Walter J. Hunt Jr., a long-time resident of Stoneham, died unexpectedly at his home on Thursday, December 24th. He was 82 years old.
He is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Betty (Lepore) Hunt, and his three children and their spouses: Stephen and Tina Hunt of North Andover, Bill and Yuko Hunt of Cambridge, and Terri and John Maffeo of Melrose. He was predeceased by his mother Mildred, sister Rosemary, and brother David. He also leaves behind seven grandchildren that he adored and loved; Emily Hunt, Louis Hunt and fiancée Dr. Kathryn Sundheim, Raymond Hunt, John Maffeo Jr. and fiancée, Michelle Jewett, Melissa Vultaggio and husband Ryan Vultaggio, Adam Hunt, and Rachel Hunt. The oldest son from a family of seven, he is also survived by four of his brothers: Warren Hunt of China, Maine, Richard Hunt and Carol McNeil of Littleton, Kenneth Hunt of North Reading, and Donald Hunt of Montpelier, Vermont. In addition, he leaves behind many nieces and nephews whom he loved dearly.
When not proudly cheering at one of his grandchildren's sporting events or performances, he enjoyed most the company of family and friends, bass fishing, relaxing at home watching the Bruins, the Patriots, and the Red Sox, or an episode of Masterpiece Theater.
Born in Medford, he graduated Malden Catholic before heading on to earn a college degree in Electrical Engineering, which became his life's work. In his thirties, he became a production manager at a local semiconductor company in Cambridge, where he led a team that, among other achievements, produced the circuits that ignited the first booster separation on Apollo 11's mission to the moon. During those early years of his career, Walter also served as a Sergeant First Class in the Massachusetts National Guard. He was proud to serve his state and his country.
Famous for working with his hands, and the consummate Mr. Fix-It, in his retirement he opened his own mechanical repair business, The Small Engine Depot, in Stoneham. During his later years, he also found time to travel both across the U.S. and abroad, fly fishing and hot air ballooning in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, golfing in Hawaii, annual outings to China, Maine, visiting France, England, and adventuring to Japan with his wife Betty to welcome their first grandchild, returning again to Japan many times, a country that he loved.
In 2011, Walter suffered a near fatal car accident. With the help of the many fine women and men at Spaulding Rehab, against all odds he recovered to live life to the fullest for almost another decade. Walter will be remembered lovingly and affectionately by all that knew him for his booming and commanding voice, his warm heart, his quick smile, and his endearing sense of mischief, which he kept alive and active from his childhood years until the day he died.
Due to the Pandemic, services will be postponed until the spring, when we hope family and friends will be able to gather to say their final goodbyes. Details will be available at barilefuneral.com.
In the interim, in lieu of flowers or other gestures of sympathy, the family asks that those wishing to do so honor his memory with a donation in his name to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital (spauldingrehab.org/giving).