Frank M. Hunt, II, 1928-2021
Last updated 11/29/2021 at 10:31pm
Frank M. Hunt, II of Lake Wales passed away Saturday, November 27, 2021 at his residence.
He was born April 2, 1928 in Lake Wales to the late Deeley A. and Louise E. Hunt; he was a fifth generation Floridian. Frank attended elementary school and secondary school in Lake Wales and attended Erskine College in Due West, South Carolina. He graduated from the University of Florida in Gainesville with a BS Degree in Business Administration in 1950.
Frank was the President of the Hunt Brothers Cooperative in Lake Wales from 1964 until 1997 and was the former Chairman of the Board, the President of Citrus World, Inc. (Florida’s Natural Growers, Inc.) in Lake Wales from 1973 until 2003, the President of Hunt Brothers Inc. in Lake Wales from 1984 until 1997, the past President of Cooperative Producers, Inc, Ranch One Cooperative, Cooperative Three, Inc., World Citrus West, Inc., and Gulf Harvesting, Inc. He was a member of the Board of Directors for many businesses including; Hunt Brothers, Inc. in Lake Wales from 1950 until his passing, Citrus World Inc. in Lake Wales from 1952 until 2003, Seald-Sweet Growers, Inc. from 1959 until 1990, where he was also the President from 1985 until 1989, Highland Crate Cooperative from 1960 until 1972, HESCO (Highland Exchange Service Cooperative) from 1972 until 1988, where he was also President from 1981 until 1985, Columbia Bank for Cooperatives in Columbia South Carolina from 1986 until 1988, where he was also the Chairman in 1988, American Bank and Trust of Polk County in Lake Wales from 1982 until 1999, where he was also the Chairman from 1991 until 1999, National Bank for Cooperatives (CoBank) in Denver, Colorado from 1989 until 1996 where he was also the First Vice Chairman, Texas Star Juice Products from 1999 until 2003, Erskine College in Due West, South Carolina from 1975 until 1981, 1983 until 1989, 1992 until 1998, and was also Chairman from 1980 until 1981, The Vanguard School in Lake Wales from 1966 until 1988, The Bok Tower Gardens Foundation, Inc. from 1997 until his passing, where he was also the past Chairman, and the Executive Board, General Synod at the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Greenville, South Carolina from 2003 until his passing.
Frank was also a member of the Florida Citrus Mutual, the Polk County Farm Bureau, where he was the former Director, the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame Committee, the Florida Citrus Packers Research and Education Committee, where he was also the past Chairman, the First State Test House Extractor Committee, the Lake Wales Rotary Club, where he was also the President from 1964 until 1965, the Bonclarken Conference Center Board of Counselors from 1998 until his passing, the Lake Wales City Commission from 1960 until 1963, where he was also Mayor from 1962 until 1963, the Lake Wales Chamber of Commerce, where he was also President in 1968, the First Polk County Industrial Development Authority from 1969 until 1973, Delta Sigma Phi Honorary Business Fraternity, Sigma Nu-Social Fraternity, Lake Wales area School Advisory Committee, where he was also the past Chairman, the Grand Guard for the University of Florida Alumni Association, the committee to form HESCO and CoBank, and a former member of the 10th Judicial Circuit Nominating Committee.
Frank was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, Associate Reformed Synod of Lake Wales. He was the past Chairman for the Board of Deacons and a past Clerk of Session, Elder from 1963 until his passing. Frank was a Sunday School teacher there for over 45 years. He was moderator for the General Synod, Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church from 2004 until 2005 and the second moderator for the Florida Presbytery, Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in 1965. Frank was very active in the community, serving on the Lake Wales Park Commission, the Lake Wales Amphitheater Board, as the Institutional Representative for the Boy Scouts of America, was an officer on various PTA and PTOs for Lake Wales schools, was a part of the committee to bring the Family YMCA to Lake Wales, and was Fundraising Chairman for the Boy Scouts of America, the American Red Cross, the Lake Wales Black Hills Passion Play, and the American Cancer Society.
Frank was honored many times over the years. Some include the Citizen of the Year award for Lake Wales in 1970, the recipient of the Algernon Sidney Sullivan Award from Erskine College in 1982, the Honorary Doctor of Humanities from Erskine College in 1991, the Alumni Distinguished Service award from Erskine College in 1994, the Florida Citrus Packers John T. Lesley Award of Excellence in 2000, the recipient of the Historic Lake Wales Society Historic Preservation award in 2001, the Lake Wales Pioneer of the Year Award in 2005, the Gator Boosters, Inc., Bull Gator Award, and the Paul Harris Fellow Award from Rotary International. Frank was inducted into the National Cooperative Hall of Fame in 2006 and inducted into the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame in 2012.
Along with his parents, Frank is preceded in death by his brother, Deeley A. Hunt, Jr. in 1927; and daughter, Polly Matteson in 2005. He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Margaret Nelson Hunt; daughters, Louise Watkins and husband Bill of Greenwood, South Carolina, and Sarah Margaret Storey and husband Charles of Providence Forge, Virginia; sons, Frank M. Hunt, III and wife Laura of Lake Wales, and D. Andrew “Andy” Hunt and wife Keri of Lake Wales; brother, Ellis Hunt and wife Nancy of Lake Wales; son-in-law, John S. Matteson; 20 grandchildren; and 23 great-grandchildren.
A funeral service will be held 11:00 a.m., Saturday, December 4, 2021 at First Presbyterian Church of Lake Wales. A private burial will be held at Lake Wales Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Franks honor may be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Lake Wales (16 North 3rd Street, Lake Wales, Florida 33853) or to the charity of your choice.