Paul Martin Hunt, 67, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, passed away Friday, January 20th, 2023 at the University of Iowa Hospital after a recent (December) diagnosis of kidney cancer and a very intensive surgery.
Paul was born in Solihull, England to the late John and Joyce Hunt. His family moved from their home in Great Britain to Toronto, Canada when he was two years old, eventually moving to Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1960 at the age of 5. He had 4 siblings, his oldest brother David, his younger brother Christopher, and his younger twin sisters, Beverly and Michelle. He attended Jefferson High School until 1972, when at the age of 17 he joined the Navy and earned his GED. During his school years he was a part of the Cedar Rapids Soccer team, the CR Comets, where his brother was a teammate, and his father was co-founder and coach. Although he was the littlest guy on the team, he had some great footwork and continued to enjoy watching soccer throughout his life.
Paul served for 3 years in the Navy, from 1972-1974. He sailed to many different countries aboard the Naval ship U.S.S. Truckee. It was at this time that he met the love of his life, Diane Sue Grove, of Warsaw, New York. They were so enamored with each other, that the thought of being relocated to separate stations was so heartbreaking, that they decided to get married quickly after meeting. They were married in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on July 20, 1974.
During Paul’s time of service, he specialized in electrical engineering. This was especially advantageous during his years working for Square D Company, where was a manager of the High Power Lab. After more than 30 years, he retired. Shortly after retirement, he began working for a Colorado based tech company called Ninja Trader. He left Ninja Trader in February of 2022 after his wife was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and spent this last year by her side as her main caretaker.
He had many hobbies and pastimes, most notably was his love of the game of golf. He spent many years and beautiful days hitting the links, teaching his wife and two daughters how to play, spending almost all Father’s Day celebrations on the course. He enjoyed the hobby of model railroading, having quite the collection and set up. He was also very creative and crafty, in his younger “hippie” days he was a master macrame maker of wall hangings and plant hangers. As he got older his creative skills moved in other directions and he became a great woodworker, building his own workshop space and making several projects from tables, to clocks, display shelves, cabinets and more.
He branched out even more into the social scene where he learned to salsa dance as well as frequenting Uptown Friday nights in downtown Cedar Rapids; he especially enjoyed the nights that The Large Midgets band played. He really enjoyed working out and would head to the gym 7 days a week. He was so passionate about fitness, that he became a certified instructor and taught a “step” class a couple of times each week for quite some time. On special occasions, he would dress up as a pirate to teach step classes and was nicknamed, “Pirate Paul.”
He is survived by his wife, Diane Hunt of Cedar Rapids, his two daughters Jessica Hunt and Shayna Franks both of Cedar Rapids, his two grandchildren Gemma Franks and Titus Franks; his siblings David Hunt and Beverly Moore (Jesse) of Cedar Rapids, his brother-in-law and sister-in-law Dennis and Suanne Grove of Warsaw, NY and his nieces Ashley Hunt of Cedar Rapids, Crista Crehan (Richard) of Buffalo, NY, and Halla Merriman of Lexington, SC; his nephews Jeff Estensen of Fairbanks, AK, Cole Schmuecker and Jonah Moore of Cedar Rapids and David Grove of Buffalo, NY. And of course, his cats Buddee and Tiberius.
He is preceded in death by his parents John and Joyce Hunt, brother Christopher, sister Michelle (Missy) Hunt, sister-in-law Joann Hunt and his niece Lauren Grove, as well as the many cats that have come and gone in his life.
A Celebration of Life gathering will be held on Saturday, January 28 from 11:30am to 1:00pm at the Cedar Memorial Family Center and Library within the Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.