Frank E. Hunt (b. November 21, 1933 d. September 1, 2014)
It doesn’t seem like that long ago. My dad was mowing our lawn on Karen Drive in Summerford, Ohio. I pushed my little plastic lawn mower behind his, trying with all of my might to keep up with him. I couldn’t. He seemed so strong. He seemed so fast. I wanted to be like him. I thought he could do anything. He was dad, who God had fearfully and wonderfully made.
I thought dad could do anything until that fateful day when we were playing whiffle ball. He crushed his ankle during that game. Our relationship changed at that time. He no longer played with Richard and I. Yet, he was still involved in our lives. He was dad, who God had gifted with many talents.
Dad and I worked on many projects through the years. When I was in Cub Scouts, my dad and I nearly won the Ohio pinewood derby. We refinished the shell of a mantle clock together. We fixed up used bicycles. We did the body work and painting on a 1974 Datsun pickup, a 1976 Datsun B210, a 1981 Datsun 310, and a 1974-1/2 Datsun 260Z… we liked Datsuns. It was difficult working on these projects with dad. He was a tough man who expected you to know as much as he did about such things. I learned much working alongside of him, though not as much as he knew. I can no longer ask him, “Dad, how do you fix this?” I will miss his vast storehouse of knowledge and skills.
Dad was the son of a carpenter, Frank Hunt Sr., and a successful antique store tycoon, Flora Hunt. Frank Sr., passed down his knowledge of carpentry, cabinet making, furniture making, and general woodworking to my dad. Like his father, and his grandfather, my dad could make anything of which you could ever conceive out of wood. Woodcraft was not to be my father’s chosen trade. He admitted, “It’s easier to carry jewelry in your hands, than to carry several hundred pounds of furniture on your back.”
Dad went to London High School at a time when they still taught Latin, the Bible, and various other things that professional educators say we no longer need. My dad could do long division and multiplication in his head. It was very impressive to watch him do great feats of mathematics in front of a customer to figure sales tax or the price of gold items (he based the price of items in his store on the daily price of gold).
In order to go into the jewelry trade, dad needed a college education. To help pay for his education dad joined the newly formed Air Force. He had joined the USAF to fly, but he was under the height requirement for pilots. He received flight training, and was better than his fellow pilots, but was assigned a desk instead of a cockpit. Despite his disappointment, dad received enough from the GI Bill and from parking cars at a hotel to go to Bradley University.
At Bradley University, dad learned the base sciences of the jewelry trade, goldsmithing and horology. He could make custom jewelry, watches, clocks, or even eyeglasses (yes, in the old days you used to go a jeweler to get your glasses, not Dr. Bizer). He could fix jewelry, watches, clocks, and eyeglasses. He also knew the almost lost art of hand engraving. When he started Hunt’s Jewelry, he was a “full service” jeweler.
Dad worked from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM at Hunt’s Jewelry. After eating dinner, he often retreated to his watch bench to continue working. Although, I thought dad seemed distant at those times, he did what was necessary to provide for our family. He was dad, who God had given to provide our needs.
My dad could do many wonderful things, such as auto repair, electrical wiring, and masonry. Not many people today could boast of being a “master of all trades.” I wish I knew half of what he had in skills. He has passed some of his skills and knowledge on to me. Included in that skill set is my impish sense of humor.
One Halloween, dad, my brother, and I set up a pulley between our attic and the tree in our front yard. He attached a white handkerchief to a thin string on the pulley. We scared many a trick-or-treater and a few parents that night with our floating ghostie.
Later in life, dad put a talking toilet paper roll in the guest bathroom. When guests used the facilities, the roll would say in dad’s recorded voice, “We are conserving paper. Please use both sides.”
The first time my wife Sharon met my dad, he handed her an envelope. It was labeled, “Rattlesnake eggs.” When she opened it, the paper clip wound up with a rubber band let loose producing the infamous rattling sound. Fortunately for me, she didn’t get scared off from my family. He was dad, who God had given for our enjoyment.
I feared my dad and the discipline he could dish out when I lied, broke something, did something embarrassing in public, or disobeyed him or mom in the many ways that I did. Though I did not appreciate dad’s discipline at the time, I learned to respect my parents and to seek the good, turning from my own selfish and evil desires. He was dad, who God had given to train me up.
God gives dads like Frank Hunt so that sons and daughters may see even if dimly, the character of our Father God, whose strength is almighty, whose ability is without limit, whose discipline and wrath are terrible, and whose blessings are to be received with thankfulness and joy.
For we all, like foolish children, have rebelled from our Father. Yet, He in His great mercy, sent God the Son in the flesh to live the perfect life we should have lived and to take the punishment we should have received. God the Father raised Him from the dead that those who trust in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, might also be raised as adopted sons and coheirs with Christ. Let us all trust in Him, not continuing as rebellious children without father or mother, but continuing in thankfulness and joy for the salvation our Heavenly Father has given, and in hope of the resurrection to come.