Louise “Mother” Hunter, founder of Love and Charity Homeless Shelter and Mission, mother of 21 children, and grandmother and great-grandmother to dozens, died Saturday at the age of 85.
Hunter, who migrated to Racine 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.
“She left here peacefully,” her grandson, DelRay Hunter, said Sunday evening in a phone interview.
She started the Love and Charity Mission and spent decades caring for those who wandered through her doors. Hunter moved into the shelter when her youngest child — she had 21 — finished high school. There, true to her nickname, she cared for 15 to 20 homeless people each night.
Hunter was also the subject of a book — “The Life and Story of Louise Hunter and The Love and Charity Homeless Shelter” — written by Dennies James Woods, which has been adapted into a screenplay.
In addition to her 21 children, Hunter had 63 grandchildren and 87 great-grandchildren.
DelRay said that philosophy extended beyond her work at the shelter and into her family home, where she made sure everyone was fed.
“I can remember growing up when she cooked a meal for us; she didn’t just cook for us, she cooked for the neighborhood,” DelRay said. “Kids she didn’t even know, kids we didn’t even know, were in our house eating …we shared our house with the whole neighborhood.”
DelRay is the 13th of 67 grandchildren — he gave up on counting her great-grandchildren once they exceeded 150 — and he…