Hunter Conner’s life was tragically cut short on January 17, 2018 at the age of 18 due to sudden complications from the flu. Although Hunter’s life was short, his impact was inspiring. Even at a very young age it was clear that Hunter had a very kind heart, consistently thinking of others and following through on his kind-heartedness. As a four year old, his mom was tucking him into bed for the night and when she fluffed his pillow, she found a bunch of change. When she asked him why he had put his money under his pillow, he said, “It is for the Tooth Fairy, because she always leaves something for everyone, so I thought I would leave something for her.” Hunter demonstrated this type of generosity over and over throughout his childhood.
He grew up working with the Outreach Farm Project (growing food for local rescue missions), giving nearly a thousand hours of labor over the last 9 years. As he began to mature in his teenage years he became more aware of the suffering, not only in his own community, but around the world. A few years ago when the refugee crisis was at its peak he would tell his family how badly he felt for the people in those regions and how he wanted to go there and help them in any way he could.
Hunter’s heart was for those that had the least and were hurting the most. Hunter wanted to become a Nurse Practitioner so that he could work with Doctors Without Borders to help those around the world that were sick and needed help. While working toward these long term goals he initiated a short term plan to become certified as an Emergency Medical Technician so that he could start working with programs like Samaritan Aviation where they use float planes to fly critically ill villagers out of the remote jungles of Papua New Guinea. When Hunter learned about an organization that helped orphan children living in the trash dumps in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, he started looking into ways he could go and volunteer. These are only a few examples that demonstrate where his heart was, what was important to him and what he wanted to do with his life.
After Hunter’s death there were many requests of how to contribute to causes that Hunter cared the most about. Friends of the family who loved Hunter and love the Conner family started to develop a plan. The purpose of this plan was to truly honor Hunter by working with the family to choose a focused cause that would embody Hunter’s goals and do at least a small amount of the work in his name that he didn’t get to do. Hunter’s parents, Troy and Rose, and younger brother John, were excited about the possibility of an opportunity to be a part of carrying out Hunter’s dream.
The goal would be to raise enough funds to potentially send Troy, Rose and John to Haiti on a medical relief mission in November of this year. They were honored even by the thought that people would be willing to donate to support this project. Troy, Rose and John also expressed that they would love if others could join them on this trip to help do Hunter’s work.
All funds donated in excess of the goal will be given to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Hunter’s name, which was his favorite charity that he had been donating to for years.
- Pete Petrizzio
- Julie Kalisiak
- Marilyn Widlund
- Maureen Brosso
- Keith, Jonnie, and Branden Flanagan
Organizer and beneficiary
Karen Sullivan Vaniman