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Former Ahoskie leader succumbs

AHOSKIE – A man hailed for decades of public service in the local area has lost his courageous battle against cancer.

Andrew Hunter, age 59, died Tuesday night at his daughter’s home in Baltimore, Maryland. Hunter, retired from the family business in Ahoskie, was a former member of the Ahoskie Town Council, serving from Nov. 7, 1995 until stepping down on June 10, 2003.

Among the many whose lives were touched by Hunter’s public service was his longtime friend and fellow Ahoskie Council member Ronald Gatling.

“Andrew and I go back a ways,” said Gatling who still serves on Ahoskie’s governing body. “We were in the same Masonic Lodge prior to either seeking a seat on the town council. We were both involved in the betterment of the young people of our community. As a matter of fact, it was Andrew that got me involved in helping to lead the local Cub Scouts. He told me I would never experience anything like that. He was right as I’m still very involved with the scouts today.”

Ironically, both men initially sought the same seat on the Ahoskie Town Council.

“We talked about it, both promising to back out if the other chose to run for the seat,” Gatling said. “I told Andrew that I didn’t feel quite ready to enter politics at that time and encouraged him to run for the seat, which he won. When the other Ward B seat became available, I ran for that and won, allowing Andrew and I the opportunity to serve together.”

Gatling called Hunter and the Hunter family great public servants.

“That family, which includes the late (NC State House Representative) Howard Hunter Jr. and (current Hertford County Commissioner) Howard Hunter III, has always been about helping the community,” Gatling noted. “Andrew was no different; he was a great public servant who added to the legacy of the Hunter family.”

Evelyn Howard, the longtime Clerk for the Town of Ahoskie, said Andrew Hunter would be greatly missed.

“We were very sorry to learn of his death,” she said. “Personally, I enjoyed working with Mr. Hunter. He had Ahoskie’s best interest at heart and contributed a lot of his time and effort making the town a better place to live and work.”

Hunter is survived by his wife, Karen Hunter of Shinnecock Indian Nation, NY; sons, Andrew Hunter Jr. and Romone Hunter, both of Ahoskie, Duwane Hunter and Julian Hunter, both of Kelford; and daughter, Angel Hunter of Baltimore, Maryland. He is also survived by grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

In addition to his work as a public servant, Hunter enjoyed traveling to Native American Pow Wows where he was an active participant as well as showing his hand-made Native American crafts.

He was a licensed funeral director and embalmer and a member of the Christian Funeral Directors Association. He held memberships in Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Meherrin Indian Tribe, Jerusalem Masonic Lodge #96 and Zodiac Wheels Motorcycle Club. Hunter was a past deacon at Calvary Baptist Church and Den Leader for the Boy Scouts of America.

Funeral services are scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 2 at Soul Saving Station.