Ted Hunter, who had a lifetime association with Strathmartine Hospital, by Dundee, has died aged 92.
He was born near the hospital, which was then called Baldovan Institution, and spent most of his working life managing the hospital farm.
Ted had also been a speed skater in his youth, a director and vice-chairman of Dundee Ice Arena and had been a sports and disability adviser to Dundee City Council.
Through his voluntary work with Angus Pony Club, Ted progressed to become a steward at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, and the Horse of the Year Show, at Wembley in London.
In 1974, he was awarded a British Empire Medal for services to Strathmartine Hospital. The old hospital is now being developed for housing and one of the streets will be called Ted Hunter Gardens.
Ted Hunter born in June 1931 at Gallowhill Cottage, Strathmartine, to blacksmith John and his wife Annie, the youngest of three boys.
His brother, Bill, a corporal in the 13th Lancashire Parachute Regiment was killed in action in France in August 1944 aged just 20. Ted made a point of paying his respects to his brother each Remembrance Day at Bridgefoot War Memorial and had only missed two ceremonies since the war. Sadly Ted also lost his other brother Jock in a tragic road accident in Dundee in 1969.
Ted left school at Bridgefoot, Strathmartine, aged 15 to begin a four-year groundsman/gardening apprenticeship after which he undertook his two years’ national service. He was posted to Germany with the Household Cavalry (now called the Blues and Royals) as a motorbike despatch rider and dog trainer/handler.
After national service he spent three years at Strathmartine Hospital’s Hillhouses Farm where he met the love of his life, Jess Fleming of Buckhaven, who was a governess at the hospital.
They married in her hometown in 1954 but not before Ted had prepared for the reception by taking secret dancing lessons at the Glennan School of Dance in the Locarno in Dundee.
The couple were to spend 58 years of happy marriage together, bringing up Doreen, Moira and Brian.
Ted left Strathmartine for a period to join Reekie engineering in Forfar as a tractor driver/demonstrator before returning to take charge of the farm and work with patients for the next 43 years.
The farm also had its own pets’ corners where Ted and Jess used to host many visits from school parties from around Dundee and Angus.
Ted was an integral part of his community. He was a member and elder of Strathmartine Church, the school board as well as the community council.
A keen ice skater from his youth onwards, he became a member of Dundee Speed Skating Club based at the old ice rink on the Kingsway.
He was also instrumental in restarting the club when the new ice arena was built at Camperdown where he became club president as well as director and vice-chairman of Dundee Ice Arena.
For many years, he also served as a director of the leisure and sports disability boards advising Dundee City Council.
When his daughters joined Angus Pony Club in the 1960s, Ted became involved too as a trainer of the games team which he led to the finals of the Horse of the Year Show three times in the early the 1980s.
During his time as a steward at the major horse shows in London, he rubbed shoulders with royalty, as he did in 1977 when Princess Anne visited Angus Pony Club during the Silver Jubilee year.
Ted died on Monday November 27 and left strict instructions with his family to order 300 pies from Scott Brothers butchers for his funeral tea at Dundee Ice Arena. His funeral will take place at Strathmartine Church on Tuesday December 12 at 10.30am and then at Dundee crematorium at 11.30am.
Ted is survived by his three children, eight grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.
You can read the family’s announcement here.