Hollis S. Hunt, age 85, passed into eternal life May 26, 2013. Born in Madison Wisconsin, on September 1, 1927, son of Hollis O. Hunt and Martha C. Thompson Hunt. Served with the U.S. Naval Reserves from 1945-1946. Graduated from West High School in 1946, graduated from Luther College, Decorah Iowa in 1951. Married Sheila (Braund) Hunt on September 2, 1950. Hollis and Sheila had only one son, David Luther Hunt. They resided in Sun Prairie Wis., until 1963, Arlington Heights Ill., until 1967, in Edina Minn., until 1986, and Fort Myers Fla., until his death.
It seemed apparent to many (probably due to his Large, strapping 6’4” Frame and Gentle Charismatic manner), that upon his Graduation from Luther College, that “Hollie” was a “born” Leader and always willing to take on projects that were for the good of all whom were around him, both in business and personal.
The word “can’t” was never part of his vocabulary, much to his success.
While in the Madison area, Hollis was an active member of the Madison Theater Guild and served as President of the Guild from 1962 until 1963.
Hollis was a wonderful husband, excellent father and role model for his only son, and his zest for the great outdoors drew him to Minnesota. The outdoors was where “Hollie” seemed to be his happiest; he loved fishing for Walleye on Mille Lacs Lake, snowmobiling at Grantsburg Wis., and camping in far off places like Yellowstone National Park. While in Minnesota, Hollis started Mid-Central Fire and Safety Company; which sold Fire Trucks and Equipment, Civil Defense Outdoor Warning Systems (Tornado Sirens and Command Centers), and Police/ Rescue Lighting. He became a very successful entrepreneur and well known throughout the upper Midwest for his success and business savvy. He was liked by the thousands of Departments, Communities, and Municipalities he supported in helping grow their emergency response equipment departments. Respected by the hundreds of factories he represented under his business “umbrella”, Feared by his competitors, and yet revered all over the country by the business industry for which he worked in.
While in Edina, and watching David grow, “Hollie” was very instrumental in his support of the Edina youth hockey program, serving on the Hockey Board for numerous years during the 1970’s. It seems you could always find “Big Hollie” in one way or another close to the “State of Hockey”; whether it was shoveling rinks (sometimes during Blizzards, or Viking Superbowls ☹) to make smooth outdoor ice for the players, or driving David to an early weekday 5 a.m. morning practice, or by hosting the Traveling Team parents “Hospitality Room” during away tournaments... yes, he loved and gave to thousands of players and their parents over the 12 years while David was skating in the Edina hockey system.
Upon moving to Florida, “Hollie” and Sheila decided to “go see the world”. They worked in conjunction with Eskin Tours International (Northbrook, Ill.) to provide friends, family, and acquaintances a chaperoned “safe” way to see the world. Their tours were always sold-out (with many pages of disappointed people on waiting lists), it seemed that once a tour was supported by Hollie and Sheila the World became the patrons “Oyster”. Places like Krakow, Poland; Budapest, Hungary; Prague, Czech Republic; Vienna, Austria; were now revealed to all that boarded the many Motor Coaches crisscrossing Europe under the watchful eye of Hollie and Sheila. Many “friends” marveled at the ease and seamless execution that “the Husband and Wife duo” could bring a group of 45 people across the Atlantic Ocean, and still make it feel like it was just a night out in Southwest Florida.
Hollie and Sheila took great pride in making sure that all who traveled with them felt as if they were the most important person on that tour. Their ideas of “travel”; that started as an interest, which became a hobby, turned into a passion, and on the way made thousands happy.
“Big Hollie” will be missed greatly by many, but never forgotten by those that he touched in so many ways.
Hollis is survived by his wife of 62 years, Sheila; son David and daughter-in-law Nancy (Auger) Hunt; sister-in-law Kathleen (Don) Hunt, aunts, nieces, nephews and cousins. Hollis was preceded in death by his parents; and brother, Don Hunt ‘68.
Graveside Services were held July 11th at Roselawn Memorial Park in Monona, Wisconsin.