Promoted to Glory

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West bids Hunter farewell


Lt. Colonel R. William Hunter

After more than 30 years of faithful service in the ranks of The Salvation Army, Lt. Colonel R. William Hunter–one of the Army’s finest–has been promoted to Glory. He concluded his earthly life in the morning hours of March 31, 2001, after enduring a nine-year battle with cancer. His life was cut short at age 56.

Bill’s contribution to the work of The Salvation Army was significant. A visionary in terms of growth and ministry, he co-pioneered, with Major Terry Camsey (R), the West’s MISSION2000 emphasis in the early 1990s.

In his message at the memorial service held at the Torrance, Calif., corps, former Eastern Teritorial Commander Commissioner Ronald Irwin (R) stated, “The wonder is not that we die, but that we live…the wonder is the fullness of (Bill’s) life, not his death.” Irwin lauded his “keen intellect, wonderful sense of humor, and love for all people.”

General Eva Burrows (R) sent a letter of condolence, stating that he was “A good and gracious man of God, esteemed by all.” Commissioner David Edwards, Western territorial commander, called him a “Creative thinker who got things done, and who laid the foundation for Vision2000 through MISSION2000.” Commissioner Joe Noland, Eastern territorial commander, emphasized Hunter’s “creative boldness coupled with sanctified tenacity” in his remarks.

Camsey noted the battles he and Hunter waged in getting the West to “catch the vision” of MISSION2000, and called him “A brother whom I admire.” He added that “He left us a challenge: we should inspire before we expire!”

Born on July 23, 1944 to officer parents Wilfred and Eleanor Hunter in Santa Cruz, CA, Bill responded to God’s call and entered The Salvation Army’s School for Officer Training in San Francisco, CA. In June 1969 he married Lt. Barbara Booth in Oakland, CA.

They ministered as corps officers in Anchorage, AK and Wenatchee, WA, before returning to California in 1976 where he was the field training officer at SFOT. Other appointments followed as corps officers at the Oakland, CA Citadel, as Cascade Divisional Youth Secretary, and Divisional Secretary. In 1990 Bill was appointed to Western THQ as Territorial Youth and Candidates’ secretary. Next came three years as Divisional Commander for the Intermountain Division.

In 1996 he was appointed to Moscow, Russia, as General Secretary for the Russia/CIS command. After one year he was appointed to the Eastern THQ as Secretary for Program. He later served as assistant Chief Secretary for Growth and Development. During this time he also served as the Executive Officer of the New York Staff Band and Chorus.

He is survived by his wife Barbara, son and daughter-in-law Randy and Chari, daughter Jennifer, his father Major Wilfred Hunter (R) and stepmother Camerina Hunter, brother and sister-in-law George and Janet Hunter, and sister Mary-Alice Hunter.

Messages of sympathy may be sent to: Lt Colonel Barbara Hunter at 188 Red Hill Rd., New City, NY 10956.

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