In Memoriam: Tom Hunter (1927–2022)

Heritage House was deeply saddened to learn of Tom Hunter’s death in April 2022. Tom was 94 years old.

Tom Hunter was a respected wildlife artist who combined his love of nature with his artistic training to illustrate the natural history, birds, mammals, and fish of Western Canada. He was the author and illustrator of the bestselling Canadian Wildlife Activities for Kids series, an RCMP-related activity book, and a Western Canadian wildlife book for kids.

Tom was born in Powell River and grew up in east Vancouver. A few months before his sixteenth birthday, Tom joined the Merchant Marine, serving on Princess Adelaide and then the paddle wheeler SS Klondike in the Yukon. Later, he went to art school in Vancouver and worked as a commercial artist for Woodward’s. After moving his young family to the Fraser Valley in 1962, he worked in the correctional system for many years. He also briefly worked as an art instructor and earned his Bachelor of Arts at UBC.

Throughout his life, pen and ink drawings were a passion for Tom. His illustrated wildlife panels appeared in Wildlife Review, and for many years his work was regularly published in regional magazines such as BC Outdoors and BC Wildlife. Tom’s editorial cartoons were also featured in the Langley Times for many years, published under the pseudonym “Taughm”.

For decades, Tom Hunter’s outstanding artwork and clever brainteasers have provided both entertainment and a valuable educational resource for children, parents, and teachers. The Canadian Library Association praised his artwork, stating, “the animals look as if they could step off the page.”