LOWELL P. HUNT, 77, a lifetime newspaperman in the
State of Texas, passed away on June 29, 2002 in
Fort Worth. Mr. Hunt's career spanned some of the
most important news stories of the 20th century as
well as the evolution of the modern Texas newspaper.
Burial was in Merriman Cemetery near Ranger, TX.
Lowell Hunt was born in Ranger on Jan. 18, 1925, to
I.D. Hunt, a farmer & oil field worker, and Laura
Funderburk Hunt. He lost his little sister, Betty
Jean, to a childhood illness when he himself was a
child, but he rose from that tragedy and humble
beginnings to a life of accomplishment. He left
Ranger High School to serve three years in the
U.S. Navy during WWII. As a petty officer, third
class, with the Seabees, he won a Battle Star in
the Iwo Jima campaign.
Upon his discharge from the Navy at the end of the
war, he joined the Brownwood Bulletin, one of five
newspapers owned by the late C.C. Woodson of Brownwood.
Woodson took the young Hunt under his wing and Hunt
worked in the mechanical department of that paper as
a floorman, Linotype operator and machinist. He also
traveled throughout central Texas as one of the best
Linotype repairman in the state. In the same year he
began with the Bulletin, he married Mary Frances Cole
of Dublin. In 1957, Hunt became publisher of the Lamesa
Reporter and Brownfield Bulletin and at 34 was the
youngest publisher in the chain of newspapers.
In 1966, Hunt was named publisher of the Alice Echo-
News. Hunt became heavily involved in all aspects of
the community, serving as President of the Chamber of
Commerce, Chairman of the Alice Urban Renewal Agency,
Chairman of the Alice Industrial Foundation and Alice
Industrial Development Team, Director of the United
Way, and as a bank director for the Bank of South Texas
and later First City Bank. He was awarded many honors
over the years for his community involvement. Hunt was
also founder and chairman of the Southwest Energy
Exposition Inc., a successful annual exhibition and
conference for the energy industry held each year in
Alice, owned a stationary store and was active in real
estate, hotels, ranching and politics in South Texas.
In 1988, he was named publisher of the Stephenville
Empire-Tribune, as well as the newspapers in Dublin
and Hico, a position he held until the sale of the
Woodson papers in 1988. After the sale of the papers,
he raised Limousin cattle until his retirement in 1997.
Hunt was known for his kind and compassionate nature,
his honesty, and a genuine desire to help people. He
went out of his way to be of service to others and to
help improve the communities in which he lived and
worked, both through the operation of his newspapers
and through volunteer and community effort. Every
newspaper he published was successful on all accounts.
His wife Mary also served in many capacities at each
paper, including managing the circulation department,
classified advertising, and bookkeeping. Hunt was a
loving son, brother, husband, father and lifelong,
faithful friend to many, including the other publishers
in the Woodson newspaper organization. He loved to joke,
tell stories, fish, hunt, and bar-b-que. He especially
loved social occasions, playing dominoes and being
surrounded by his family and friends.
His wife, Mary, preceded him in death in 1999, as well
as his brother, June Hunt (RHS-1934) of Arlington,
and sister, Betty Jean Hunt of Ranger.
Survivors at the time of his death: daughters, Paula
Rice of Fort Worth and husband, Bryan, Linda Smith of
Hewitt and husband, Dewayne Lee; four grandchildren;
sister-in-law, Inez Falls Hunt (RHS-1936) of Arlington,
and a host of loving relatives and friends.