Howard Hunnicutt

HUNNICUTT, Howard HOWARD HUNNICUTT Howard Hunnicutt was born November 27, 1924 in Candler County, Georgia at El and Mary Lanier's home, his maternal grandparents, in The Union Community. Howard was the eldest child, born to Margaret Lanier Hunnicutt, of Candler County, and Leonard Hunnicutt, of east Tennessee. He was followed by siblings Lanier A. Hunnicutt (deceased), Jean H. Kent (deceased), and Lenette H. Durrence of Glenville, GA. The Hunnicutt family operated a successful farm for decades. The family house was built from a Sears and Roebuck kit, initially, and additions were added later. Howard's father was also the superintendent teacher at the Union School nearby, where Howard and his siblings went to school. He graduated from Metter High School in 1941, and subsequently entered what was then Georgia Teachers' College in Statesboro for a year before entering Georgia Tech. He was a veteran of WWII, spending two years in the Philippines and Japan. In 1944, he enrolled at the University of Georgia as an undergraduate in Agricultural Engineering. With the support of the GI Bill, he was accepted into the Agricultural Engineer Master's Program, which he completed at the University of Illinois. Howard met Ella Ruth Waldrop, the love of his life, while they were students at UGA. They were married December 20, 1947 and recently celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary. The first of their five children, Gregory, was born in 1949, followed by Cyndia, Karen, Paul, and Jenni, each born in a different state as Howard and Ella Ruth launched their careers. Howard was a manufacturer's representative with what became the American Plywood Association. After returning to Atlanta in 1964, he was self-employed until his retirement. Howard and Ella Ruth continued their wanderlust and logged many air miles over the next 20 years with trips to Spain, France, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, and Cuba, as well as visiting their children in some far-flung places. As an elder of the church and a deeply religious man, Howard, with Ella Ruth, a dedicated teacher, supported their church; Covenant Presbyterian Church, Church of the Master, and later Central Presbyterian Church in Atlanta. As an advocate of social justice, he was a strong supporter and member of CALC, (Clergy and Laity Concerned) for several years. Likewise as a father, he was clear in his advocacy of social justice and as for that he will not be soon forgotten. He and Ella Ruth both were athletic, loved healthy food, being outdoors, and worked a garden plot well into his retirement. His stories about life on the farm and his knowledge of agriculture were real and an enormous part of his beginning and end. Howard died peacefully at his home in Roswell, GA on Friday, January 10, 2014, surrounded by his wife and children. He was 89. Survivors include his wife, Ella Ruth Hunnicutt, children, Gregory Smith-Hunnicutt, Cyndia Hunnicutt, Karen Mosteller, Paul Hunnicutt, and Jenni Hunnicutt; grandchildren Nikolas Hunnicutt, Carl Smith-Hunnicutt, Kallio Hunnicutt-Ferguson, Nathaniel Mosteller, Melanie Mosteller Mack, Cole Mosteller, Caroline Gonzalez Hunnicutt, Anabel Gonzalez Hunnicutt; 3 great grandchildren, Raleigh Hunnicutt, Reed Mosteller, Luke Mosteller; his sister, Lenette (Jesse) Durrence, sister-in-law Barbara Hunnicutt and other members of his extended family. The memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday, January 19, 2014 in the sanctuary of Central Presbyterian Church, 201 Washington Street SW, Atlanta. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Night Shelter at Central Presbyterian Church.


Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Jan. 17, 2014