Chuck Hunt, husband of former Gov. Jane Swift, dies at 67

Chuck Hunt, the husband of the first woman to serve as governor of Massachusetts, has died.

Hunt died Tuesday in hospice care in his Williamstown home of end-stage kidney disease and surrounded by his family, former acting Gov. Jane Swift said in an email. He was 67.

A private man who farmed and worked in construction, Charles T. Hunt III was thrust into the public eye in 2001 when Swift, a Republican who had been elected lieutenant governor, was named acting governor when Gov. Paul Cellucci was appointed U.S. ambassador to Canada.

Hunt became a full-time father to the couple's three daughters during his wife's political career.

"He was the state's best-known stay-at-home father during those years, a role he relished," the email from Swift said. "He dedicated himself and his time wholeheartedly to raising his daughters. He was a full-time dad, and he was great at it. He handled the criticism, lack of respect for stay-at-home fathers and mean-spirited press with dignity and grace during that period of his life."

A standout athlete in high school, he worked as a high school athletic director, football and baseball coach for a time, operated heavy equipment, and worked at his family dairy farm and several other area dairy farms.

Farming was his passion, and he "was clearly at peace on his tractor," according to the email from Swift.

In fact, it was through a shared commitment to saving the state's dairy industry that Hunt and Swift met, marrying in 1994.

Swift asked Wednesday on social media for donations in her husband's name to Wonderfund, a nonprofit that supports children involved with state child welfare officials.

Hunt "cared (quietly) and deeply about children whose childhoods were marked by abuse & neglect," she wrote.

Calling hours are scheduled for Sunday at the Flynn & Dagnoli Funeral Home in North Adams. A funeral Mass is scheduled for Monday morning at Sts. Patrick and Raphael Church in Williamstown.


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