Merle Karen Peterson Hunt, age 94, of Kalamazoo, MI passed away at Rose Arbor Hospice in Kalamazoo, Michigan on February 6, 2017. She was just one month short of her 95th birthday. She loved children, flowers, and birds in that order and spent most of her life caring for them one way or another. Merle was born in Cameron, Wisconsin and grew up as a farm girl there and near Barron, Wisconsin graduating from high school in 1940. She went to the University of Wisconsin to study nursing, where she met Howard, who was driving a taxi and trying to finish his degree. They married just before Pearl Harbor Day and their early years were dominated by World War II. Once son Allan was born and Howard secured a teaching position in Cumberland, Wisconsin they settled down to live a small-town life near their roots in Northern Wisconsin. They built two houses on Beaver Dam Lake in Cumberland. But after Allan left home for the University of Wisconsin in 1960, Howard and Merle decided to join the Peace Corps! They were sent to Northeastern Brazil where Howard was an agricultural consultant and Merle started a nursery for the children of the women who washed their clothes in the river. When they returned from Brazil, Howard decided to get a Master's Degree so they settled near Madison at Black Earth, Wisconsin and Merle worked at the high school and tended neighbor children. In 1967 they got a chance to return to Cumberland and acquired a property with cottages on Beaver Dam Lake which became a gathering point for the extended family for several years. Unfortunately, the house burned down early in January, 1982; so they bought a camper and headed for the Rio Grande Valley in Texas where they spent the next 25 winters! When age began to slow them down, they moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan to be near their only grandchild. Howard and Merle celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary there in 2016 and Howard subsequently died in 2009. Merle spent her last few years at Park Village Pines assisted living facility in Kalamazoo, which meant she had to give up gardening, but she still enjoyed the company of visiting children. Merle is survived by her son Allan (Rochelle) Hunt and granddaughter Hilary Hunt, and numerous beloved nieces and nephews. She was the last survivor of the generation in both her family and her husband's, and was loved by all who knew her. The family would especially like to acknowledge her "adopted" neighbors, the Schroeder family and all their years of shared fun together, her special gardening friend Catherine, and we express our gratitude for the years of tender loving care by the dedicated staff at Park Village Pines, Oakview Terrace, and Southwest Michigan Hospice. A memorial gathering will take place in early summer.