Lunt, Harold William (“Bill”)
Born and raised in Santa Barbara, California, Bill graduated from Santa Barbara High School in 1952. He met his future wife, Janet, while attending UCSB for his BA in biology. He graduated in 1956, and they were married that same year. After serving in the U.S. Army as a biochemist at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Nutrition Lab at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Denver, CO, Bill attended the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, completing his PhD in zoology in 1966.
Bill was by nature a teacher. He loved to share his knowledge about, and love for, nature and the outdoors. He taught biology at Chicago State University before returning to Santa Barbara in 1973. Many will remember him as “Merlin” at the Outdoor School at Rancho Alegre where he was on the staff from 1989 to 1994.
His lifetime of involvement with the Boy Scouts began as a Cub Scout and membership in Troop 3. He was a Vigil Member of the Chumash Lodge of the Order of the Arrow. After he returned to Santa Barbara in 1973, he became an Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 3 and, later, the Scoutmaster. Bill was also on the summer camp staff at Rancho Alegre for 17 years as the Nature Director. His many years of service to the Boy Scouts were recognized by his being given their Silver Beaver Award. He was serving on the Rancho Alegre Camp Facilities Committee at the time of his death.
Service to youth and to the community formed a large part of Bill’s active involvement in the Santa Barbara Northside Optimist Club. He served as Club President and was elected twice as the Lt. Governor for the local zone of the Pacific Southwest District of Optimist International. Bill was the District’s Scouting Committee Chairman for 15 years and the Club’s liaison to the Optimist Youth Home in Highland Park.
Bill enjoyed cooking outdoors in Dutch ovens and sharing his skills with the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.
As a member of the International Dutch Oven Society, he served as a Regional Director for two years. He liked to go to local and regional gatherings of Dutch Oven Society cooks to share recipes and knowledge as well to other events to demonstrate and promote this historic method of cooking.
His friends shared his involvement in community concerns as a member of Cars Are Basic, E Clampus Vitus, FNRA, and the Conservative Republican Assembly.
Bill is survived by his wife, Janet, daughters Sharon and Carol, and grandchildren Logan and Liana Tutt.
Family and friends gathered for a celebration of Bill’s life on Feb. 29, 2020.