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George Lewis Hunt, Jr., 1934-2023



George Lewis Hunt Jr

George Lewis Hunt, Jr., beloved husband, father, Papa Hum (grand & great grandfather), uncle and friend, passed away peacefully at his home with his wife & daughter by his side on Friday afternoon, August 4th. He was 89 ½.

Visitation will be held Saturday, August 12th from 12 noon to 2pm at Crawford Street United Methodist Church (CSUMC). A Celebration of Life Service will begin at 2pm with Rev. Tom Potter and Rev. Geoffrey Joyner officiating.

George, an only child of the late George Lewis Hunt, Sr., and Leta Belle Holifield Hunt, was born at midnight on January 20, 1934 at Mercy Hospital and lived most of his life in Vicksburg. He began his lifelong affiliation of being a Methodist when he was enrolled as a member of CSUMC Cradle Department at 1 week of age!

He graduated from Carr Central High School in 1951. He was a member of the tennis team, played football until an injury sidelined him his Senior year and lettered as a student trainer for football.

George attended Millsap’s College in Jackson, MS. He became a member, as a freshman, of the Purple & White, the college student newspaper, and held several positions including business staff member, sportswriter, assistant business manager and business manager. He was active in the Millsap’s Players, involved in Intramural sports, was a member of the golf team and lettered in tennis. He was inducted to Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity and served as social chair, vice president and president his Senior year. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in June 1955. He went on to obtain a Master of Science in Geology from Mississippi State University in December 1956.

Seventy-two years ago on August 31, 1951, George met Jo Glyn Hughes, the love of his life, on a blind date at a Millsap’s frat party. They were married on June 4, 1955, at Capitol Street United Methodist Church in Jackson, Ms. Their 68-year marriage is a phenomenal testament of their love and devotion to/for each other!

George began his career in 1957 with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Bureau of the U.S. Department of the Interior in Lakeland, FL. After a couple of years, he went to work for American Cyanamid Corp. also in Lakeland. In 1961, he was hired by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) as the geologist for the DeGray Dam Project in Arkadelphia, AR. Upon the completion of DeGray in 1971, he was transferred to the USACE Vicksburg District Office and worked as a Staff Geologist in the Inspection & Evaluation Section of the Foundations & Materials Branch of the Engineering Division. From April 1987 until his retirement in January 1997, George was Chief, Technical Investigation Section, Geotechnical Branch of the Engineering Division. He was honored at his retirement with the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service, certificate and medal for exceptional performance of his duties and individual efforts.

George “walked the walk and talked the talk”; His life reflected and truly fulfilled his promise to uphold the Methodist Church with his prayers, his presence, his gifts, and his service from MS to FL to AR and back to MS. His membership began and ended at CSUMC. He served on the Administrative Board in various positions, played church league men’s softball, coached church league boys basketball (even winning a championship or 2), lead & recruited a cleanup crew for the Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner for years and served as a mentor for several confirmands. He was the patriarch of 3 generations (along with his son­ in-law, Ron, and grandson, Elliott) who volunteered for many summers at Service Over Self (SOS), a CSUMC youth ministry mission. Known as “chef extraordinaire”; he started the tradition of cooking his famous hickory smoked pork tenderloin for everts benefiting charities at CSUMC (i.e., Grace Christian Counseling Center, SOS, & others). He and Jo Glyn welcomed and hosted out-of-town Methodist minsters and dignitaries with a homecooked meal countless times. George began his almost 40 years of ushering soon after moving back to Vicksburg in 1971, serving as head usher the majority of those years. He was honored by CSUMC for his years of ministry and service with a reception in August 2021.

George’s giving spirit was not limited just to the church. He was a 2+ gallon blood donor member. He served 30 years as a board member for the Hilldale Water District with 7 of those years as Board President. Hilldale honored him with a trophy for his loyalty, dedication, and exemplary service upon his retirement in February 2023. (He loved saying he worked until he was 89!) His annual summer garden was a source of pride & joy as well as aggravation & frustration (critters wanting to sample/steal the goods, weather challenges, etc.) George would share the fruits of his labor (tomatoes, okra, squash, cucumbers, and Texas cream peas) with friends and neighbors who immensely enjoyed the fresh produce.

Daddy was an exceptional father. His never-ending support: through his words of wisdom, encouragement, advice, or heartfelt mealtime prayers; through his actions of big hugs, a listening ear, or attendance at our many church, school, or social activities; and through his great sense of humor… Question asked, “, Dad, are we going in the truck or car?”; His answer, “Yes!!!”; followed by “tee-hee”; left NO doubt in our minds of his unconditional love for us kids.

George cherished his role as Papa Hum and had a special relationship with each of his 5 grandkids. Walking adventures and exploring the outdoors, having fun at the arcade, giving top$ for shelling peas (a way to earn arcade money), shooting the BB gun, wiener roasts, and playing by/boating in the backyard pond are just a few of the treasured memories between PH and the grands.

George had numerous interests … as a member of both the Arkadelphia & Vicksburg Country Clubs, he was an avid golfer (always walking the course in lieu of riding in a cart causing other to wonder if it was really for the exercise or him being “frugal”?!) He played bridge in a couple’s group & at the Vicksburg Senior Center. In AR he enjoyed bass fishing and made his own lures. He was thrilled to travel to Alaska with his sons, son-in-law, and grandsons to go halibut & salmon fishing. A favorite pastime, from March to October, was watching “his”; hummingbirds partaking at the many feeders on the back deck.

George was known for and obsessed with (1) Ole Miss football (watching it, talking about it, and going into deep depression if they lost!), (2) Having his own tub of “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter”; at every meal (maybe even having a little bit of food WITH his butter!), (3) Pepsi Colas & sweet tea, (4) His buckeye trees & the nuts they produced, (5) His hugs (it became a tradition on Sunday mornings as head usher… ALL the ladies expected a hug from George!), (6) His Styrofoam “Papa Hum”; cup filled with church ice! but MOST of all (7) his family!!!

George was predeceased by his parents and his son-in-law, Ron Bethel. Those left to cherish his memory are his loving wife, Jo Glyn, daughter Cherlyn Hunt Bethel, sons Timothy W. Hunt (Dee Dee), Lewis W. Hunt (Mary); Grandchildren: G. Taylor Hunt, Elliott J.K. Bethel (Jessika), Anna Hunt Ward (Stephan), Rebekah Hunt French (Connor), Rachel Hunt Alcosiba (Kevin) and Great- Grandchildren: Charlotte Ward, Aria French, Micah Ward, and Isla French; several nieces & nephews and fur baby, Lady.

The family would like to extend a special word of thanks to St. Joseph’s Hospice, Dr. Russell Barnes, Christie Morgan, R.N., Cecilia Cobbs, C.N.A., and Lauren Ellington, Social Worker, for their exceptional care, concern, and compassion during the last nine months!

George Hunt was a great man…one of integrity, faith & loyalty! He lived life large, with lots of laughter and endless love! He will truly be missed but never forgotten!

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to SOS, c/o Crawford Street UMC, 900 Crawford St., Vicksburg, MS 39180, or the charity of your choice.

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