Colonel Charles March Hunter departed this life on Thursday, September 26, 2013. He was 86. His final hours were with his beloved family at his side.
Charles (Chuck) was a loving husband, father, grandfather and uncle. He married the love of his life, Theresa Eleanor Little Hunter (Terry), on Valentines Day, February 14, 1953. They enjoyed over 60 wonderful years together. Survivors include his wife, Terry; his son, Lieutenant Colonel Charles M. Hunter Jr. of Palm Coast, FL; his daughter, Colonel Eleanor A. Hunter of Williamsburg, VA; his granddaughter, Shannon B. Hunter of Williamsburg, VA; and his nephews, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Robert S. Little of Columbia Falls, MT; and Selby F. Little III, of Reno, NV.
Born in Newton, Massachusetts, he had lived in Williamsburg since January 1976.
Chuck enlisted in the Army during World War II and spent over 32 years in uniform before retiring as a Colonel in 1976. He was a 1950 graduate of Stanford University, and a highly decorated combat veteran of Korea and Vietnam. While in the Army, he served state-side in Arkansas, California, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia. His overseas assignments included Germany, Japan, Korea, Panama, and Vietnam. He commanded Field Artillery units during war and peace, and was editor of the professional journal of the Field Artillery, Artillery Trends. He was a graduate of the Army War College and served on the Army General Staff.
After retiring from the Army, Chuck began his second career in June 1976 as the Safety Director at Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg. His job was to obtain fire safety accreditation for the hospital which he achieved. During his tenure, he also built strong relationships with local, regional and state fire and emergency services officials, making Eastern State Hospital a fully integrated partner in emergency planning and response activities throughout the region.
By the summer of 1987, Chuck was completely retired and was ready to spend more time with Terry. Together, they became world travelers. Some of their travels were to visit places and meet people that Terry had identified through her genealogical research. Chuck was able to meet an aunt and first cousin in Newton, Massachusetts who remembered his early childhood. He also met a great uncle in Ireland who treated him like a long lost son; and a second cousin in England who became a good friend. Chuck and Terry also greatly enjoyed their mountain retreat in Dry Fork, West Virginia.
On the day it opened in December 1996, Chuck and Terry moved to Patriots Colony. They each became involved in the community. Chuck joined the library committee and soon became chairman of the magazine donation program: sorting, bundling and delivering donated magazines to the Williamsburg Community Hospital.
A great joy in his later life was his precious granddaughter, Shannon. He and Terry spent as much time as possible with her and were thrilled when Eleanor and Shannon moved to Williamsburg in 2010. Shannon always brought a smile to his face and a sparkle to his eyes.
Chuck was blessed with an outgoing and friendly personality and was always gracious to anyone he met. He loved and cared deeply for his family and friends. As dementia crept into his memories, we lost our avid reader and Civil War historian who could recall so many facts and describe events in such vivid detail. This gentle man spent his final years with his wife by his side and his daughter and granddaughter nearby. He will be greatly missed and his legacy of love will live in our hearts forever.
Chuck was a member of Bruton Parish Church (usher), Eastern State Hospital Retirees Club (past president), Hickory Neck Episcopal Church, Middle Plantation Club, Patriots Colony Foundation Board of Directors (membership chairman), Patriots Colony Library Committee, Saint Andrews Society of Williamsburg, Williamsburg Civil War Round Table (past president), Williamsburg Community Hospital Volunteer, and the Williamsburg Historical Society (founding member and past president).
The family wishes to express sincere appreciation to the staff of the Patriots Colony Convalescent Center where Chuck and Terry lived since November 2010; and to the congregation of Hickory Neck Episcopal Church for their weekly visits and sharing of Communion. A special thanks to Comfort Keepers for providing companion care since 2009; and to the many friends and caregivers who gave so unselfishly to make Chuck's struggle with dementia as comfortable as possible.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, October 4, 2013, in the Great Hall at Patriots Colony at Williamsburg. Burial with full military honors will be at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Chuck's memory to Hickory Neck Episcopal Church, 8300 Richmond Road, Toano, VA 23168.