amherst memorial service

Ted Hunt

Ted Hunt


a Photo of Ted Hunt

Obituary for Ted Hunt

March 15, 1933 – November 12, 2023

Ted was a gifted athlete who excelled in rugby, skiing, football, golf, lacrosse, and boxing. His accomplishments have been recognized by inductions into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame, the Canadian Rugby Hall of Fame, the B.C. Rugby Hall of Fame, and the U.B.C. Sports Hall of Fame. In addition, he was B.C. Athlete of the Year in 1957 and U.B.C.’s Bobby Gaul Trophy recipient in 1958 (awarded in recognition of sportsmanship, leadership, and achievement).

Ted was born Edmund Arthur Hunt to parents Arthur and Betty Hunt. He is mourned by his loving wife of 65 years Helen Stewart Hunt, his devoted daughter, Shelley Stewart Hunt and her husband Stefan Winfield, grandson Wesley Winfield, brother Don Hunt and his wife Shannon, nephews Lindsay, Danny, Tyler, and Liam, sister-in-law, Mary Stewart McIlwaine and her husband Robert, nephew Edward Stewart McIlwaine, and niece Marina Stewart McIlwaine and her husband Pierre Yves Sallé in France, as well as numerous cousins in B.C.

Missing Ted are close friends Gerry Kitson, his wife Leslie, son Bart and daughter Katie; Marg MacLennan and her son Doug MacLennan (Ted’s godson); creative partner Tom Locke; former Kitsilano student, Sean Ronald McEwen; long-time friends Jack and Muriel Whitty who share a wedding anniversary with Helen and Ted; Carole Bishop and Susan Davis, both friends of Ted’s for over 50 years; and many more.

Ted started school at Bayview Elementary before completing Grade 6 at Kerrisdale Elementary. Grades 7,8 and 9 were spent at Point Grey Junior High School then Ted attended Lord Byng High School for grades 10, 11 and 12, graduating in 1952.

Ted held five university degrees including two Masters degrees and a Doctorate of Education. He started his secondary school teaching career at Kitsilano High School, became P.E. Department Head at Templeton High where he brought in Harry Jerome and Vic Lindal to teach with him. Then Ted moved to Point Grey Secondary before becoming an administrator at David Thompson, Gladstone, Windermere, and Prince of Wales from which he retired in 1991. Ted continued his contributions to education as an elected member of the Vancouver School Board of Trustees for three terms.

When Ted was a youngster, his father went to war. That’s when Ted sought out opportunities to play sports. He started caddying at the Point Grey Golf Club where he befriended Dunc Sutherland who instilled in Ted a love of golf. At the golf course, he made a little money so he could take the streetcar out to the Forum where he signed up at the age of 12, along with Bobby Parry, to play lacrosse. Ted played seven seasons with the Vancouver Burrards, winning the Mann Cup Canadian Championship in 1961 and 1964.

As a young teenager, Ted became interested in skiing, particularly ski jumping. Ted was encouraged by the Sons of Norway to try jumping from the structure built up on Hollyburn. So, on Fridays after lacrosse season, Ted would take the street car, then the West Vancouver Ferry, then he would hike up Hollyburn carrying all his ski gear and food for a grand weekend of skiing.

In 1951 Ted was the Western Canadian four way ski champion, an event consisting of a combination of cross-country, downhill, slalom, and ski jumping. He was named to the 1952 Canadian Olympic Ski Team, but he and his family could not provide the $1500 needed for the athletes to go to Helsinki. In 1954, he travelled to Sweden on his own dime and took eighth place in their national ski jumping championships.

Ted played rugby at Lord Byng, but it was at UBC when coached by Australian Wallaby and international legend, Max Howell, that rugby dominated Ted’s athletic focus. He played rugby at the top level for two decades competing nationally and internationally, often as captain. Ted played fly half where his passing, kicking, running, and tackling skills were best used. Max Howell thought that Ted would be an International in any country in the world.

Remarkably, Ted also retained an undefeated record in lightweight boxing during his four and a half undergraduate years at UBC and was named Golden Gloves “Best Boxer” in 1957. Also, while at UBC, Ted worked as a lifeguard at Empire Pool. There he met swimmer Helen Stewart, Pan-American Gold medalist, who was training for the 1956 Olympics. They married in 1958 and both continued to excel in other sports, Helen in volleyball, and Ted in football and golf.

