Life Story / Obituary
Robert J. Hunt, of Holland MI, peacefully passed away on May 21, 2023, at the age of 84.
Bob was born October 14, 1938 in Jackson MI, to Ken & Alice Hunt. Bob spent his childhood years in the Western Chicago suburb of La Grange, IL along with his brother Dave, and sister Carol. With family in the Kalamazoo area, Bob chose to attend Western Michigan University where he ran cross country and graduated with a degree in Education and a Master Degree in Administration. While at Western, he met the love of his life, a young woman from Vicksburg, MI, Barbara Jean Cooley. They were married on June 17, 1961 and had three sons, Jeff, Todd, and Ken. When asked by his sons why he chose to live in Holland, his reply was simply, “Why not live where you like to vacation.” That’s what led to him to apply for an administration position of principal at the West Ottawa school district in 1967.
Bob was a principal at many schools including Ventura, New Holland, Woodside, Sheldon Woods, and Pine Creek elementary schools during his years with the West Ottawa school district and the Niles school district. As many educators, Bob had a true passion for children and to help them live their best lives. Regularly at the dinner table, he would reflect on the day and one of his student’s or teacher’s accomplishments or experiences. He was named Region 12 Principal of the Year while at Pine Creek Elementary in the late 80’s.
Bob retired from West Ottawa in 1992 and pursued another passion - the outdoors and farming. Wa-Hu Blueberries was born and for the next 30 plus years Bob could be found happily tending to his bushes and enjoying conversations with the customers.
Bob was a true gentleman in every sense of the word. With his quiet demeanor, ready smile, infinite patience and ability to listen, he brought out the best in everyone.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Alice and Ken, and much loved and greatly missed granddaughter, Kelsey Ann.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Barbara Jean; children Jeffrey (Kristi), Todd (Nancy), and Kenneth (Sarah); brother David (Mary), sister Carol (Brad) Hedrick; 6 grandchildren, Lauren (Patrick) Fitzgerald, Brian, Sydney, Kaiden, Conner, and Natalie Hunt and 1 great grandchild, Phoebe Fitzgerald; and sister in laws Eleanor Richardson and Virginia Wester.
A visitation will be held from noon to 2 pm on Tuesday, May 30, 2023 at Dykstra Funeral Home - Northwood Chapel, 295 Douglas Avenue in Holland. A funeral service will immediately follow. The family will attend the interment of ashes at Rest Lawn Memorial Garden.