BAKERSFIELD — Edwin Standish Hunt, age 54, died unexpectedly of complications related to a heart condition on July 21, 2016. It was a sudden end to a life defined by the journey of an independent soul.

Ed was a unique, kind, gentle, stoic man with few material needs. His search for peace and independence led him to undertake two hiking trips from Maine to Georgia on the Appalachian Trail, five transcontinental bicycle trips, and numerous hiking expeditions in the mountains of New England and the West, including 14,000-foot peaks in Colorado. He was most comfortable when moving which compelled him to work as a long distance tractor-trailer driver, traveling from coast to coast and from the Canadian to the Mexican borders.

Ed grew up in a quiet neighborhood in Burlington near the UVM campus. Together with his dad, Allen and brother, Harry, Ed figure skated, and performed in ice shows.  As a student at Edmunds Jr. High School, he played chess and continued on to a national ranking in high school and college. At Burlington High School, Ed was a member of the cross-country running and ski teams. In 1980, during his senior year, he led the BHS Ski Team to a State Championship.

At the University of Vermont, Ed majored in mathematics, making the dean’s list his senior year.  Shortly after receiving his degree in 1985, he traveled west and became enamored with the wide-open landscape. Over the next 25 years, he lived and worked in Vail, Denver, Park City, and Reno. While living and working in the west, he often returned to Vermont to help his parents on the family farm in Bakersfield.

A particular joy of Ed’s life was being an Uncle. He took special pleasure in watching the antics of his five nieces and nephews, and was always willing to sit with one of them and play chess or watch a football game. He patiently listened to endless stories about their soccer games, gymnastics meets, and dance recitals.

In 2012, when his father Allen became ill, Ed returned to Bakersfield to help his mother Nancy and comfort Allen until death in 2013. The gentle strength and support he provided Nancy in the years following Allen’s passing were a treasure she will always cherish. His presence will be greatly missed.

Ed is survived by his mother, Nancy of Bakersfield, his brother Harry and wife, Stephanie, of Stowe, his brother Jesse and wife, Anne Kari, of Park City, Utah and his five nieces and nephews: Alaena, Tucker, Mia, Espen, and Annika. A celebration of Ed’s life will be held at the Hunt farm in Bakersfield on August 21, from 2 to 6 p.m. Friends and members of the community are welcome to attend.