Richard Webster Hunter – Commander, United States Navy

Courtesy of the Washington Post

Thursday, June 23, 2005:

Richard Webster Hunter, 69, Vice President of a defense contracting company and a former Navy pilot, died June 9 of respiratory failure at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. He lived in Gaithersburg and also had homes in Carson City, Nevada, and Tampa, Florida.

Dr. Hunter was born in Logan, Utah, and graduated from high school in Reno, Nevada. After a year at the University of Utah, he entered the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating in 1959. He received a master's degree in economics and management from Harvard University in 1965 and a doctorate in public administration from American University in 1973.

He moved to the Washington area in 1965, when he served as the African and Middle East desk officer in the office of the Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon. As a pilot in Vietnam, he flew S2F Trackers and A-4F Skyhawks and had more than 250 landings on aircraft carriers. On March 15, 1970, he was shot down over Laos and nursed his Skyhawk to the South China Sea, where he ejected and was rescued by a Navy helicopter.

Dr. Hunter worked in the Bureau of Navy Personnel from 1970 to 1973, developing programs for the training of naval officers and helping plan the Navy's transition to an all-volunteer force.

In 1973 and 1974, he was a fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, where he organized conferences for corporate and government leaders.

From 1974 to 1980, he was staff director in charge of military personnel policy in the office of the secretary of defense at the Pentagon. He coordinated personnel policies throughout the Defense Department.

Dr. Hunter retired from the Navy in 1979 with the rank of Commander. His decorations included the Legion of Merit, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, two Air Medals and the Navy Commendation Medal.

From 1980 to 1982, he was an assistant director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, responsible for developing compensation programs and merit pay for federal managers.

In 1982, he joined SRA International Inc., a defense contractor and consulting company in Fairfax County. He held several positions with the company and managed numerous contracts with the Department of Defense. He retired in 2003 as senior vice president.

Dr. Hunter was a longtime volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America and served on many boards and committees. In 1987, he received the Silver Beaver award for his service to the scouts.

He was a member of the Kentlands parish of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Gaithersburg. He was a Sunday school teacher and a member of the high council of the D.C. stake, or administrative unit, of the Mormon church.

He lived in Fairfax County and Potomac for about 20 years before moving to Gaithersburg three years ago.

His hobbies included oil painting.

Survivors include his wife of 46 years, Lauris Butler Hunter of Gaithersburg, Carson City and Tampa; four children, Dawn Elizabeth Harding of Bethesda, Kristin Jonell Lewis and Richard Webster Hunter Jr., both of Gaithersburg, and John Corwin Hunter of Brandon, Fla.; one brother; and 13 grandchildren.

Commander Hunter is scheduled to be buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery, 22 August 2005.

Read our general and most popular articles

Leave a Comment