Orignially published June 29, 2005.
She was my friend. She was known by many names -daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and especially friend. Since she was very young she had been called “Cricket”, and it was so fitting since she was so small, but so active.
I have used another name in connection with this lady, and that is the word “Barnabas” because that name means “encourager” and the Barnabas in the Bible was an encourager for Christians, especially Paul. And she was our encourager, my son and I. The day before she entered the hospital for the biopsy, the last time she was hospitalized, she and I talked for a long, long time. We discussed the similarity of our illnesses since I cannot walk and breathe either. We talked of John and his teaching ability. She was so proud that he was now teaching at Bossier Parish Community College, and she said that those that he taught thought his teaching was wonderful. And then, as usual, she talked of my Cameos. She said I made her laugh, and sometimes brought tears to her eyes. She made me feel that I was contributing something to the people around me even though I can no longer do anything physical to help anybody. She encouraged me to continue writing. She has left me with precious memories.
She had met her future husband, Bill Hunt, when his family came to work at the La. Ordnance Plant during the war. He attended school here only for a brief time and they moved away. Through a mutual friend he inquired about the whereabouts of one “Cricket”. He was attending LSU and she was a student at the old Normal school better known as Northwestern State University. That was the beginning of a renewal of their friendship. Over the months it culminated into a romance. He entered the U. S. Navy and served in the Pacific Theater of Operations. They corresponded during the war. After the war on November 2, 1946 they were married and transferred together to Louisiana College where they graduated in 1948.
Between college and the Seminary they pastored three churches and saw the birth of their first child, a daughter, Judy. Between Judy and the last baby, Carolyn, there were four babies that did not live, and that included one set of twins. Cricket and Bill longed for another child, even though the doctor had told them that another pregnancy might be fatal to Cricket. They prayed to God for a child, promising to rear that child to serve God wherever it was needed. (I was touched by her story since this was the same prayer I had prayed for a second baby, and God sent my son, John.) When Cricket’s and Bill’s baby came on June 2, 1958, she was considered a “miracle” baby since she lived and Cricket did not die. That baby, Carolyn, has lived up to the promises Bill and Cricket made to God, as she has served God in so many ways. (I might add that the son I prayed for was born the day after this little girl and his birthday is June 3, 1958. God answers prayers, doesn’t he?)
When this little girl was four, Bill, who was a Chaplain at Fort Polk, was stricken with a rare disease, Guillan-Barre Syndrome, and was paralyzed.
The Army flew him to Brooke Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. He only lived a few days and died. Cricket was left with a twelve year old daughter, and a four year old daughter. There was nothing to do but come home to Minden and teach school.
She taught my son in Junior High School and recognized his love for History and his ability. She has been such a strong supporter of him, and encouraged him to work toward his doctorate. She also continued her own education receiving her Masters Degree and in 1979 she received her Ed.D from Northwestern State University. Cricket was now known as Dr. Christine Hunt.
A Well-Rounded Woman
The honors have been heaped upon this woman, and her awards encompass education, civic and religious activities. She taught graduate students at La. Tech, and was Principal of E. S. Richardson School here in Minden, one of the first women principals in Webster Parish. She was selected as Minden’s “Woman of the Year.” She traveled to many foreign countries. She lived an awe inspiring life as we remember she was first of all a mother. She continued her education. yet she did not sacrifice her service to her church and the Lord’s work. Dr. Christine Sapp Hunt was and is an inspiration, and we cannot number the friends whose life she touched and helped.
A True Friend
Thank God for my friend, Christine “Cricket” Hunt whose death has left such a lonesome spot in my heart. God blessed me with a friend like her.
There is no way to list all the many contributions she has made to so many causes, to so many people, and especially her friends and family. There is no one person who can fill all the things she did to enhance the lives of her loved ones, and of her friends, in education and the work in our church and denomination. But we cannot grieve because she is now well and happy. She has already met Jesus, whom she served, and received the commendation “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou has been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord” And she has seen her husband, Bill, and their four little babies that did not live, as well as all the loved ones and friends who have gone on before.
Dr. Prince, who was our pastor at First Baptist Church, often told us when he left on a trip “If I don’t see you again here on earth, I’ll meet you just inside the Eastern Gate over there.” And so I’ll close with his goodbye “Goodbye, Christine , look for me because soon I’ll meet you just inside the Eastern Gate over there..”
Juanita Agan submitted a weekly column to the Press-Herald for more than 15 years until her death in 2008. She was a resident of Minden since 1935. The Press-Herald is republishing select articles from Mrs. Agan’s Cameos column every Wednesday.