ASHEVILLE — Mary Ann Kyker Hunt, 98, passed away on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018.
A native of Briceville, Tennessee, Mary Ann Kyker Hunt was the oldest daughter of Minnie M. Erwin and Dr. Charles H. Kyker. Her mother, a nurse, and her father, a physician, met and married in Dayton, Ohio. They returned to Tennessee, Dr. Kyker’s home state, and practiced medicine in the coal fields and mines near Knoxville, where Mary Ann was born in 1920 in a mining camp.
They shortly moved to Johnson City, Tennessee, where Dr. Kyker established a medical practice and where Mary Ann grew up. She was a childhood friend of her future husband when they lived near each other on Unaka Avenue.
Mary Ann attended East Tennessee State University (then East Tennessee State Teacher’s College) and earned a B.S. degree in education in 1942. She married the late Earl G. Hunt, Jr. on June 15, 1943, and moved with him to Atlanta, Georgia when he entered Candler School of Theology at Emory University.
Mary Ann taught in elementary schools in Johnson City, Tennessee, Decatur, Georgia and Chattanooga, Tennessee during the future Bishop Hunt’s early ministry.
They have one son, Dr. E. Stephen Hunt. Mary Ann was active in the women’s and youth organizations of the Methodist Church; directing the first junior camp for Holston Conference. She also directed community drama and local church plays, participating in Little Theatre and the Church Drama Players.
In 1957 she moved with her husband and son to Emory, Virginia when Earl G. Hunt, Jr. was appointed president of Emory & Henry College. Her husband was elected a Bishop at the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference in 1964 at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina.
Mary Ann enjoyed the role of a Bishop’s wife and accompanied Bishop Hunt in successive appointments in the Western North Carolina, Tennessee, and Florida Episcopal Areas. Her hobbies, besides travel, included theatre, making samplers, and knitting. Together they made several overseas trips, including the first visit by an American Bishop to the then East Germany to recognize the first Bishop elected by the DDR Conference, Dr. Armin Haertl.
When Bishop Hunt retired in 1988 they moved to Lake Junaluska where in 1989 Bishop Hunt accepted the Presidency of the Foundation for Evangelism, serving until 1996. Health issues required Mary Ann and Earl to move to Givens Estates in Asheville, a comprehensive retirement community which ironically Bishop Hunt had helped to found.
Mary Ann Kyker Hunt was predeceased by her three siblings and her husband, and is survived by her son Dr. E. Stephen Hunt and her daughter-in –law Edeltraut Gilgan-Hunt, as well as numerous cousins.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at Central United Methodist Church of Asheville with the Rev. Dr. Robert M. Blackburn, Jr. and Bishop Lawrence McCleskey officiating. Interment will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21, at Monte Vista Memorial Park, Johnson City, Tennessee.
The care of Mrs. Hunt has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Homes and Cremation Services of Waynesville and an online memorial register is available at “Obituaries” at www.wellsfuneralhome.com