caring and generous mother, and was always a source of support and encouragement to her three daughters, Lynda Tragakes of Westbrook, Conn., Donna Hunnicutt of Laguna Niguel, Calif., and Lisa Hunnicutt of Kremmling, Colo. In addition, she was the adoring grandmother of Alex Tragakes of Portland, Maine, and Christopher Tragakes of Fort Collins, Colo., who she watched grow into the wonderful young men that they are today. She enjoyed visits to California, Colorado, Connecticut and Bequia whenever possible, though she always missed being geographically closer to her daughters.
Jean enjoyed a wide variety of interests – particularly all things “home” and thought of herself as a wanna-be interior decorator – “finding creative pleasure in making my homes welcoming, comfortable, and attractive”. She loved cooking and baking – her famous hot fudge sauce was a highly sought-after commodity as well as her coffee cakes and Danish puffs! She loved entertaining, and is likely already planning a dinner party in Heaven….and it was important to her that she taught her daughters to be “proper” co-hostesses for all those memorable parties with friends over the years!
True to Jean’s very organized ways, she left us many of her famous notes, quotes and written memories to review and we are continuing to chuckle as we find these. She was very specific about wanting to share how blessed she was with a rewarding and fulfilling life, raising her family, her love for Bill, and especially her treasured friendships. She managed to make lasting ties everywhere she lived and worked, and she wanted to make sure ALL her dear friends, near and far, knew how much she appreciated and cherished them.
Jean is now at peace and free from the health challenges she bravely endured in the past few years. We are grateful for all those who provided loving support and care to her over the years, both in Iowa and Florida. We, her daughters and grandsons, are finding some peace of our own, knowing she was ready to join Bill and to reunite with so many others who had a place in her amazing life.
She was predeceased by her parents; her sister, Anne Perry; her beloved, Bill Quarton; and sons-in-law, Nicholas Tragakes and Martin Stringfellow.
Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, a private memorial service will be held at a later date in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where Jean will be laid to rest. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jean’s memory to the Community Health Free Clinic, 947 14th Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403; or the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, 410 Third Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401; or charity of choice.