Sunday, January 23, 2022

Albert Wallace ‘Wally’ Hunt Sr., developed health programs for the Army

Albert Wallace 'Wally' Hunt Sr.
Albert Wallace ‘Wally’ Hunt Sr.

NEWPORT NEWS — It is with heavy hearts that we say so long to the leader of our band; Albert Wallace “Wally” Hunt Sr. passed away Sunday morning, Jan. 10, 2021.

Known by many as Wally, he was a sweet, quiet, funny and articulate soul, a loving husband and father. Wally was the fifth of six children born to Herbert and Ethel Hunt in March 1927 in Swampscott, Massachusetts.

Over the summers as a teenager during the Great Depression, he explored from Canada to Florida, working odd jobs and learning about life. He graduated from English High School in Lynn, Massachusetts, Jan. 17, 1945. The very next day, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He entered boot camp in Seneca, New York, attended signal and firefighting School in Norfolk, and sonar school in Key West, Florida. He was assigned to a destroyer in the South Pacific. He was honorably discharged in 1946.

He attended Springfield College in Massachusetts and Union College in Kentucky. After graduating in 1951, he married Effie “Marie” Clark. Marie claims to have “caught” him at a Sadie Hawkins Day dance.

After graduation, he worked for the Illinois Central Railroad, Kentucky Division, where his first daughter, Suzanne, was born. He then attended Boston University School of Theology. In 1953, he began a 15-year career with the YMCA in Ohio, where his second daughter, Linda, was born.

Then, on to Michigan, where his son, Al, was born. In 1969, he started his second career with the U.S. Army as a civil servant at Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois. While there, he developed the Army’s first model alcoholism program; he was then reassigned to HQ US Army Training & Doctorate Command in Hampton, where he developed an alcohol and drug abuse prevention and control program. He also developed programs in suicide prevention, smoking cessation and health.

In 1980, he married Annette Cofer Delk. They owned and operated a knitting and craft store and Wally made scroll frames and stands. Through their retirement years, they took many trips and cruises. In 2004, he and Annette moved to The Chesapeake retirement community.

After the passing of Annette in 2008, he and Marie met again at a family reunion and were remarried in 2011. As with many couples, they had their ups and downs, but their love endured.

He was a member of St. Marks United Methodist Church, Hampton, and later, St. Luke’s United Methodist, Yorktown.

He was preceded in death by his grandson, Triston Hunt.

He leaves us all, to include his wife, Marie; and three children, five grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

Homegoing services are planned for a later date.

Share online condolences with the family at R. Hayden Smith Funeral Home.

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