Obituary: Maureen Hunter

Recognised for her “exceptional kindness” and as “a giant in her field,” Maureen Hunter, former editor of OT , has died at the age of 78

Maureen and OT team

It is with sadness that Optometry Today reports the death of Maureen Hunter, nee Callender, a “well known and popular” figure in the optical profession and editor of OT between 1990 and 2006.

Tributes have been paid for the professional, who has died at the age of 78 from Parkinson’s disease, recognising her as “renowned for her exceptional kindness and her active support of many optical organisations.”

Maureen Hunter held the role of editor of OT between 1990 and 2006. Also pictured above with the OT team in 2006
Hunter ran her own company, Word & Images, producing newsletters for SightCare and the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers, which she became a member of. She was also active in the charity Vision Aid Overseas.

Having previously published a Scottish optometry magazine, Hunter was selected by the AOP to work on OT and took the publication from an eight-page newsletter based in Scotland to a full-colour, 50-70 page fortnightly magazine based near London.

Described as an “avid supporter” of optical education, Hunter also pioneered the first online CET and the OT bookshop present at optical shows and conferences.

Robina Moss, deputy editor of OT for 17 years, now owner of Forward4Business, paid tribute: “I owe my 21 years in optics to Maureen, who was an exceptional boss. She didn’t just create a loyal and hard-working OT team, she made you part of her family. As well as making her staff financially secure, she made you feel part of something special. Every staff birthday was celebrated and if anyone was having personal troubles, she was so supportive.

“There are many in optics who will always remember Maureen’s kindness. My heart goes out to her family at this sad time.”

Describing Hunter as “a giant in her field,” Sarah Bradley, former OT business development manager, shared: “I first met Maureen in 1985 when she was the PR consultant for the Red Cross in Scotland, where I worked. She was a very special lady, very intelligent and motivated.”

“Maureen was a woman who had a passion for optics and was such an inspiration. She took pride in every publication that she was responsible for and treated every person she encountered with complete respect, regardless of their circumstances,” she added.

Having worked alongside Hunter for 12 years, former OT managing editor, and now editor of Dispensing Optics, Nicky Collinson, said: “She was my first editor and taught me, not just the arts and crafts of impartial, truthful journalism, but how to always put the reader first.

“A successful businesswoman who balanced work with fun and family, Maureen's serene Scottish manner and sense of humour charmed all those who met her,” Collinson added. “She inspired me as a woman and a journalist.”

Former colleagues expressed their condolences for her sons, Chris, Nik and Rod, her five grandchildren, and her family and friends.