Jack Chriswell Hunnicutt, 93, beloved pastor and friend, died peacefully at home on October 10, 2022. Jack grew up in Sherman, Texas with his brother Bill, and returned there to attend Austin College, where he met Alice George, who became his wife of 69 years. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts from Austin College in 1951, he earned a Master of Divinity from Austin Seminary in 1954, and later a Doctor of Ministry from McCormick Theological Seminary in 1985. Jack and Alice made homes in South Texas and later the Hill Country, serving pastorates in Elsa, McAllen, Junction, and Uvalde. They planted themselves wholeheartedly into every community they lived in. He and Alice did nearly everything together as a team, and they were always on the go-- giving and serving. They led canoe trips and hosted a youth group of more than fifty in their backyard for Bible study, food, games, and discussions about how to live compassionately in the world. They made thousands of hospital visits, delivered Meals on Wheels for decades, and traveled many miles to visit congregants. Jack also served as a volunteer firefighter. He built lifelong relationships with the congregations and communities he served. His compassionate ministry was recognized in 1974 when he was named Texas Rural Minister of the Year.
Jack and Alice retired to Cleburne in 1994, but he remained active as a leader in the church. He was often called on to serve as a guest minister, performing marriages and funerals and leading worship. Jack’s theological education was important to him. Throughout his life he loved to read, write, and teach, which he did well beyond retirement. For 42 years he enjoyed annual visits to Mo-Ranch for theological study conferences with his Doctor of Ministry focus group.
Jack went out of his way to help those in need. He and Alice rescued wild animals-- possums, birds, and raccoons-- and were lifelong caretakers of the feral cats and other creatures who took sanctuary in their backyard. All were welcome. Jack was always sharing with others. He and Alice made thousands of batches of ice cream for church and community events, shelled many quarts of pecans by hand each year as gifts, made salsa and chips in giant Zip-lock bags for gatherings, and supported neighbors, friends, and causes they believed in. Jack had an incredible gift for storytelling; those who have heard him tell a story can still feel how he could draw in a whole roomful of people in seconds.
Jack made friends everywhere, but he also became an impromptu pastor to people on an almost daily basis. He made special connections with people of all ages and walks of life. He communicated love and acceptance, offering words of reassurance and wisdom. His heart was always with those experiencing difficulty. He made each person he engaged with feel like the most special person in the world. He served God and people in every aspect of his life, and being a minister was undoubtedly his vocation. He was a living example of his faith, which gave many a different way to understand God.
He is survived by his wife Alice, his nephews William Hunnicutt and wife Yoko, Colonel Jack Hunnicutt and wife Cristy, his niece Bess Christine Hunnicutt, and his sister-in-law Hiroko Hunnicutt. Other survivors are members of Alice’s side of the family, and a host of friends from everywhere he’s ever lived.
A memorial service to celebrate Jack’s life will be held Friday, October 14, 2022, at 2:30 P.M., at United Presbyterian Church in Cleburne, Texas.
To view the livestream service, copy and paste one of these links: