It was just before midnight on May 27 in 2012.
There were several tents in an area outside of the Centre Bionest in Shawinigan, Que., and a number of young men in suits were gathered underneath them. They were members of the London Knights and they were meeting their parents and siblings and relatives and friends after suffering a 2-1 overtime loss in the Memorial Cup final.
The mood was a difficult one. The players had come so close.
There was a temporary steel railing that encircled the tented area and leaning against that railing was the patriarch of the Hunter family.
Dick Hunter was standing by himself, reflecting.
“You know I used to take losses, like this really hard,” he said. “And then I lost my wife. That’s when you realize what matters. Things like this will come and go. It’s the people in your life who make the difference.”
Dick Hunter’s wisdom could always provide perfect perspective for any situation.
Richard “Dick” Hunter passed away on Sept. 12, 2023 at the age of 87.
Honesty, integrity, trust.
The values that Dick Hunter instilled in his family from the time his children were very young are as strong as the back that saw him farm all of his acres in the Oil Springs, Ont., area for decades.
When you hear the phrase, “the right way” you should think of Dick Hunter.
He did things the right way.
When you think of things like, “hard work” you should think of Dick Hunter.
Hard work was at his very core.
If a job needed to be done it was going to be done and everyone who could help it to be done should be pitching in to make it so.
Loyalty, courage, compassion.
Dick Hunter’s stories were legendary.
Even people who had known him for years would be hard-pressed to hear him tell a story twice, but you were lucky if you were within earshot of Dick telling one around his hometown or inside Budweiser Gardens as the Knights played.
Hockey and family were his passions.
All four of his sons excelled at hockey. Three went on to play in the National Hockey League.
The work ethic and the values he instilled paved the way.
Respect, humility, generosity.
People often marvel at the success of the London Knights.
In a cyclical league they find a way to remain competitive.
Many things go into making that happen year after year.
But the root of it has always and will always come from Dick Hunter.
The values. The work ethic. The willingness and fearlessness to do things the right way.
A Celebration of Life will take place at Brooke-Alvinston-Inwood Community Complex, Walnut Street, Alvinston, Ontario at 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm, Friday, Sept. 15, 2023.
In lieu of flowers, donations (cheques only) may be made to Canadian Cancer Society.