Jack Hunt, S.E.C.

In Memoriam

Wichita has lost one of her outstanding citizens with the passing of Jack R. Hunt on Tuesday, July 22, 2008. Jack was born October 13, 1921, and was placed into an orphanage soon thereafter. As a youngster, Jack existed without a last name until attending school required that he have one. He selected the name Hunt from a local fireman, Dick Hunt, who had befriended him in his youth.

Prior to World War II, Jack worked at several jobs just to survive, and he developed the work ethic that has been so prominent in his life. One of his favorite jobs was to exercise the polo ponies at Hartmoor Farm at East 13th Street and Rock Road and run errands for the oil men at Lambsdale Construction. These associations would come to play a significant part in Jack’s future business startup following World War II. Jack graduated from Derby High School. As Jack matured, the great Depression held sway over our nation, and Jack joined the Civilian Conservation Corp. (CCC). An interest in developing and building things began to take root in Jack through this experience, which he nurtured throughout his life.

From the CCC to the U.S. Army during World War II was a short step for Jack. He served in the European Theatre of Operations in logistics as an enlisted soldier. He later received a commission as an officer, earned a Purple Heart in combat and separated from the Army as a Captain.

The post-war housing boom in Wichita attracted Jack to the construction and real estate industries. With the knowledge he had gained from his work with the CCC, his skill at handling men in the Army and his natural energy, incisive mind and competitive spirit, Jack was soon working for others building houses and learning the business. Jack was soon on his own working for himself and making a profit.

Jack’s career in real estate development has included building over 500 homes in South Wichita and Haysville, developing and building Sweetbriar and Seneca Square Shopping Centers, Lincoln Meadows Apartments, Huntington Place Apartments and other properties from Nevada to Texas as well as numerous residential subdivisions, several mobile home parks, nursing homes and a multitude of real estate interests all over the United States from farms and ranches to Wal-Marts. Jack earned an early CCIM designation Pin and became a Counselor Member of the Society of Exchange Counselors (S.E.C.) as well as past president and winner of the Society’s Most Creative Transaction Award. Other honors awarded to Jack have included Counselor of the Year, Realtor of the Year, Most Valuable Citizen and, most recently, Jack received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kansas CCIM Chapter and the Center for Real Estate at Wichita State University.

Jack’s life was a passionate one. He loved flying and was a pilot with over 10,000 hours in the air. At one point in his recent life, Jack owned an F-51 Mustang Fighter Plane replica and flew it to several air shows around the country. Jack loved hunting, fishing and all kinds of outdoor activities. His hunting trips resulted in trophy animals and once being mauled by a grizzly bear. From the Gulf of Mexico to the Alaskan Mountains, Jack lived life to its fullest possible extent. He was an avid golfer and loved wood carving and snow skiing. Jack was a voracious reader and loved the history of the Western United States. He and his wife Vicki also found time to be regulars at several western dance clubs on Friday nights.

Not everything Jack tried was successful, but he was fiercely competitive in all of his endeavors. At the age of 87, Jack was involved in significant negotiations to build a Bass Pro Shop, remodel a shopping center, buy another apartment complex and take time out on the big island of Hawaii.

Jack was never someone who sought the public light, but he mentored generations of younger real estate brokers. He was always ready to support conservative politicians and was 110% committed to the future growth and development of Wichita. His passion for the city, real estate business, his hobbies, friends and family could only be extinguished by his passing.

Jack’s love of life, his search for win/win solutions, his dedication to honest business practices and his open office door endeared him to most people who knew him. His impact on Wichita and her citizens will continue for many years to come, and our city is much better as a result of his having lived and worked here.

One Comment »

  1. […] with a reference to Tom Brokaw’s book, The Greatest Generation, and he introduces you to Jack Hunt, S.E.C., CCIM, and Kenneth Johnson, S.E.C., two longtime Society members who exemplified the characteristics […]