Memorial for Paul Howe Hunt ’58
TELLICO VILLAGE-LOUDON, TN - Paul Howe Hunt, 82, of Loudon, Tennessee, formerly of South Bend, Indiana and Des Plaines, Illinois passed away from natural causes on Wednesday, November 28, 2018.
On June 18, 1960, Paul married Lileen “Lil” Hunt who preceded him in death. He was also preceded in death by his older brothers, Fred R. Hunt III and Ronald C. Hunt.
Paul is survived by his wife, Susan Atkinson-Hunt, whom he married on December 30, 2014. He is also survived by his brother, Timothy (Kathryn) Hunt; his children, Karen (Bob) Messersmith, Steve (Angi) Hunt, and Jeff (Wendy) Hunt; his grandchildren: Bryan, Brad, and Jeremy Messersmith; Andrew, Alex, Caroline, Kevin, Kyle, and Hanna Hunt; and his great-grandchildren, Layla and Rory Messersmith.
Paul was born in Chicago, Illinois to Alice E. and Fred R. Hunt, Jr. He attended Maine Township High School where he lettered several times in baseball as a pitcher and first baseman. Paul was a proud “lefty,” claiming all sorts of privileges and benefits as a result. As a pitcher, he threw a mean curve ball, screwball, and knuckleball, but the best was a drop ball - his brother Tim says it was as if it fell off a table. He was President of the Maine Township High School Spanish Club for two years and resurrected his Spanish skills during his retirement, using them during his many travels abroad.
Paul received a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois while working at Rand McNally as a printer. At Millikin he was a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity and lived in the chapter house. Despite a penchant for playing ping-pong and hearts over studying biology and math, he successfully completed his degree. He later earned a master's degree in Educational Administration from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.
Much to the surprise of his former teachers, Paul returned to teach middle school for six years at his former school in Des Plaines. He then went to work for Science Research Associates (a division of IBM) where he successfully sold education supplies, running weekend workshops for teachers, which routinely drew 300 or more participants. He ended his career in sales for Chatsworth Data and retired early, enjoying many leisure years traveling, golfing, and volunteering.
A passionate and tireless volunteer, Paul spent many hours of his free time helping others. While living in South Bend, Indiana, he was an active member of Grace United Methodist Church. He proudly led the effort to replace all the church windows, fully funding it through member donations, each window in honor or memory of someone of the donor's choice. He also spearheaded a blood donation program supported by a coalition of area churches, resulting in many successful blood drives for the local blood bank and several successful fish fries benefitting local charities. Paul's most cherished volunteer work was in support of the homeless. He formed the Homeless Community Alliance, which provided many important services including assisting individuals in obtaining identification documents so they could seek employment and benefits. He was an eager volunteer at South Bend's Broadway Christian Parish and the local NPR affiliate.
Paul was an avid traveler, always seeking new adventures. Before Lil's death, they traveled to interesting places such as Egypt, the Holy Land, and many European destinations. He continued traveling on his own and with other family, visiting 42 countries, including Turkey, Russia, China, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, Bolivia, Peru, and Guatemala.
Paul had the unique ability to bring loved ones together and create an environment to share amazing experiences. The primary benefactors were his family, whom he treated to many trips including family cruises and visits to White Lake Resort in Wisconsin. He also started the tradition of traveling to Turkey Run State Park annually, which has gone on for 51 years and has no end in sight. Paul took great pride in his family and nothing brought him more joy than bringing everyone together to make beautiful memories.
The most admirable qualities about Paul were, in the words of his grandson Jeremy, his “enormous smile” and “permanent positive attitude.” He was regularly the life of the party, cracking jokes, and entertaining everyone with his dry sense of humor. Even at his weakest in the hospital, he joked with the nurses, hospital staff, and others, often at his own expense. His smile and good humor will be deeply missed by his family and friends.
Please join the family to honor Paul on Sunday, December 16, 2018 from 4-7 pm in the lower level of the Tippecanoe Place Restaurant, 620 W. Washington St., South Bend, Indiana 46601. A celebration of his life with moments of sharing will take place at 5:30 pm.
Memorials may be given to Grace United Methodist Church, 3012 Twyckenham Drive, South Bend, Indiana 46614 or Broadway Christian Parish Church, 1412 Carroll Street, South Bend, Indiana 46613.
P.S. Paul was known for his frugality and surely would have pared down this obituary when he found out it's charged by the word. There are not enough words to describe the impact Paul had on his family and friends - sharing this glimpse into his life is well worth disobeying his money management rules, no doubt about it!
Published in South Bend Tribune on Dec. 2, 2018