Jimmy Hunt, 83, of Ilsley, KY, passed away due to cardiac arrest at Baptist Health in Madisonville, KY, on Friday, February 5, 2021. Jim made it very clear to his children that he wanted his obituary to be short. However, we could fill a book with what we want to say about our Dad, so this will be as brief as we can make it.
Jim was born in Jenkins, KY, to the late Dock and Irene Huddleston Hunt. His family moved to Dawson Springs, KY, when he was eight years old. He, along with his mother, sister, and younger brother, rode a train from eastern Kentucky to the depot in Dawson Springs. He remembered that train ride vividly for the rest of his life, particularly when a man appeared walking through the train selling different kinds of sandwiches cut diagonally and prepackaged in little white boxes with plastic, which he thought was the most amazing thing he’d seen in his life thus far. (He chose pimento cheese.) He grew up in Menser, KY, and graduated from Nortonville High School in 1955.
Jim married his love, Patricia Ann Thorpe Hunt, on July 2, 1958. He proposed to her with a diamond ring he purchased at the jewelry store in the New Century Hotel in Dawson Springs. Jim and Pat were the parents of two children, Chris and Carrie Helen. Pat died of COVID-19 on December 20, 2020. Her death, and not being able to be by her side when she left us, devastated him. He simply could not live without her.
Among other jobs, Jim worked as a grocery delivery driver for the Dawson Daylight Company Store, and also as a barber. However, his career was coal mining. He worked as a miner for over thirty-three years and retired from Peabody Coal Company in 1996. He worked tirelessly at physically hard and dangerous jobs every day so that his children would not have to. Jim was a proud member of the United Mine Workers of America for over fifty-three years, UMWA District 12, Local 2470. He was also a member of the First United Methodist Church of Dawson Springs.
Though quiet and humble, Jim was brilliant. He could converse on almost any topic and could build or repair anything. He had a wonderful dry wit and sense of humor. Scarcely a day went by when he did not utter something so funny it was worthy of recording. Also, as a former coworker and union brother said, “If Jim gave you his word, you could count on it.” He was the best father, husband, son, brother, uncle, friend, and neighbor anyone could imagine. A cherished neighbor described him as the “greatest man she had ever known,” and though biased, we certainly agree. He is already so greatly missed. We are all lucky to have had him while we did, and we are so proud to be his children.
He is survived by his son, James Christopher, Washington, DC; his daughter, Carrie Helen (Mike Kelly) LeFevre, Charleston, WV; his sister, Doris Sizemore, Madisonville, KY; his brother, Franklin Hunt, Dawson Springs; and numerous beloved nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Jim is preceded in death by his parents; his wife of sixty-two years, Patricia Ann Thorpe Hunt; four brothers, Bill Hunt, Robert Ray Hunt, James Daniel Hunt, and Thomas Ray Hunt; two nephews, Tommy O. Thorp and John Edward Thorp; two nieces, Karen Elizabeth Thorpe and Nancy Ann Thorpe; a great-niece, Melissa Ann Thorp; and three great-nephews, Jon Thomas Russell, William Tyler Adams, and Donald Glenn “D.J.” Hartsock Thorp.
The family would like to thank all the medical staff at Baptist Health Madisonville who cared for Jim during his illness, and who comforted his family during his last hours.
A virtual service will held for Jim Hunt on Sunday, February 14, 2021, at 2:00 PM CST at Beshear Funeral Home, Dawson Springs, with Elder Jeff Winfrey officiating. Burial will follow at Menser Cemetery in Menser. Mr. Hunt’s service will be live streamed on the Beshear Funeral Home Facebook page. Due to the infectious nature of COVID-19, the visitation and service will not be physically open to the public. However, the family very much desires your participation through the safe viewing of the virtual service. To view the virtual service, “Google” beshearfuneralhomefacebook and select “videos” among the menu options. Pallbearers include Randy Poe, Mike Kelly, Willie Adams, Jacob Adams, David Lee Thorp, and Gary Hunt.
In lieu of flowers, you may make a donation in Jim’s memory to the Hopkins County Humane Society (hopkinscountyhumanesociety.com), the Jon Thomas Russell Scholarship Fund (jonthomasrussellscholarshipfund.com), or the Menser Cemetery Perpetual Fund c/o Darla Hunt Adams, P.O. Box 382, Dawson Springs, KY 42408.