Hunter left a “legacy” says Petrolia Minor Hockey

Dick Hunter with sons Dale and Mark after the London Knights won the 2016 Memorial Cup

Petrolia Minor Hockey is playing tribute to Dick Hunter.

Hunter, a father of six whose four sons played in the OHL and three – Dave, Dale and Mark – played in the NHL, died Sept. 12 at the age of 87.

Hunter was one of the “original builders” of the Petrolia Minor Hockey Association.

“He was passionate about the game and about coaching many young players in the area, including his sons,” wrote Karis Sylvester, the PMHA’s communications administrator.

“The Hunter name is synonymous with character, work ethic, skill and grit. These traits have become the standard for PMHA, thanks in large part to Dick and the Hunter family.

“We thank Mr. Hunter for all he has done for PMHA and the players he has positively impacted, he has left quite a legacy. Our condolences go to the Hunter family at this extremely difficult time.”

Many friends, neighbours and former hockey players also shared their memories of Hunter. Paul Whitley said he would “never forget the 6 am morning practices with hard skating and Dick yelling at us…..him in his old skates and his barn clothes on; what a great coach.”

The family wrote in his obituary; “His love of the game helped fuel his sons to achieve elite hockey status, with all playing Major Jr A hockey and Dave, Dale and Mark playing in the NHL. He was proud supporter of the London Knights hockey club. Dad was excited to see his grandchildren, and now great grandchildren learning the game, and some venturing into the business.

“Despite his experiences in hockey and far-reaching impacts, Dad remained true to himself, a farmer at heart, living a simple life, in the humble home on the family farm where he and Mom raised our family. He was never interested in material things. He lived for the experiences with hockey and hockey people, in addition to the fruits of his labour on the farm.”

While people commented on Hunter’s passion for hockey, many remembered Hunter as a man who always had time to chat about hockey or farming.

“Dick passed along a lot of great life lessons: work hard, believe in yourself, help people,” said Dave Johnson in a note left for the family with Hunter’s online obituary.

A private funeral will be held Friday with a celebration of life later in Alvinston, where Hunter grew up.