DALLAS — Jewelry designer Foree Peterson Hunsicker was remembered for her artistry, personal warmth and faith at a memorial service Saturday at Believers Chapel here. Hunsicker, who suffered health problems for decades caused by her sensitivity to chemicals and allergens, died Tuesday of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to her son, Harry Hunsicker Jr. She was 82.
Medalias by Foree Hunsicker was best known for sterling jewelry featuring reproductions of 19th century filigree luggage tags. Launched in 1987, the business grew to employ nearly 50 people and win the 1995 Dallas Fashion Award for jewelry, an honor determined by a poll of retailers.
Hunsicker was descended from one of Dallas’ first settlers, and a passion for Americana and Native American heritage ran through her designs. She beaded the American flag and other flags of Texas onto sterling plates that dangled from necklaces and earrings, created bold silver concha belts, and cast a sterling doughboy brooch from a Cracker Jack prize. Hunsicker also worked with turquoise and other semiprecious stones, freshwater pearls, African trade beads and antiques, including Qing dynasty carvings.
As Medalias wound down, she continued to make one-of-a-kind necklaces sold through specialty boutiques such as Melissa Benge in Dallas.
“Foree never lost the desire even when she got too sick to do it,” said Andrea Barnett, a longtime friend and fellow Dallas jewelry designer.
“She was a good friend,” said Dan Duncan, officiant of the ceremony. “She cared about people and reached out to them.”
Hunsicker was born in Dallas and reared in the small rural town of Marlin, Tex. She earned a degree in art at the University of Texas and worked at various times as a painter, decorator and clothing designer. She is survived by her husband of 55 years, Harry Hunsicker Sr., her son Harry Hunsicker Jr. and his wife, Alison Hunsicker.