Spencer M. Hurtt Jr.
Tenants Harbor — Spencer Merritt Hurtt Jr., 87, died Sept. 26, 2012 at his home in Tenants Harbor. Son of Spencer Merritt Hurtt and Marietta Waller, he was born in Swarthmore, Pa. on Feb. 22, 1925, but spent most of his early years in Hollywood, Fla. There, a love of sailing drew him to the U.S. Power Squadron where he developed navigation skills sufficient to teach navigation in the U.S. Air Force during World War II. After the war, he studied at Champlain College and the University of Vermont under the G.I. Bill.
His subsequent study of architecture at the Boston Architectural Center led to employment at Arthur D. Little and Griswold, Boyden, Wilde & Ames. He then began a career as a chief project manager at Cabot Cabot & Forbes in Boston. Among his projects was the master plan for Laguna Niguel, one of the first New Town communities in California. In 1962, he formed Spencer M. Hurtt Associates, a consulting firm that provided real estate investment and development services. Early work included a master plan for Beverly Hospital and North Shore Hospital Council, the first regional planning board in New England. Work with the Boston Redevelopment Authority included master plans for the Greater Boston Stadium Authority and Boston's Back Bay, the latter of which led to the founding of the Back Bay Federation for Community Development. Hurtt led real estate seminars at Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology and also served on the Greater Boston Real Estate Board and the Board of the Boys' Club of Boston.
He continued his real estate consulting as senior officer of Real Estate Equity Ventures at Fidelity Mutual Life Insurance Co. in Philadelphia and as vice president at James D. Landauer Associates in New York. Hurtt provided real estate and project management services for Rockefeller Center Management Corporation and several colleges and universities, including Eastern College, St. Joseph's University, the University of Pennsylvania, Williams College and Yale University. Throughout his career, he maintained an active affiliation with the Urban Land Institute where was a member of the Urban Redevelopment Executive Council.
His work in urban development was closely tied to his wider interest in public and civic affairs. Spencer also had a lifelong love of photography, music and the outdoors. He was never seen without a camera and his musical interests ranged from classical to jazz. An avid skier, he cleared many of the first trails in Stowe Mountain, Vt. where he also taught skiing. He met his wife, Anne Demorest, while skiing at Mt. Washington's Tuckerman's Ravine. They were married in 1954. He spent many summers sailing the waters of Penobscot Bay, where he ultimately retired to enjoy the sea and coastal islands.
His family has continued to share many of these interests. He is survived by his wife, Anne, and three daughters; Lawrie Hurtt, Deborah Hurtt and Susan Hurtt Johnson; two grandchildren, Andrew and Dana Johnson; his brother Caleb Hurtt; and many nieces and nephews.
A service will be held Sunday, Oct. 14 at 4 p.m. at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Rockland. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Peter's Church, Pen Bay Medical Center or the Maine Public Broadcasting Network.