Thank you everyone for joining us to celebrate the life of Peter Hunt.
I ask that everyone please turn off their cell phones at this time.
Thank you Deacon Barnes for the wonderful service.
Peter was born on Jan. 20, 1959 in Frankfurt, Germany to Brigitte Gertrud Luise Bischoff from Germany and Franchesco Salvati from Sicily, Italy. Franchesco did not stay in the picture very long. Brigitte met an Army soldier while in Germany and married him. James Emanuel Hunt adopted Peter and raised him with Brigitte all over the world. As a young boy they traveled to Paris, France where his dad was stationed in the Army. They came to America when Peter was just a little boy. One of his favorite stories is when he first saw a used car sales lot. He saw all the banners, lights and balloons. He thought it was Christmas. His parents got a good laugh out of that, and told him it was where you buy cars, not where Santa is found.
The first place they lived in America was Ft Dix, New Jersey. Peter spent most of his childhood in New Jersey. Peter’s sister Juliet Cox is from his Dad’s previous marriage. He loved to tell stories of when he and Juliet would get on the train and go to New York to see movies together. He enjoyed the times he had with his big sister. He and his Mom became naturalized US citizens in 1970 when Peter was 11 years old. That same year his brother Gregory was born. At a young age, Peter started learning the martial arts with Master Chuck Graham. Peter remained friends with all of his karate buddies. You will see some of them here today. At the age of 15 Peter earned his first degree black belt. Peter stayed active in the martial arts his entire life. His last time in the dojo was at the age of 55. He prided himself on staying limber and fit. At his highest rank, he was a 6th degree black belt. You will see some of his karate items on display in the back of the room. As a teenager he enjoyed Motown and jazz music, that continued throughout his life. You will hear some of his favorite songs, playing softly in the background.
Peter’s Dad James went to fight in the Vietnam war many times, each time his Dad went to war, the family went to stay with other family members. One time they went to Chicago, Illinois. Another time they went back to Germany. Peter’s dad instilled the love of football in him. As most of you know, Peter was a huge Philadelphia Eagles football fan. Boy was he thrilled when they finally won the Super Bowl in 2018.
During his teenage years the family was stationed in Fort Riley, Kansas. They made it back to New Jersey where Peter graduated from Pemberton High School, in South Jersey. Right after high school Peter joined the Air Force. For 7 years he worked as a medic in the hospital in Dover, Delaware. He met many of his best friends there. Some of them are here today. He met his first wife, Cecilia Jones Velazquez, while stationed in Delaware. They were married for 5 years and divorced in 1989. The marriage resulted in no children.
Peter was tired of being around all the sick people working in the hospital. So he changed his career in the Air Force to work on telecommunications. He liked to say, “if a computer dies, so what. You can always make a new computer”. He learned his new skill in Texas. After Texas, he was stationed in Montana, Mississippi, and South Korea. While he was stationed in Texas he also taught martial arts. One-time Chuck Norris came to his dojo. He loved to tell that story. Peter was such a tough guy that he broke his neck while at karate practice and didn’t even realize it. When he drove home he asked his roommate to take him to karate practice. His roommate said “you just came home from practice”.
That’s when his roommate realized something was wrong and took him to the hospital. If you ever noticed Peter cracking his neck, it was to relieve the pressure from his old neck injury.
While Peter was stationed at Osan Air Base in South Korea, he met the love of his life Lisa. They met at a house party on Labor Day weekend. Lisa was so drunk that she was falling out of her chair, Peter caught the chair and said “do you speak”? They were inseparable after that. They dated for 3 years before they got married. They spoke to both of their first sergeants so that they could be stationed together after Korea. Peter got orders to Ft Meade, MD and Lisa got orders to Andrews Air Force Base, MD. They got an apartment half way between the two jobs in Greenbelt, MD. In 1995 they bought their house in Glenn Dale, MD. They enjoyed 30 years of marriage together.
Peter served the entire 20 years in the Air Force and retired in 1997 from the National Security Agency, also known as NSA, in Ft Meade, MD. During his 20-year career he had many adventures. Such as going to Jonestown, Guyana in 1978 to pick up the dead bodies while he was a medic, due to the cult leader Jim Jones. In 1989 Peter was part of Operation Just Cause which is when he went to Panama to get the Dictator and Drug Trafficker Manuel Noriega. During this conflict is the only time he had to shoot at someone. He didn’t think he killed anyone but he and his friend John ruined a perfectly good rental car. Peter told stories of how he and John had to take turns bending down in the front seat of the car to shoot out the windows at the Panamanians. In 1990 and 1991 Peter served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia. When he was asked how hot Saudi Arabia was, he told people to turn the oven on and put your head in, it was that hot. Peter was in the war in Bosnia in 1995. After that war, he had enough, he was ready to retire.
The transition from retirement was easy. He was working on installing satellites on Humvee vehicles for California Microwave company, while he was stationed at NSA. They liked his work and offered him a job when he retired. Peter took one month off between retiring at the young age of 38 and starting his new career with California Microwave in Annapolis Junction, MD.
In 1998 after many years of trying to have a child on their own, Peter and Lisa went to Tampa, Florida to adopt their 5-year-old son Marquis McNeill Hunt. Marquis and their grandson Lawrence Bernard Ellison are here today. Peter’s proudest moment of Marquis was when he was in 8th grade and won the spelling bee for Prince George’s County. Peter’s favorite moment with his grandson Lawrence was watching him try to find hidden eggs for Easter. Peter loved being a grandfather.
After leaving California Microwave, Peter went on to work for Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems, Metro Access and Comcast. He even worked at Kim’s Karate School for a few years teaching martial arts. While he worked for Metro Access and Comcast he went to college at night and on weekends. He wanted to complete his college degree. He finally finished his Bachelor of Science degree on May 16, 2020 in Information Systems Management from the University of Maryland Global Campus. He wanted to have a big celebration party, but as you all know, the Coronavirus got in the way.
As most of you know, Peter found out that he had Stage 1 Lung Cancer in 2017 from cigarette smoking. They removed the cancer from his left lung and he went into remission for 2 years. During that time, he went to London, England in 2018 and had a great time. It was one of his bucket list vacations. Peter loved to travel and have a good time. You have probably seen the pictures on the funeral website. Peter enjoyed parasailing, zip lining, going on cruises, riding roller coasters, riding horses and water
skiing. Just to name a few. In Dec 2019 Peter found out the lung cancer was back and now it was Stage 4. He fought it hard with chemo and radiation but when it traveled to his heart, he went into hospice at home. Thank you to the many family and friends that came to visit while he was in hospice his last two weeks of life. Peter died on the anniversary of the day he joined the Air Force. He joined the Air Force on Aug. 15, 1977. He liked to tell the story that on his first day in basic training, Elvis Presley died on Aug. 16, 1977. Peter never forgot the day he joined the Air Force. He died on Aug. 15, 2020. On his last morning his wife and sister-in-law both told him “happy anniversary”. Little did they know it would be his last day on Earth. Peter was loved by many people. He led a full life. He died much too young at the age of 61. He will be truly missed.
Thank you everyone for coming. There are light refreshments in the next room. If you are able to join us for the burial it will be on Fri. Sept. 4 at the military cemetery in Crownsville, MD at 2:30 pm.