Hunter Philip Huson, age 21, died unexpectedly from complications due to a staph infection at his home in Edina, Minnesota on May 18, 2020. Hunter had emergency surgery due to a cut that became infected on May 10, 2020 and spent three days in the hospital. Hunter seemed to be healing despite complaining of being very tired and of sporadic irregular heartbeats. Hunter’s last words were saying goodnight to his parents and “I love you” on May 17. It is our hope that his death was peaceful and while he slept.
Hunter is survived by his parents Kevin and Christina Huson (Edina, Minnesota), his sister Gabrielle Helmer Huson (Edina, Minnesota), his grandparents Truman and Janell Stumo (Deer River, MN) and Darward and Shari Huson (Grand Rapids, MN); his aunts and uncles Tom and Mandy Helmer (Cohasset, MN), Chad and Piia Huson (Shakopee, MN), and Tricia Anton (Fargo, ND), and many great aunts, uncles and cousins.
Hunter is preceded in death by his grandparents Philip and Marjorie Helmer (Grand Rapids, MN) and several great grandparents. It is our hope he is up in heaven with them and finally getting the opportunity to spend time with Grandpa who died when he was three months old.
Hunter graduated from Grand Rapids Senior High in 2017. He played junior hockey for a year in Wisconsin and then attended Bethel University in the Twin Cities for a period and planned to be on their hockey team. He thereafter attended the University of Minnesota. He took a hiatus from his educational journey and was working at Home Depot (which he loved) and planned to return to college this fall.
Hunter loved, seriously LOVED, playing hockey. Many of his best friendships were cemented through his years on various teams. A couple of his favorite memories were winning the Winnipeg tournament with the Machine Black team and going to the state tournament with the Thunderhawks his junior year. Sadly, he was cut from the team his senior year and that was one of his bigger lessons in his short life on human behavior, compassion, honesty, loyalty and forgiveness. Hunter also played varsity soccer his senior year and frequently said he wished he started that sport earlier. He was on the golf team and loved to hunt and fish. He often said duck hunting was his favorite time with his Dad.
Hunter was a colorful soul and lived life loud. Everything he did, he did big. When he was in, he was all in. When he set his mind to something, there was no stopping him and he wanted no distractions. He was the most tenacious and persuasive individual imaginable. His Mom often told him to go to law school because she could not imagine anyone ever winning an argument with him because she never did. He was smart as a whip, having tested and qualified for Mensa in the second grade. That could be both a blessing and a curse for him as he became bored with required classes and this was not something that his teachers always found to be an attractive quality.
Hunter was the life of the party and he had the best laugh. Hopefully, one of his friends has it on video because we really want to hear it again. He was a prankster to the extreme; drawing images on his friends’ faces while sleeping, convincing older friends to let him to drive when he was 14, lighting firecrackers off to wake someone up, shooting the McDonalds worker with his Nerf gun during Nerf wars, telling a fill-in hockey coach he only spoke Russian and faking it all weekend by “speaking” only Russian, and calling the front desk at midnight saying he was his hockey coach and there was a mouse in his room so that hotel personnel went and woke up the coach to “catch the mouse” were a few of his antics. Hunter was also a successful problem solver. Despite several security cameras and alarms, Hunter quickly mastered the path through the yard to avoid them when sneaking out of the house and figured out how to re-wire the car when his father made it un-startable when he was grounded from it.
Hunter was not shy and he was not quiet. Hunter had opinions and he liked to share them. If he thought you were a jerk, you probably knew it. If he disagreed with you, you probably knew it. The relative value of the theory of keeping your opinion to yourself unless you are asked for it was hotly debated between him and his parents. He would argue politics with you and thought it was fun. Actually, he thought it was a sport and great entertainment. He always had another business idea and way to make money and was in the process of figuring out how he could buy a house by the end of the year. He could battle with his mother and the two of them knocked heads frequently, probably being too similar.
When he asked to have a few friends over, that usually meant at least 12. He never wanted anyone excluded – the more the merrier seemed to be his motto. The “three” friends coming to the cabin for the 4th of July last year turned into a number we are still uncertain of, people sleeping on every horizontal surface, including the gross basement laundry room floor (apologies to Huncho), and his parents happily learning how to become cooks at a 24 hour diner. Although it took his parents a week to recover from those festivities, they would happily do it again in a heartbeat having been blessed to spend time with those wonderful young souls full of such energy and optimism.
Hunter had his own fashion sense and loved clothes and shoes. He may have owned more pairs of shoes than his sister which seems unfathomable. He loved wearing the ugly sweater at Christmas and putting on the silly Christmas hats that were part of the tradition. He owned many colorful pairs of pants and shorts and frequently reminded his Mom to wash his clothes in cold water so she did not ruin them. No discussion of Hunter would be complete without mentioning his loyalty to his friends. He was loyal, perhaps to a fault. If Hunter loved you, he LOVED you and he had your back. He would not be your friend in jail with you when you did something stupid, he would go to jail for you and cover for you. He saw the good in you and believed in you and would literally give his friends the shirt off his back. Hunter’s trust was difficult to earn, but once earned it was solid as cement.
Being only 17 months older than his sister, he was very close to her. He often called her his best friend and they had many mutual friends in common. He was protective of her and did not really want her to date anyone. If there was one person in the world that he truly believed in and was proud of, it was his sister. For all of you that have been sending your love and support to her, he would be proud.
Hunter’s heart was as big as the ocean. He gave money to the homeless people on the street, was not judgmental and often stuck up for people he believed “got the shaft.” He believed there was too many politics in everything in life and people should be more honest with each other. He wore his heart on his sleeve. He felt things deeply, more deeply than most realized. When he was happy, his smile radiated through the room and when he was upset, his anguish was felt by those around him.
Hunter’s favorite quote was “ya never know” and he had inked a tattoo of “ynk.” Hunter’s energy and zest for life will live on in those fortunate enough to know him. When you think of Hunter, know that death is final and can come with blinding speed. Remember to live each day for it all ends too quickly. Let people who matter know they matter because really, the rest is a bit meaningless. Be quick to forgive, yourself and others, and live with no regrets. He frequently said “You can’t change the past, you can only live for today.”
Visitation will be at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:00 and burial immediately afterwards at the Itasca-Calvary Cemetery in Grand Rapids. Afterwards, there will be a gathering at the Huson cabin in Grand Rapids.
In lieu of flowers or a donation to a charity, instead do this to honor and remember Hunter: The next time you see a homeless person, stop, ask them how they are and really listen to their answer. Then, give them some money and tell them that they matter. Ya never know.