WEEMS—John H. Hunt II of Weems was born April 25, 1947, in Sheffield, Alabama, to Lewis Guy Hunt and Nancy Ratrie Hunt. His family lived in several states during his childhood, before settling in Richmond when John was 13.
He was a member of the first graduating class at J.R. Tucker High School. After high school, John worked at odd jobs, including assisting on a pony farm, before attending Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He graduated in the class of 1969 with a degree in business.
Also in 1969, John had one of the most important experiences of his life—in March, he met Page Gravatt at a bowling alley in Richmond, and was immediately smitten, setting the stage to what was to become more than 52 years side by side. A memorable date, at the celebration of his parents’ anniversary on April 25th that year, they discovered that John and Page shared the same birthday on that date as well. They were engaged in June, and married October 11th of that year.
Always fascinated with the water and the vessels that move upon it, John worked for several years customizing and working on boats, first in a boatyard in Urbanna, then at Rappahannock Yachts in Irvington. When an opportunity arose to take on additional work handling repossessions for Chesapeake National Bank, he did so, sometimes with the assistance of Page, who would drive him to the home where a vehicle to be repossessed was located. John also assisted the bank with following up on other loans that were in arrears, and was so effective at this work that he quickly came to the attention of the bank’s president who offered him a full-time position; he didn’t hesitate to accept it.
Chesapeake Bank’s leadership saw strong potential in John, and his intelligence, drive and work ethic bore out that assessment. Over his 40-year career with the regional bank, John influenced functions across the organization. Just as computers were being introduced, a conversation during a meeting led Chesapeake Bank to put John in charge of information technology—where he oversaw the integration first of Honeywell, then IBM computers into the bank’s operations.
Recognizing that John was likely to continue to be an important asset, Chesapeake Bank sent him to the Darden School of Business Executive Master’s of Business Administration program at University of Virginia, setting him on track to become chief financial officer. As CFO, John initiated a program that kept the bank in the top decile of all banks in the country in terms of investment performance, a position still held today thanks to his leadership. Throughout his career at Chesapeake Bank, John worked tirelessly with the good of the organization and community in mind and retired in 2020 as an executive vice president. John served as a director of Chesapeake Financial Shares for the last five years.
Back when he left boat-building, he certainly did not lose his love of the water. He and Page sailed the Rappahannock River and Chesapeake Bay throughout his adult life, and after a collaborative effort owning and maintaining a series of power boats with family members. In the late 1990s John and Page bought one of their own—Mariner’s Mate. On this vessel—housed on Carter Creek—and subsequently Mariner’s Mate II, John and Page travelled extensively, from the Chesapeake Bay to Canada.
Devoted to his family and to the community, John held a series of social and civic leadership positions. He was a key figure at Historic Christ Church, serving multiple terms as treasurer and as president of the foundation. He headed the trust at Grace Episcopal Church as well, and served on several committees.
In keeping with his love of the water, John served terms as commodore of both the Virginia Yacht Club and the Indian Creek Yacht Club, and was active in both organizations.
His dedication to the community also led him to service on the boards of organizations including Northern Neck Insurance Company, to contribute to the Boys & Girls Club, Chesapeake Academy and to the Lancaster Community Library, to the establishment of the River Counties Community Foundation, and to the Steamboat Era Museum in Irvington.
Always ready to help a neighbor fix a dock or overcome the day-to-day difficulties that can come in life, John was a true pillar of the community.
John was the consummate gentleman. He was both highly intelligent and exceedingly caring—a rare combination to find in a person. He had a great sense of humor also. His love of Chesapeake Financial, his community, and his country was evidenced by his strong sense of duty to each. His highest love, however, was for his wife Page, his family, and their time on the water.
John H. Hunt II passed the evening of March 4, 2021, at MCV in Richmond. He is survived by his loving wife, Page; his son, Broaddus and his wife, Mary, and their children, Judson Broaddus and Kirsten Page of Richmond; and his daughter, Cherbury and her husband, Timothy, of Vienna. He is also survived by his older brother, Lewis Guy Hunt and his wife, Patricia, of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. John was blessed with many nieces and nephews.
His passing has left a hole in his family as well as the community and will for some time to come.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Foundation for Historic Christ Church. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.
Currie Funeral Home LLC of Kilmarnock handled the arrangements.