Hilary Stanton Zunin
Hilary Stanton Zunin, 69, a longtime Napa High School teacher and co-founder and president of Napa Valley CanDo, a grass roots, community organization, died peacefully at her Napa home on Jan. 14, 2021, from cancer.
Napa Valley CanDo, co-founded in 2009, by Hilary and Grania Lindberg, began as a small group of around 20 neighbors, coming together to chat about ways they could strengthen their community. The organization has grown into a powerful force for good in the Napa Valley, with over 850 volunteers who contribute in a wide variety of capacities.
As an English teacher at Napa High School for 18 years, Hilary made a lasting positive impact on hundreds of students. The tributes from past students continue: "What an inspiration Hilary was to so many...She was one of my favorite teachers and instilled a love of writing...To say my life changed direction because of her would be an understatement."
Hilary was predeceased by her husband and soulmate of 38 years, Dr. Leonard Zunin, who passed in 2014. They became a fierce and loving team, creating their home next to the Napa River where she cultivated an extraordinary relationship with the local birds and he with bonsai. Together, they wrote The Art of Condolence and shared broadly their insights on death and dying toward the benefit of many.
Hilary was born and raised in Port Chester, N.Y., graduating from Port Chester High School, class of 1969. She earned her education degree from the University of Washington. An accomplished skydiver and instructor, she embraced all of life's adventures and challenges with great passion and spirit.
In addition to her husband, Hilary was predeceased by her parents, Edward Stanton and Sydney (Heiman) Stanton and a sister, Susan Kane. She is survived by a sister, Lynn Bains; brother, Tom Stanton (Jill); nieces, Sarah Kane (Rick) and Hannah Kane (Chris); Sunny Bains (Stuart); nephews, Jon Bains (Jane) and Kyle Stanton and grand-nieces, Jadyn Kane, Juliette Bains, C.J. Arnott-Bains and grand-nephew, Jake Bains.
In addition, she is survived by her stepson, Dr. Ira Zunin (Alia); stepdaughters, Helaina Taylor (Mike) and Cynthia Tarango (Frank); step-grandchildren, Brandon and Zachary Zunin, Christopher Tarango and Nate Taylor (Kristin), Kian Taylor and step great-grandchild, Juniper Zunin.
A celebration of Hilary's life will take place at a later date. In her memory, please consider a donation to Napa Valley CanDo: visit nvcando.org and click on Donate or mail a check to Napa Valley CanDo, PO Box 855, Napa, Calif., 94559.
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