(TRIBUTE) In Memory Of The Music Farmers

Bill George Hunter of Auberry, California

The Music Farmers Old Time String Band

December 16, 1929 – February 4, 2021

Bill George Hunter of Auberry, California passed away on Thursday, February 4th, 2021 at the age of 91 years old.

In the story of Bill’s life there are many chapters. He was a veteran of the Korean war. He was a world traveler. He was a math teacher. He was a bail bondsman. He was a Music Farmer. He was a story teller.

Bill grew up as the youngest of five siblings: Charlie, Orville, Mary, and Ada. As a young man, he served his country in the Korean War as a member of the United States Army. He then went on to get his masters degree in mathematics and spent time as a math teacher for Bullard High School in Fresno, CA. Bill was also a successful bail bondsman, founding his own bail bond company.

One of Bill’s most treasured accomplishments in life was leading his old-time string band, The Music Farmers, and creating his 20 acre mountain oasis known as The Music Farm. There wasn’t a string instrument that Bill couldn’t play, but he was particularly fond of the fiddle and the banjo, being so talented that he could still play the fiddle behind his back well into his 80’s. Bill built the Music Farm from the ground up in Auberry during the late 1970’s as a performance space and retreat for local musicians and students. Unfortunately, The Music Farm was lost in the recent wildfires.  Bill and his beloved wife Joan had just moved to Rancho Cucamonga to begin their next chapter near her family.

Bill always had a story to tell about his adventures, usually followed by his signature laugh. The day he was born in the back of a buckboard wagon. The time he spent in a jail in India for having the wrong currency to pay for his meal. Being airlifted after breaking his leg on a hunting trip.

Though Bill never had any children of his own, he was the loving uncle to his many nieces and nephews.

Bill is survived by his wife, Joan Delzangle-Hunter; nephews Danny Malone and Donald Hunter; and nieces Holly Van Vleck

Holly Van Vleck – Teacher at CUSD

Fresno, California, United State

and Donna Hunter.

While circumstances do not allow for a formal service, please sing a song, play an instrument, or tell a story in honor of the way that Bill lived his life.

“…I got car-jacked by an armed meth addict who snuck into the Music Farm and car-jacked myself and a young woman as we were driving up the Mountain to a small store. He put a pistol in my ear. I talked him into letting me get out of the car at the edge of The Music Farm at Bill Hunter’s cabin to “get some more money..”. Bill Hunter told me to wait at his cabin and he would “handle things”. Hunter went in to his cabin for second and then walked down the little hill to the car where the car jacker was. Hunter had a very large Colt .45 in the back of his belt….. Nobody died that day, as far as I know… but that was the end of the situation that afternoon…”

In one of the last big Sierra fires, the whole Music Farm burned to the ground. It is all gone but the memories of the huge music jams still survive…”