Kenneth William Hunter passed peacefully on May 1, 2020 after succumbing to complications from Alzheimer’s. He was born May 22, 1935 to the late Kenneth G. Hunter and Josephine E. (Durand) Hunter in Albany, New York.
Kenneth (“Big H” as he was known by most) was a graduate of Albany Pharmacy College and later earned a Ph.D. in business. He enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a civil service pharmacist for the Air Force while also serving in the Army; ultimately retiring as a “Full Bird Colonel” after 35 years of service. After being drafted in 1960, “Big H” enjoyed the military life and it became not just a career but a passion for him. During Operation Desert Storm, he was deployed to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio where he managed the pharmacy for injured soldiers. After retirement, “Big H” continued to contribute to those who served by creating the Purple Heart pillow campaign for injured soldiers, many of whom were wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan. This project was a way to support and recognize those who had been in combat and needed a morale boost during their hospital stay. At last count, “Big H” had provided several hundred embroidered Purple Heart pillows to injured soldiers as a thank you for their commitment and service. While this is one of the more public contributions “Big H” made, it was not uncommon to hear through others the generosity he extended to many. Doing for others was a mantra for “Big H” while never in search of personal recognition for his anonymous donations.
In additional to his military service, his love of pharmacy was deeply rooted in his desire to help others and to carry on the family business of Hunter’s Pharmacy in Albany, NY where his father had successfully started and managed several locations around the Albany area. In his free time, “Big H” served as a liaison officer to West Point after watching first-hand the process his oldest son, Shawn, went through to receive a congressional appointment and graduating in the class of 1983. Additionally, “Big H” enjoyed flying, was a licensed twin-engine flight instructor and was an alternate to the 1956 Olympics for rifle. Later in his career, he followed his passion for research and education and joined Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine where he taught and conducted research in hyperalimentation and other cutting-edge activities in the pharmaceutical space.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Anne Hunter, with whom they had four children (Shawn, Kevin, Erin, and Margaret). “Big H” and Anne have been residents of Burleson, Texas for more than 45 years and found an embracing home at St. Ann Catholic Church.
When asked “Big H” would always say his best accomplishment was meeting Anne and having four amazing children. Everyone who met him quickly learned of his integrity along with his love of family and how much he enjoyed the success of his wife, children and grandchildren. While Alzheimer’s robbed “Big H” of his memory, he was always kind, never demanding, and quick with a patented smile and the statement “I am in Texas and I’m going to stay in Texas”.
Unfortunately, “Big H” was pre-deceased by his oldest daughter, Erin Hunter Patterson, in 2005 after a 3-year battle with breast cancer and the recent passing of his sister, Mary Jane Kretzler, December 1, 2019.
He is survived by his wife, older brother, James, and children and grandchildren listed below:
Shawn Hunter and son, Ethan, Houston, TX
Kevin and Angelia Hunter and children Austin, Abigail, Alaina, Adam, Tampa, FL
Scott Patterson and sons, Daniel and Ryan, Houston, TX
Margaret Hunter Vick and husband, Andrew Vick, and children Greta, Elin, Jack, Fort Worth, TX
While we will all miss “Big H”, we do respect and honor a life well lived.
Due to COVID-19 there will be no visitation or public service, Colonel Hunter will receive a full military funeral and be buried at VA’s National Cemetery in Dallas Texas.
If anyone is interested, you can donate the Wounded Warrior Project in Kenneth W. Hunter’s honor. https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/donate
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