Ronald Ashley Hunter

Picture of Ronald Ashley Hunter

Ronald Ashley Hunter, 82, retired U.S. Air Force Colonel and Transworld Airlines Captain whose flying careers spanned 38 years, passed away Saturday, December 23, 2023, at home in the company of loved ones. Ron was a long-time resident of Norfolk, VA, and earlier, of Wethersfield, CT. He left us with his inimitable sense of humor intact.

He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and two Air Medals for service flying the F-4 Phantom out of Ubon, Thailand, over North Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

Ron is survived by his wife of 33 years, Dr. Carol Walker, a retired U.S. Navy Captain and dentist with whom he shared a loving marriage filled with friendship, laughter, and adventure.

His first wife was Wethersfield native Virginia Brand “Ginny” Carvey. They married in 1963. Ron and Ginny raised their three children in a home on Wethersfield’s historic town green. Ginny passed away in 1986.

Ron also leaves behind his children, David (Shelley) Hunter and Gretchen (Carl) Holmgren; grandchildren Lauren (Jordan) Ramos, Brandon Hunter, and Kendall Line, all of CT; sister Kathie Rue, of FL; also Eileen (Chris and their son Jake) Montross; nephew Jason Shrum, nieces Kim (Mike) Dixon, Christan (Andy Rossignol) Spurlock, Sandra (Delbert) Pierce, and their children; brothers-in-law Jim Walker, Rusty Cremeans, extended family, friends, and Kitty, the cat.

In addition to his first wife, Ginny, Ron was preceded in death by his parents, son Mark, and, in 2023, sister-in-law Cathy Cremeans and brother-in-law Gary Rue.

Ron was born in April 1941 in Michigan to Edna Elizabeth Ashley and Ronald William Hunter, both natives of Connecticut. He settled in Wethersfield in the mid-1950s with his parents and younger sister, Kathie. Big brother “Rip” would always be Kathie’s hero.

He graduated from Wethersfield High in 1959. In 1963, he was awarded a B.A. in English from the University of Connecticut and commissioned a Second Lieutenant USAF through the University’s ROTC program. He remained a passionate Connecticut Huskies fan for life, eagerly anticipating basketball season and March Madness every year.

In 1969, Ron returned to Wethersfield after six years on active duty, including three years at Hahn Air Base, Germany, following service in Thailand. He joined the Massachusetts Air National Guard in 1970 and transferred to the Connecticut Air National Guard (CTANG) in 1972.

At CTANG, he had the time of his life. He flew the F-100 Super Sabre and A-10 Thunderbolt II. He was Squadron Commander of the 118th Tactical Fighter Squadron. He took great pride in representing the Air National Guard at “Gunsmoke” Worldwide Fighter Gunnery Meets at Nellis AFB in 1981, 1983, and 1987. He retired as Colonel in 1991.

In a parallel career, Ron was hired in 1969 by Transworld Airlines, first as Flight Engineer on the B-727 and B-707, advancing to First Officer on the L-1011. As Captain, he flew the MD-80, retiring in 2001, just after TWA was acquired by American Airlines.

Ron was warm, engaging, and fun. His wit was legendary, his stories captivating. His one-liners, invented words, and speedy retorts became instant classics.

He loved reading. Stayed current on world and U.S. events and politics. He enjoyed music, museums, and art, with a fondness for Vermeer. He studied history, including the RAF and the Battle of Britain. He maintained a birding life list. He was a superb cook and enjoyed golf.

In retirement, Ron volunteered in the research departments of the National Aviation and Space Museum in Washington, DC, and the United States Naval Academy Museum in Annapolis.

He was a member of the Super Sabre Society (SSS), Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity, and Trinity Parish in Wethersfield, CT.

Ron was generous of spirit. He lived an exemplary life of honor and integrity. He will be remembered as a devoted husband and son, a dear brother, a supportive and proud father and grandfather, a loyal friend, an inspiring mentor, and a gentleman.

Ron was a valiant man who will forever be loved and missed.

Interment with military honors will take place at Arlington National Cemetery on June 12, 2024. Services begin at 11:00 am at the Old Post Chapel, Joint Base Myer Henderson Hall (JBMHH). Friends, former coworkers, and their significant others are invited to join the family at the services. RSVP to [email protected] by May 15th.

Donations may be made to Cornell Lab of Ornithology or Shriners Hospital, causes close to Ron’s heart.

Memories and condolences may be shared at hdoliver.com.