Beloved Scoutmaster Hunt laid to rest

Published 8:54 pm Thursday, August 19, 2010

Friends, family and loved ones braved heavy rain and lightening to bid a tearful farewell to Erney John Hunt on Thursday.

Hunt was mentor to several generations of youth through his time with Boy Scout Troop 86 of Groves and as Scoutmaster of Troop 293 of Bob Hope Hughen School.

“He showed the scouts through example how to be good scouts,” the Rev. J.C. Coon said during the funeral Mass at St. Catherine Catholic Church.

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Coon explained to the crowd of mourners that each person comes into the world with many gifts. Some may not develop their gifts to the fullest because they are shy or for other reasons. Hunt, he said, developed and shared his many gifts with others.

Hunt became a scout at the age of eight and earned the rank of Eagle Scout at the age of 18. In 1973, after a stint in the U.S. Coast Guard, Hunt became a father figure to many of the boys of Troop 86 as well as the scouts of Troop 293.

The Rev. Duc Duong, who knew Hunt and his family, described Hunt as a devoted Catholic who died the Feast Day of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

“Erney will fly with Mary to Heaven,” Duong said.

The scout slogan, “do a good turn daily” was something Hunt lived by — he was among the volunteers who help the people of Sabine Pass after Hurricane Ike struck. He was a shoulder to cry on and a guiding hand to many through the years.

Members of the local chapter of the Patriot Guard Riders and current and former scouts participated in the solemn ceremony.

Hunt was  a native and lifelong resident of the Port Neches-Groves area and a welder at Gulf Oil. He was the recipient of numerous awards in his life, some of which include: Groves Father of the Year, Jefferson Award and Port Arthur News Citizen of the Year as well as many scouting awards. After his death he received an induction into the National Hall of Leadership.

Hunt battled cancer for 10 years and endured several years of chemotherapy, back and heart surgeries.

He is survived by his wife, Melba, of 43 years, two children, and numerous grandchildren and other loved ones.