John Leslie Hunter
August 15, 1946 - July 26, 2018
JOHN LESLIE HUNTER, age 71, of Gautier, Mississippi died unexpectedly at home on July 26, 2018. Born in Scott County, Mississippi, on August 15th, 1946, John was a displaced country boy who went on to become a successful and well respected true southern gentleman and scholar.
The only child of a farmer and homemaker, he grew up in a small community called Frogtown, near Pulaski, Mississippi . “John Leslie”, as he was known there, had a work ethic and intelligence to be envied. He was the Valedictorian of Morton High School in 1965. Thereafter, he attended Mississippi State University as an English major, paying his way through school with various jobs, including driving an ambulance for the regional hospital and a hearse for Ott & Lee Funeral Home in Forest, MS. John was proud of the fact that he spent one year as the school mascot “Bully”. He graduated in 1969, moving to Ocean Springs to teach English at OSHS, but was only there a week before Hurricane Camille changed his plans. John decided to pursue his dream and attend law school enrolling at the University of Mississippi.
While at Ole Miss, he was nearly killed by a tornado that struck his home. Being the fighter he was, John then went on to serve as the President of the Lamar Society of International Law and graduate first in the 1972 class having only missed one semester to recover. John moved back to the Gulf Coast and began what became a brilliant legal career joining the firm of Cumbest and Cumbest in Pascagoula, MS, where he stayed for 46 years as the senior partner in the firm Cumbest, Cumbest, Hunter & McCormick. He also served as Assistant District Attorney of the Nineteenth District in 1980, was the attorney for the Jackson County Port Authority and counsel for the Jackson County Emergency Communications District. He was a Sustaining Member of the Mississippi Association of Justice and the American Association of Justice. He was a charter member and past president of the Mississippi Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. John was an advocate for the common man and argued cases from the Municipal Court of Pascagoula to the Supreme Court of the United States. He was a member numerous civic organizations including the Pascagoula Elks Club and the Gautier Rotary Club, where he served as past President. He also served as an Elder at First Presbyterian Church in Pascagoula.
At 6' 4", his tall physical stature was only surpassed by his personality, compassion, sense of humor and love of family and friends. He was the smartest person in the room and the most humble at the same time. He was an accomplished hunter, fisherman, outdoor chef and crawfish boiler. His kindness was legendary and his desire to help others was his calling. A truly unique person, he was strong willed, extremely loyal to his friends and he loved his family with a passion. He was the stabilizing force to his family when he lost his eldest son in 2008. He was the advisor and counselor to many people on matters other than the law and would never turn away from someone in need. He was not judgmental of others and was a true mentor to many. He used his gifts for the betterment of those that knew him and he will be truly missed by many.
He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Judy Hunter; five (5) children, Lee J. Hunter of Pascagoula, MS; Kristy Hunter of Virginia Beach, VA.; Scott Moore of Pascagoula, MS; David (Lauren) Moore of Ocean Springs, MS, and Mark Moore (Claudia) of Boca Raton, FL, and ten (10) grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents Leslie Lamont Hunter and Lurline Gaddis Hunter and his oldest son, Dr. John L.Hunter, II. (Amanda Hunter).
Ed Martinez, Dobbs Dennis, Joe Moore, Kenny Flint, Robbie Bates, George Mavromihalis, Sonny Whifield, and John’s grandson, Luke Johnathan Hunter, will serve as pallbearers. John Hester, Wallace Easley, Marshall Smith, Bill Sumrall, Tom Hammond, Bob Miller, and Judge D. Neil Harris, will serve as honorary pallbearers.
Visitation will be held in Pascagoula at First Presbyterian Church, 1819 Pascagoula Street Friends are invited to attend beginning at 10:00 a.m. with a memorial service at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 31st, 2018. Burial will be at Machpelah Cemetery at the conclusion. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Rotary Club. You may send condolences to his family or share a memory at the options below.