Following UBC Ted joined the Kats Rugby Club in Vancouver and often captained the team during the 15 years when it won many Rounsefell Cup provincial championships. In 1958, the B.C. Representative Team defeated the Australian Wallabies. In 1966, Ted Hunt and Peter Grantham combined to lead the B.C. Provincial Rugby team to a stunning upset over the touring British Lions. Vancouver Sun sportswriter Arv Olson rhapsodized that the victory was “a masterpiece painted by 15 artists, headed by a Van Gogh who goes by the name of Ted Hunt.” Province reporter Geoff Wellens added, “Hunt’s game winning play in the 53rd minute...will be remembered as long as rugby is played on this coast.” While this victory before 6,347 fans at Empire Stadium on September 14, 1966, was the highlight of Hunt’s storied athletic career, it would require a book to chronicle all his exploits!

Ted’s father, who had played football with the Meraloma Club, negotiated with the B.C. Lions in 1957 to give his son Ted a tryout with the team. Art thought Ted’s rugby skills could be well used on the gridiron. Amazingly, Ted had not played any competitive football until his first pro game with the B.C. Lions in 1957. In his first football season, Ted kicked field goals and ran back punts and was named Western Conference Rookie of the Year. The following season, 1958, he was named Most Valuable Canadian.

Ted became an avid golfer after he had moved on from contact sports. He was a low handicapper who achieved scratch level several times. He came home from many tournaments with lovely prizes and sometimes proudly displayed cash! In 1988, Ted won the PGGC Medal Play tournament, the Match Play Tournament, and the Senior Club Championship. This was never done before or since. Golf was Ted’s link to his 10 year friendship with Sean Connery whom he met in California at an AT and T Pro Am before the Bing Crosby Open. Ted would arrange golf games and an occasional fishing trip for Sean who needed to leave the U.S. periodically. Once, the pro shop microphone called to the first tee, “ Hunt, Punt, Mundt, and ... Double 0 7 ”!

Ted was always keen on writing. He contributed a sports column to the Scarlet and Grey at Lord Byng during his graduation year 1952. He was always writing stories which he sold to the Sun and Province here in B.C. and the Star Weekly publication in Toronto. Ted wrote “This Sporting Life” for many issues of Vancouver Magazine during the 90’s. The Vancouver Courier weekly newspaper published nine feature front page articles written by Ted. His first golf book, Ben Hogan’s Magical Device published by Skyhorse Publishing of New York, has sold 36,000 copies and Ben Hogan’s Short Game Simplified has sold 17,000 copies as of January 2023. Ted’s first novel, In The Company of Heroes was published in 2015 and his Stanley Park Stories may hit the shelves soon.

In the late 50’s and early 60’s Ted was captivated by folk music. Before he was famous, Pete Seeger came to Vancouver and performed at the Folk Song Circle and to a larger audience at the John Oliver Auditorium. Ted knew that Pete loved to ski so Ted took him skiing up the local mountains and at Whistler. Ted purchased a long-neck, five-string banjo and used Pete’s instructional records and books to learn to play. Ted often sang at the Folk Song Circle and he attended all the touring folk song performances for years. In 2010, Ted and Shelley had a memorable visit with Pete at his home in Beacon, New York.

When Shelley was born, Ted had a new project. He delighted in teaching Shelley to swim, ski and care for their dogs and cats. He was totally supportive of all Shelley’s endeavours and was immensely proud of her many artistic achievements.

Ted was a very kind man who always wanted to help people. Ted loved animals, especially dogs. He always carried a couple of dog treats in his pockets in case he encountered a furry friend. Early in his university studies he thought he might become a veterinarian. However, he couldn’t bring himself to stick needles in experimental frogs during biology class. Thus ended the science courses! At home, Ted never complained about food, about clutter, about the laundry or household chores – although grass cutting came to a halt in 1972 after he cut off some of his toes in the lawnmower!

Ted loved his family and his home. He loved going to Hawaii for vacations beginning when Shelley was two years old and continuing more recently with grandson Wesley.

Athlete, author, educator, and beloved head of the family - Ted is greatly missed but his spirit, optimism and drive remain with us all.

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