Family contributes to Escondido Creek Parkway project

The family of Ann and J. Truett Hunt presented a gift of $30,000 to the San Antonio River Foundation to fund the construction of an amphitheater in the planned Escondido Creek Parkway. The theater will be named in honor and memory of this couple who lived, worked and served in Kenedy for many years. From left are Gene and Margaret Hunt Rice, San Antonio River Authority (SARA) Vice Chairman and Karnes County Director Gaylon J. Oehlke and Maggie and Truett L. Hunt. Maggie Hunt has been the co-chair for the SARA Environmental Advisory Board since 2004 and Truett L. Hunt has been a member of the SARA Environmental Advisory Board since 2009. Truett L. and Margaret are the son and daugther of Ann and J. Truett Hunt. Their sister, Marcia, passed away in 2013, but her enthusiastic spirit is a part of this gift.

KENEDY – The family of Ann and J. Truett Hunt presented a gift of $30,000 to the San Antonio River Foundation (SARF) to fund the construction of an amphitheater as part of the planned Escondido Creek Parkway project.

The theater will be named in honor and memory of this couple who lived, worked and served in Kenedy for many years.

“It is with gratefulness of heart and joyful memories that we give this gift as a tribute to our parents,” said Margaret Hunt-Rice and Truett L. Hunt, who are the children of Ann and J. Truett Hunt. “We hope it will provide many wonderful moments in a place of beauty for the residents of Kenedy and the surrounding areas.”

Justin Truett Hunt, who just passed away last year and was born in Choate in 1919, attended Choate community school, and then Kenedy High School, where he graduated in 1936. He then attended Baylor University in Waco, where he met his future bride, Lillian Ann Gibson, who grew up in Jasper and graduated from Jasper High School before attending Baylor. Ann was born in 1921 and passed away in 2003.

Truett joined the U.S. Naval Reserve during his senior year at Baylor following the attack on Pearl Harbor. He completed college in 1942 with a BBA, majoring in accounting. He attended Naval Officer Candidate School in Chicago, Ill., graduating in November.  Commissioned as an Ensign, he reported for duty to the USS Mount Baker in March 1943 in Norfolk, Virginia.

Ann completed her work at Baylor with a BS in home economics, along with minors in library science and business studies.

Truett and Ann married Dec. 18, 1943, when he had a short military leave.

“They held first place in each other’s heart for the rest of their lives,” noted their daughter, Margaret Hunt-Rice.

At the conclusion of World War II, Truett separated from active duty with the Navy and he and Ann began their life together in Kenedy.  

He owned Truett Hunt and Company, a cotton merchandising business, managed the Kenedy Compress and Warehouses and started Karnes Insurance Agency. He was also a cattle rancher while his wife was a homemaker, teacher in several spheres, as well as a community volunteer and leader.

Truett and Ann were active in First Baptist Church of Kenedy. He served the church as a deacon, Sunday School teacher and treasurer, among other responsibilities throughout the years.  

Ann taught Sunday School, sang in the choir, played the piano for various programs, taught in vacation bible school, led in the Women’s Missionary Union and worked in the church library, as well as serving in many other areas.

Truett was a long-time Rotarian, president of the Kenedy Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Kenedy City Council, as well as the Kenedy Airport Board.  

He was also a director on the boards of First Nichols National Bank and the San Antonio River Authority, where he served as the elected representative for Karnes County for 30 years. He was a founding member and officer on the board of the Karnes Limited Citizens, which served residents with special needs.

Ann was a member and past president of the Progressive Study Club, the Federated Woman’s Club and the San Antonio Breakfast Club. She volunteered to judge public school UIL literary contests and served as a judge for the Ford Motor Company’s “Salute to Education” essay contests. She also taught Vacation Bible School at a conference in Interlaaken, Switzerland for many years, as well as short courses in conversational English in Poland.

“Throughout their lives, my parents supported many individuals, organizations and ministries. They highly valued spiritual development and education, always expressing gratitude for the opportunities they had been given in these areas,” noted their son, Truett L. Hunt. “Their thankfulness resulted in a desire to ensure that others had similar opportunities, and to that end, they provided encouragement and support for numerous young people throughout the years.”

The Escondido Creek Parkway Project is a vision of the San Antonio River Authority (SARA)and the City of Kenedy to create an attractive linear park with features that allow the community new opportunities to sit, stroll, run, play and enjoy the outdoors along a waterway full of benefits.

In part, it will function as a safe thoroughfare, connecting Joe Gully Park and sports fields to homes and schools by providing trails under U.S. Highway 181.

Recreational amenities in the linear park include an over one-mile long trail, which is ten feet wide to allow multi-purpose use such as hiking and biking surrounded by beautiful Texan native landscaping.

Some prospective amenities include a playground and one pavilion providing ample shade, an amphitheater, ten picnic tables, fifteen benches, monuments to parkway donors, a parking lot with 25 spaces and an attractive man-made pond.

“These enhancements will promote a healthy lifestyle and enjoyment of the outdoors for generations to come,” said SARA Vice Chairman and Karnes County Director Gaylon J. Oehlke. “There are many opportunities and levels of giving to help complete the park.”

Interested individuals, organizations and/or businesses can go online to sariverfoundation.org and click on the Escondido Creek Parkway link to donate and designate for this project.

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