DJ Wendy Hunt knew how to work a crowd.
“She could bring them back down and bring them back up. She knew how to read a crowd.
Her passion was to play for her audience. She wasn’t playing for her own edification,” said Kativa Heidi Hunt, Wendy’s sister.
Unfortunately, said Kativa, Wendy’s mental state was similar to her deejaying. On Aug. 7, she took her own life at the age of 64, two weeks shy of her birthday.
“Wendy was an exceptional DJ whose keen ear and skillful hands brought forth music that packed dance floors and delighted flaggers from Boston to Fire Island to Florida and across the U.S.…Behind the public eye, Wendy often walked a delicate balance between living and dying. In recovery from cocaine and alcohol addictions, wrestling with the rigors of bi-polar disorder and post-traumatic stress, Wendy did what was within her power to wake up each morning and see the day through. After decades of struggle and suffering – some shared publicly, though most she endured privately – Wendy took her own life,” wrote Kativa in an email to SFGN.
Music, said Kativa, was the passion that helped keep Wendy going, and her favorite crowd to play to was bears. “She loved bears and they loved her . . . just loved them. For her, spinning in gay bars was always natural.”
But while it came naturally to Wendy, known as “Queen Mother of DJs,” still had to forge her way into it.”Mrs. Wendy Hunt, one of the first of three groundbreaking female DJs who made a mark in the 70s and opened up the doors to the rest of us. Her contribution and dedication to her art will never go unnoticed. A lovely lady and beautiful soul, may she rest in peace,” wrote DJ Susan Morabito on Facebook.
On Pride Fort Lauderdale’s website, Wendy, who performed at the organization’s event in February, talked about how she became a DJ. “I was bit by the bug while dancing to the jukebox at the 1270 in Boston (the twelve, to the frequenters),” said Hunt. “Little did I know that moment would pave the road to a lifetime career.”
It was that career, and Wendy’s life, that many expressed gratitude for on Facebook.
“I just listened to her podcast and sent a DM to tell her what a special journey it was, flawlessly mixed and evocative of so many fond memories going back to the 1270 where my own journey began. In hindsight of what happened a day after releasing that, I think she wanted to leave behind a piece of her heart and soul. It's a truly special tribute to Wendy and her talent, which lives on eternally through the music. She touched and was loved by so many. My eyes are full of tears, my heart is filled with love . . . the memories and music keep her dancing in Eternity with us,” wrote Owen Frager.
“Not only did she make us dance, but that woman could make us laugh uncontrollably. We're going to hold on to her humor – and her love,” wrote Mark Thompson and Robert Doyle.
Heartbroken. May the heavens be full of turntables and vinyl for you to spin. Will always remember our special time together when we were still kids. Wishing on a Star tonight, Wendy,” wrote Candace Nagle.
Kativa said she was amazed at the sheer number of comments of love and support.
“She touched so many lives. I’m just blown away.”
Wendy’s family has no plans to hold public memorial services, but is asking for financial help in paying for cremation and other funeral services.
Visit youcaring.com/wendyhunt-898830 to make a donation.