Michael Hunt “Bear” Huber, born October 10, 1952 in Pontiac, Michigan, was well-suited to his nickname. As a young child, he was lovingly called “Baby Bear” by his parents, Jane and Harry Huber. He grew into a big, gentle bear of a man, and the nickname stayed with him.
Most of Bear’s childhood was spent in Rochester Hills, Michigan, where he developed a love of sailing through time with his dad on the family’s boat, and as a member of the Sea Scouts. He attended Hillsdale College and Oakland University and had fond memories of his days as a college football lineman. After college, Bear worked briefly as a commercial artist, illustrating children’s books.
With the skills and knowledge he acquired while sailing, he turned to a career in sailmaking and became heavily involved in yacht racing. His sailmaking took him to Detroit and then Annapolis, Maryland. It was there that he met Sally, his wife of 44 years. They moved to Ithaca, New York and then Skaneateles, New York, where they lived when their son Hunt was born. They later moved to Newport, Rhode Island and finally to Cape Cod. Bear was the owner and operator of North Sails Cape Cod for many years.
Bear faced life head-on, undeterred by challenges. Aside from his work as a well- regarded sailmaker, he was a man with many interests and accomplishments. He taught himself to play the bagpipes and was asked to pipe at many events, including the Fourth of July parade near their vacation home in Horton Bay, Michigan. His creativity and talent as an artist continued to be a source of joy to him and others throughout his life. He was a very knowledgeable history buff with an impressive collection of uniforms and war memorabilia. As an adult, he went back to school to complete a degree in teaching from Bridgewater State. He was in the process of building a wooden racing sailboat which his son Hunt named Purple Haze. Bear loved playing and watching golf, and had recently enjoyed spending time at a home he and Sally purchased in Palm Coast, Florida.
Bear’s most enduring quality is the love he had for his wife and best friend, Sally, and for his family and friends.
On June 23rd, on one of Sally and Bear’s daily swims, Bear succumbed to the water in a near drowning accident on Dennis Pond in Yarmouthport. He died the next day at Cape Cod Hospital with his wife and son at his side.
He is survived by his wife, Sally, son Hunt, daughter-in-law Carrie, and grandson Alex, all of Yarmouthport, Massachusetts; sister Patty Huber of La Mesa, California; sister-in-law and brother-in-law Betsy and Mike Warr of Jupiter, Florida; sister-in-law and brother-in-law Susan and Roy Beaton of Evergreen, Colorado; and niece Lauren Ewing of Marathon, Florida.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to MSPCA-Angell, 350 South Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02130; www.mspca.org.