I recently attended a memorial service for Robert L. Hunt. When I was a young boy, he taught me to swim. In high school, he was my science teacher. He taught us about “climate change” long before that term was ever used.
When I was a young man, Bob got me involved in Windham town affairs. While he was a selectman, he asked me to serve on the Police Study Committee for our town. Then in the mid-1970s I was elected to the Windham Town Council and served with him on that board.
Although we belonged to different political parties and we sometimes differed on issues, we always treated each other with civility. Bob was pragmatic and very practical. He taught me that being involved with government required great patience.
Throughout my political career, Bob would call me with advice. When I was a Cumberland County Commissioner, he would call me about the Saco River Corridor Commission. During my years in the Maine Legislature, he called me about various issues. It seems, Bob had an opinion about everything and they were always informed opinions. By the way, Bob was not the first person with the last name “Hunt” to call me. His mother, Thelma, also called me. Those who knew Thelma will understand why I mention her calls. Let’s just say she had some rather strong opinions.
All of my relationships with Bob Hunt were important to me, but by far, the most significant was my enduring friendship with him.
I will conclude by telling about my last visit with him. Earlier this year, my wife and I were visiting a relative at the Bridgton Health Care facility when we talked to his daughter Ella, who worked there. She told us that her dad was a resident at the facility. I certainly had to stop by his room to visit him. I stepped into his room and stood by the foot of his bed and announced that “I am looking for a guy named Bob Hunt”. He looked up with a twinkle in his eye and said, “I am looking at a guy named Gary Plummer.” We had a wonderful visit that I will always cherish.
Knowing Bob and his family has enriched my life beyond words.