Robert “Bob” Hunt
Bob in full flight. Photo from Karen Vaughn
, a world-class hurdler in his 50s and 60s inducted into the USATF Masters Hall of Fame in 2004, died Saturday at an Anaheim hospital in Southern California, his son said. He was 93. David Hunt
told me by phone tonight that his father competed in 20 countries and even tackled the decathlon. His wife of 70 years, Marge, died in 2009
and also competed. Bob had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease but will never be forgotten at Katella High School
, where he was an assistant girls track coach for 28 years. Even a decade after retiring, Katella athletes would run by his Anaheim home to see him waving seated near the street, David said. “People who did not know him knew of him,” David said. “He’s been athletic all his life,” playing softball and basketball in a variety of leagues. He held track records at Manual Arts High School
in his birthplace of Los Angeles as recently as 10 years ago. Bob also attended Los Angeles City College and spent a 40-year career with the phone company. Bob was born May 18, 1920, and competed in at least three world masters meets â€” 1985 Rome, 1987 Australia and 1997 South Africa, David told some other friends.
A member of the Southern California Striders, he competed against world-record holder Payton Jordan in Payton’s prime. Bob’s rivals included such legends as Jack Greenwood, Alan “Senator” Cranston and Bert “world’s oldest hurdler” Morrow.
Bob served in the Army but missed competing in the Olympics because the Games were canceled in his 20s.
Bob’s bio for Masters Hall of Fame in 2004.
He also ran on the Senior Olympic circuit and won national titles. At 1989 national masters
in Eugene, he took silver to the great Burl Gist
in the M65 short hurdles. In the M55 long hurdles, his 63.7 still shows up on the
all-time world rankings.
David Hunt says services will be held in late April. (We’ll post details when available.)
Bob is survived by four children, 11 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren and 19 great-great-grandchildren, the family says.
The family says graveside services are at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 26, at Harbor Lawn Memorial Park, Costa Mesa.Â A memorial service will follow at 2:30 p.m. at Hilgenfeld Mortuary, Anaheim.