Louise "Mother" Hunter, founder of Love and Charity Homeless Shelter and Mission in Racine, Wisconsin, mother of 21 children, and grandmother and great-grandmother to dozens, died February 29, 2020, at the age of 85.
Hunter, who migrated to Racine, Wisconsin, from Mississippi, opened the Louise Hunter Love and Charity Club at 218 Main St., in the 1970s. She continued to operate the charity as it grew into a full mission and shelter at 1031 Douglas Ave. Hunter operated the mission and shelter until she retired in 2016.
In a 1974 Journal Times report, Hunter said the club was open to anyone who wanted to donate time or goods for those in need; she would provide the love.
"Since the Lord provided for me and my family, I got to share with others," Hunter said at the time. That philosophy extended beyond her work at the shelter and into her family home, where she made sure everyone was fed. Hunter left behind 67 grandchildren and more than 150 great-grandchildren. The family bond was forged by two major forces in the Hunter household: church and music. With all that time spent in the church, each child taught themselves how to play one musical instrument or another. They'd often play music together.
In the midst of all this, Hunter continued to run Love and Charity. As difficult as it would be to count all her progeny, it would be equally difficult to count every award, banquet or honor bestowed on Hunter for her work.