JOAN HUNT OBE, the founder of the CUDECA hospice has died aged 92.
A spokesperson for the foundation, based in Benalmadena on the Costa del Sol, said: “It is with great sorrow that we have to give you the saddest news of our almost 30 years of history. Our beloved Joan Hunt passed away today June 24, 2021.
“Her last days were calm and peaceful, with moments of humour and laughter, and others when Joan decided to take charge of the situation. At all times she has been surrounded by the love and care of all of us at CUDECA
“She told us that she was ready, and that she needed to go. And she went as she wanted to, quietly and without fuss, she has left us on her Saint’s day, in Spain San Juan.”
Joan was born on January 5, 1929 in Liverpool, the eighth daughter in a family of nine brothers and sisters.
Her parents, working class and devout Catholics had come from Ireland.
After a successful career in business she retired to the Costa del Sol with husband Fred.
When tragedy struck and he died of cancer, Joan decided to devote herself to the caring of terminally ill cancer patients and their families.
This took the form of setting up the CUDECA foundation. It is an independent, non-profit making foundation that offers hospice care amongst a wide range of services for cancer patients and their families.
She received the OBE at Buckingham Palace in 2002 for her work in setting up and running the charity.
As her death approached Joan put pen to paper to leave a final message.
She said: “Don’t be sad, celebrate my life, not my death. I have had a full and very happy life. I have worked hard, but always with enjoyment, surrounded by the great Cudeca team, of whom I am so proud and whom I admire so deeply. I have always been moved by the love, respect and dignity with which everyone at Cudeca cares for people at the most difficult time in their lives.
“Don’t send flowers to my funeral, send a donation. You all know that the donations I asked for at my husband Fred’s funeral were the starting point and the reason why I decided to create a special centre to care for patients at the end of their lives, and for their families. Well, now it is my turn, and I say the same again: send donations to provide care, support and company for those who need us most.
“Take care for Cudeca. I have faith in you: ensure that my legacy goes on giving life to the days of patients and their families, through Cudeca’s special kind of caring, which is no more nor less than the special kind of people you all are.
And finally, remember me with joy. Being remembered means I once lived, and I shall be in peace. I send you all much love, and success and growth for Cudeca. I took the path less trodden, and I leave Cudeca in the loving hands of those who travelled with me.”