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Alabelle Hueter

Longtime Claremonter, arts supporter

Alabelle “Allie” Hueter died at home in Claremont on May 12, 2014.

She was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1924 to Zena and Alexander Hunter. Mrs. Hueter began piano lessons at the age of four, and also took singing and tap dancing as a young girl. She was a lifelong pianist and supporter of the arts.

Mrs. Hueter came to California by steam train in 1942 to study at Scripps College. She met her future husband, Pomona College student James Hueter, at a freshman introductory dance at Scripps. Neither of them danced and they became acquainted.

World War II took James away from Claremont from 1943 to 1947 and Allie also left after her freshman year, earning her bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska, Omaha. She returned to Claremont for graduate studies in the fall of 1947 at the same time James had returned to finish at Pomona College. A mutual acquaintance put them back in touch and they were married in March 1948, establishing their home in Claremont. Daughters Barbara and Elizabeth were born in the early 1950s.

Mrs. Hueter’s life in Claremont centered around friends, community involvement and her daughters’ school, Foothill Country Day School. She and her husband (on drums) played jazz with Paul Darrow (on saxophone and clarinet) on Friday nights in the 1950s and early 1960s. Both daughters remember listening through the wall heater vent.

During the 1960s, she was a member of the Claremont Motion Picture Council (with Martin Weinberger), the Family Service Agency and the Claremont Coordinating Council. She promoted the Saturday children’s film series at the Village Theater, which ran in the 1960s. Mrs. Hueter was involved with Foothill Country Day School for over 50 years and played the piano for dozens of school plays, Christmas programs and commencements. After her daughters graduated in the late 1960s, she continued to teach generations of Foothill students the music for those events and was well known for her masterful accompaniment.

Mrs. Hueter loved classical and jazz music, foreign movies and attending the Los Angeles Philharmonic. She and her husband were longtime patrons of the summer Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz. She was also a particular fan of pianist Dave Brubeck, singer Mel Torme, Mel Brooks movies and comedian Sid Caesar. Her favorite movie was Stanley Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.” Mrs. Hueter played jazz piano at home and loved to perform and listen to music with her grandsons as they were growing up. In her last year, she enjoyed re-watching “Fawlty Towers” and listening to political histories.

She is survived by her husband of 66 years, James Hueter; by her daughters, Barbara Schenck (Steve) of Claremont and Elizabeth Hueter of Davis, California; and by her grandsons, Alexander and James Schenck.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, 147 S. River St. #232, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, or the Glaucoma Institute of Beverly Hills Research Foundation, 8733 Beverly Blvd. Suite 301, Los Angeles, CA 90048-1800. There will be no services.

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