Hunter Darden, a beloved author whose passion for storytelling touched the lives of many, passed away on February 23, 2024, in Mooresville, N.C., after bravely battling early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. She was 66 years old.

Born on November 17, 1957, in Augusta, Ga., Hunter was the cherished daughter of Dr. Council Dudley and Peggy Dudley. She spent her formative years in Elkin, N.C., where she developed a love for literature and the power of words. After graduating from Elkin High School, Hunter pursued her higher education at Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C., earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology.

Hunter’s journey as an author began in the fourth grade, ignited by her admiration for the Nancy Drew Mysteries. Over the years, she honed her craft and became an award-winning author, penning six inspiring children’s books, a poignant novel titled “Tapestry,” a captivating photography book, and a collection of humorous and insightful newspaper columns for The Charlotte Observer. Her literary works were not only a reflection of her creativity but also a testament to her unwavering commitment to helping children navigate life’s challenges and promoting healing for those experiencing loss.

Throughout her career, Hunter received numerous accolades, including the “50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading By The Author’s Show” award, the Excellence In Creative Writing Award by The N.C. General Federation of Women’s Clubs, and the Meredith College Career Achievement Alumnae Award. Her books were featured in esteemed publications such as Better Homes and Gardens, Writer’s Digest, Our State, Today’s Woman, Carolina Country, and Houston Woman. Hunter’s impact as an author resonated deeply with readers, as her words provided solace and comfort to those in need of healing.

Hunter is survived by her loving sons, Tyler and John Darden; daughter-in-law Melissa Darden; and grandchildren, Catherine, Victoria, and Jack Darden. She is also remembered fondly by her niece, Blythe; and brother-in-law, Harold Fite, and his children, Caroline, Charley, and Julia. She was preceded in death by her older brother Charlie, younger sister Fran, younger brother Robert, father Council, and mother Peggy.

A memorial service to honor and celebrate Hunter’s life will be held at 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 3, 2024, at Elkin Presbyterian Church with Troutman Funeral Home overseeing the arrangements. She will be laid to rest alongside her parents and older brother in Hollywood Cemetery in Elkin, N.C., where her spirit will continue to inspire all who visit her final resting place.

Hunter Darden’s legacy as a compassionate storyteller and advocate for healing through the written word will forever endure in the hearts of those who knew and loved her.

Troutman Funeral Home is serving the family.

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