Ben Cody Hunnicutt, Jr.
This page was last modified on 5 June 2003.
Education: Appalachian State University, B.S., M.A.
Taught: Distributive Education, Government, 20th Century History
Sponsored: Distributive Education Club
From the Winston-Salem Journal, Obituaries, Saturday, March 11, 2000, Page B4
Mr. Ben Cody Hunnicutt Jr., 76, of Winston-Salem died Thursday, March 9, 2000, at Kate B. Reynolds Hospice Home after a prolonged illness. Mr. Hunnicutt was born March 3, 1924, to Ben and Inez Hunnicutt in Eatonton, Ga., the youngest of three children. He had a large, full life. A father, Christian, teacher, coach and athlete, his love and zest for life revolved around his family, his church, his students, sports of all kinds and lively conversation. As a father, he worked tirelessly, lovingly and without complaint to provide a better life for his wife and children. A lifelong Baptist and dedicated member of Konnoak Baptist Church, he served faithfully as a deacon and Sunday school teacher. His teaching career spanned 34 years, and included history, physical education and distributive education. Known to many as "Coach Hunnicutt," he coached football, baseball, basketball and wrestling. Ben Hunnicutt Sr. was a cotton-mill foreman, and his work meant many different homes for daughters Sarah, Martha and son "B.C." The family lived in Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina, with a decent standard of living for the years of the Great Depression. Living in the rural South, in "mill towns," amidst great poverty and seeing the effect of President Roosevelt, the TVA and rural electrification, Mr. Hunnicutt would be an ardent and vocal Democrat for the rest of his life. Born into a family with athletic roots, his father taught him to hit pitches by handing him a cut-off broomstick and shooting corn cobs at him with a slingshot. Apparently effective, he began playing shortstop on a semipro baseball team at 13, often "paid" with peanuts and Coke. Graduating from Chickamauga, Georgia's Gordon-Lee High School in 1942, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and served as a tailgunner on a B-24 Bomber flying from bases in Italy against eastern European targets. Staff Sargeant Hunnicutt's plane and crew were later used by the OSS to drop Allied agents behind enemy lines in Romania and Yugoslavia. He was awarded the Purple Heart after surviving a foggy night crash in 1944 when his plane flew into a mountain while attempting to land. After military service, he attended ASU on an athletic scholarship, playing varsity baseball and football and forging lifelong friendships. Though small, he played halfback for ASU Coach Duggins, and to the end enjoyed being known as one of "Duggins' Boys." Graduating in 1950 with a degree in history and later earning his master's degree, he began teaching and coaching at Boonville High School, all the while tending a world-record number of rabbit gums. There he met his wife-to-be, Colleen Moxley, and they married in 1952. This loving marriage of 48 years produced a daughter, Lynn, in 1955 and a son, Joel, in 1958. Teaching took him to Griffith High School in 1952 and East Forsyth High School in 1965. Retiring from coaching, he took up refereeing and umpiring, eventually umpiring ACC baseball games. When fellow coach Jim Malcom became ill, he banded together with other coaches to create the Jim Malcom Scholarship, providing scholarship funds to an outstanding student-athlete. The scholarship was one of his final concerns until declining health prevented his participation. He is survived by his faithful wife and tireless companion, Colleen; daughter Lynn Hunnicut Longest and her husband, Ryke Longest, of Raleigh; son Joel Hunnicutt and wife, Angi Linville Hunnicutt, of Winston-Salem; grandchildren Patrick Longest of Raleigh and Shannon Crawford of Winston-Salem; sisters Sarah Capehart of Chickamauga and Martha Santiestevan of Eugene, Ore.; many nieces and nephews; special neighbors Ivan and Marlene Sinclair and many loving friends. Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Sunday at Konnoak Baptist Church with Dr. Gary McCollough, the Rev. Bill Fryar and the Rev. Sheree Jones officiating. Entombment will follow in Parklawn Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Hayworth-Miller Silas Creek Chapel. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, memorials should be made to Hospice of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County, 1100-C S. Stratford Road, Winston-Salem, N.C. 27103.