Love for his fellow man and a desire to serve his community. That was the
unanimous description given by just a few of the many people who knew Jim Hunt.
Mr. Hunt, well-known in the Denison business and school community, died Friday,
at age 63, of health complications. He leaves behind not only a loving family
but a legacy of kindness and caring that spanned his decades in the community.
Born on a farm between Van Alstyne and Gunter, Mr. Hunt moved to
Denison with his family when he was a small boy. He graduated from Denison High
School in 1957 and went to work in the transit department of State National Bank
which was located in today's Bank of America in downtown Denison. While working,
he completed a three-year course at the Southwest Graduate School of Banking at
Southern Methodist University.
From the transit department, Mr. Hunt moved up within the bank, from relief
teller to regular teller, assistant cashier, assistant vice president, loan
officer, vice president and senior vice president of the bank. He later served
as vice president of Grayson Bank.
Minnie Belle Leverette worked about 30 years with Mr. Hunt at State National
Bank. Her memories of her long-time friend were poignant. "James came to the
bank as soon as he graduated from high school. He was a friend to a lot of
people. He didn't make a lot of money, but it was unreal the amount of money he
gave and things he bought for people that needed it," Leverette said. "There was
a man that used to come to the bank that was kinda of mentally challenged. This
man would stand outside the back door and Jim gave that man money every day to
eat on."Jim was really a one-of-a-kind person. He did a lot of good for a lot of
people. And he loved his mother. Every time she'd walk into the bank, he'd look
at someone and say, "Isn't she the prettiest woman you ever looked at?"
"I don't know of anybody I ever worked with that was any more thoughtful of
people as a whole than Jim was."
She said Mr. Hunt was quite an athlete and enjoyed a daily game of pinball with
then bank president W.L. Peterson.
"But the thing I remember so much about Jim was his kindness towards people that
were maybe not as fortunate as he was," Leverette said. "He would even cry with
them. He was just a good man."
Don Booth also worked at the bank with Mr. Hunt. "I was 19 and Jim was 20. I
started at the bank in 1959 and Jim started in 1957. I worked with him for 25
years-plus and it was very enjoyable. Jim was very knowledgeable in his work and
he liked people."
Hunt will always hold a special place in Linda Hunt's heart. Her comments were
brief as her voice broke.
"This is just real hard," said Hunt. "Jim was a great friend and mentor to me. I
worked with him from 1972 until he left and went to Grayson Bank. Even after he
left, he offered to help and guide me. He was a very caring man."
Not only did Mr. Hunt make his mark in the local world of banking, but on the
Denison school board as well. He served as a trustee on the board from April
1985 until 1997 and served as school board president in the mid-1990's. Having
three daughters of his own, Mr. Hunt had a special place in his heart for
children. David Bayless Jr. recalled working with Mr. Hunt on the school board.
"When Jim was on the school board, I always found him to have an over-abundance
of common sense which isn't that common anymore. He was always looking at
everything from every side you could look at it from and always seemed to find
the best opinion," said Bayless. "He always had the kid's concerns in mind more
so than the parents or the taxpayers. "It was truly a loss to this community
when he decided not to run for the school board any more."
Dr. Henry Scott, Denison school superintendent, said that up until a few months
ago when his health worsened, Mr. Hunt would call him about every two weeks. He
would congratulate Scott on all the good things happening in the Denison
School board member, Gary Sewell, served on the board with Hunt. Dr. Scott
reminded me that "Jim and my philosophies were much the same 'doing what is best
for the kids.' The kids were number one in Jim's eyes. They were number one
right up to the end."
Mr. Hunt was also a part of the Denison Planning and Zoning board, the Grayson
County Appraisal District board and was president of the Oak Ridge-South Gale
Water Supply Corporation. His work in these capacities also reflected his caring
"I worked closely with Jim when we were trying to provide service to the Oak
Ridge South Gale Water Corporation and Jim provided really significant
leadership during that process", said Denison City Manager, Larry Cruise. "I've
known Jim for years and always had lots of respect and admiration for him. I was
deeply concerned when he began having health problems. The loss of Jim will be a
significant loss to the entire community. He was a good guy,a quality guy."
Mr. Hunt married the former Lois Means in 1960 and the couple
has three daughters as well as several grandchildren.
By Lynette George
Home | About Us | Alumni News | Articles | Photo Gallery