Jim Hunter of Darlington, SC and Daytona Beach, Fla., passed away on Friday, October 29, 2010 following a courageous battle with cancer. He was 71 years old. His career in motorsports spanned portions of six decades as both a journalist and public relations professional and currently Vice President of Corporate Communications. As a young man growing up in his native South Carolina, Hunter was a football and baseball player at the University of South Carolina. Those years preceded a future of being immersed in the sports world, primarily motorsports. Hunter learned motorsports from "both sides" by working as a newspaper reporter/editor and a public relations representative. As a member of the media, Hunter was sports editor of the Columbia Record newspaper; he had an award-winning stint at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution; he was a columnist for Stock Car Racing magazine; and he authored a number of books, including a widely-read biography on NASCAR great David Pearson, entitled "21 Forever." Hunter won numerous awards during his career, including: the Hugh Deery Memorial Award in 1988; South Carolina Ambassador for Economic Development in 1994; South Carolina Tourism Ambassador of the Year in 1997; the National Motorsports Press Association's Joe Littlejohn Award in 2005; and the Buddy Shuman Award in 2006. Known for his love of golf, he played the courses of his dreams and was even known for wearing his golf shoes to the racetrack! The most memorable trip was with his close group of golf buddies and his son, Scott, to St. Andrews in Scotland. Known affectionately as "Jimbo" to the grandsons, they always looked forward to the trips he planned for them to the Bahamas. He and his wife, Ann, of 48 years, enjoyed a life of adventure and travel though his career and otherwise. "Jimbo", "Jimmy", or "Hunter" as he was affectionately known, will be dearly missed by his friends and family. He is survived by his wife, Ann; son, Scott; daughter-in-law, Shelly; grandson, Dakota (Charlotte); daughter; Amy; son-in-law; Matt; and grandsons; Hunter and Luke (Atlanta); sister, Nita Woods; brother-in-law, Robert Woods (Moncks Corner, SC,); brother, Ralph Hunter; sister-in-law, Charlotte Hunter (Hilton Head); and numerous nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the NASCAR Foundation at NASCAR Plaza, 550 South Caldwell Street, Suite 2000, Charlotte, NC 28202 or Halifax Health - Hospice of Volusia/Flagler, 3800 Wood-briar Trail Port Orange, FL 32129. Visitation will be held Tuesday, November 2, 5-7 pm at Darlington Raceway. A celebration of Jim's life will be held at Darlington Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, November 3 at 11 am to be followed by a reception at the Darlington Raceway. Arrangements are under the careful direction of Lohman Funeral Home in Daytona Beach. Condolences can be shared with the family at www.lohmanfuneralhomes.com
Arrangements for South Carolina are being handled by Belk Funeral Home, 229 West Broad Street, Darlington, SC 29532.