Kenneth Cooper Hunt, a resident of Ponca City since 1953, died October 28, 2010.
Kenneth Cooper Hunt, a resident of Ponca City since 1953, died October 28, 2010. He was born in Clarksville, Missouri on December 26, 1922 to Orville and Edna Cooper Hunt. He was educated in Pittsburg, KS graduating from Pittsburg High School with the class of 1940. He received a BS in chemistry from Kansas State Teachers College (now Pittsburg State University). On November 3, 1942 he enlisted in the Army Air Corp, with the promise of being able to finish his degree before being called to active duty. In February 1943, he received orders to report for active duty. His request for pilot training was approved and he spent that time at several Air Force Bases, mostly in California. After the B24 crew was formed, they spent the remainder of the war flying bombing missions out of Italy. In February 1944 their plane was shot down in Fascist occupied Yugoslavia. The crew was incarcerated in Zabreb until the end of the war. Kenneth stayed in the Army Reserve program which was changed to the Air Force Reserve in 1947. After the war, he finished his degree at Pittsburg State.
He married Rae Ferguson from Kansas City, MO in 1946, whom he had met in college. They had two daughters, Terri Elizabeth and Martha Susan. He worked about two years for the Kansas City Southern railroad as a chemist, and then went to work for Conoco in December 1955 in Ponca City as a analytical Chemist. After completing 30 years with Conoco, Inc. he retired in 1984, as Director of the Refining Department’s Laboratories.
Kenneth was re-called to active duty and assigned to the Strategic Air Command in Korea, returning home November 1953. Kenneth was retired from the Air Force Reserve program on December 26, 1982, with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
He married his high school sweetheart, Maxine Scott-Sothern in 1977 in Springfield, MO. He was a long time member of the First Presbyterian Church, serving in many capacities. He delivered Meals on Wheels for 25 years. Kenneth enjoyed playing golf with his special friends, Phillip Dotson and James Scott. Kenneth was a member of the Ponca City Country Club. He took great pride in caring for his lawn and summer vegetable garden. His most fun activity for many years was sawing fire wood for their home fireplace.
Kenneth’s family asked him many times to write down his war experiences from both World War II and Korean War. In 1999 he started writing those memories by dictating to his wife and also recording some of his thoughts. In June 2010, his book was completed, including photos of the airplanes that he had both trained on, as well as, flew on bombing missions. He was extremely proud of the 120 page, hard-back book, which was distributed to each of his family members as a wonderful gift.
He is survived by his wife, Maxine, his daughters, Terri Hunt, Tulsa and Martha (Marty) Taylor and her husband, Marty of Edmond and seven grandchildren; Kenneth Epperson and wife Courtnay, Frontenac, Kansas; Matthew Epperson and wife Jill, Bartlesville, OK; James Epperson and wife Dondee, Copan, OK; Michael Cavanaugh, Broken Arrow, OK; Thomas Taylor, Luther, OK; Timothy Taylor, Edmond, OK; and Christine Martin, Edmond and three nieces, Theresa Hunt-Rundell, Kate Hunt-Arneson and Julie Webster. He is also survived by seven great grandchildren and his much loved extended family, Scott Sothern, Glendale, CA, Susan Sothern-Danielsson, Dunnigun, MO, and Brian Sothern, Springfield, MO.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Rae, his brother, Raymond and his sister, Jacqueline Hunt-Webster, as well as, his parents.
The family requests, in lieu of flowers, a memorial donation, in Kenneth’s name, be given to either the Child Development Center or Meals on Wheels in Ponca City.
Kenneth’s family thanks the wonderful nursing staff at Westminster Village for the loving care that he was given during his two months stay. They also thank all the many friends for the cards, visits, prayers and help through his illness.
A memorial service is planned, along with a Military Honor Guard from Vance Air Force Base, on Monday, November 1, at the First Presbyterian Church, at 10:30 a.m. The Rev. Mary E. Wright will officiate, assisted by the Rev. Kenneth Armstrong, Grace Episcopal Church. The cremation is under the direction of Trout Funeral Home & Crematory.