Robert Nelson Hunter

December 25, 1920 - June 3, 2013

Mr. Robert Nelson Hunter, age 92, of Jefferson City, Mo., died Monday, June 3, 2013, at Capital Region Medical Center. Bob was born December 25, 1920 in St. Louis, Mo., the son of Clay and Elizabeth Bell Hunter. He was married on October 4, 1952 in Nevada, Mo. to Sue Richardson, who preceded him in death on May 25, 2006. A resident of Jefferson City since the age of four, Bob was a 1938 graduate of Jefferson City High School. He graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a degree in Civil Engineering in 1950 where he was a member of the Tau Beta Pi and the Chi Epsilon honor engineering fraternities. While there he began his lifelong love of Tiger football. Bob served his country in World War II as a B-24 bomber pilot flying 51 missions over Europe. He was a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross and 5 Air Medals. He retired a Lt. Colonel from the Air Force Reserves. He was employed with the Missouri Highway and Transportation Department for 35 years, in the era of designing and building the Interstate Highway System. He served the Highway Dept. in a variety of design and planning capacities, as a Plans Designer, Senior Engineer, and District Surveys and Plans Engineer. He served as District 4 Engineer in Kansas City and then became Engineer of Surveys and Plans at Headquarters in Jefferson City. He was Assistant to the Chief Engineer for seven years until he was appointed Chief Engineer on November 19, 1970. He retired on December 31, 1985. In 1978, Bob received the Thomas H. MacDonald Memorial Award for outstanding service in highway engineering. The National Limestone Institute honored him with the Distinguished Service Award for dedicated leadership and service to the development of the Nation's Transportation System. A special recognition was bestowed on him in January 1979 when the Associated General Contractors of MO presented him the coveted "Sir Award" for exemplifying the ideals of the construction industry. In 1979, he received the Transportation Research Board Distinguished Service Award for playing an influential role in broadening that boards' role from simply highways to full multi-modal transportation interests. In 1981, Bob received the George S. Bartlett Award which recognizes individuals who made an outstanding contribution to highway and transportation progress. MU conferred on Bob the Honor Award for Distinguished Service to Engineering in 1971. In 1976, the Jefferson City Public Schools named him a Distinguished Alumni. In 1978, he was awarded the MU Faculty/Alumni Award. Bob was a scout all his life. He earned his Eagle Scout and is a holder of the Distinguished Eagle Award, Silver Antelope Award, and the Silver Beaver Award. He was a past president of the Great Rivers Council-Boy Scouts of America. Bob was a member of the First United Methodist Church, member and past president of the Downtown Rotary Club, Past District Governor of Rotary International, District 605, the Jefferson Lodge, No. 43, A.F., & A.M., the Capital Shrine Club, and the Cole County Historical Society. Bob was a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, a past president of the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers, and a past national director of the National Society of Professional Engineers. He was a past president of the American Assn. of State Highway and Transportation Officials and was also a past chairman of the Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. He was also a member of the American Road and Transportation Builders Assn. Board of Directors. Survivors include: three daughters, Marti Coats of Columbia, Mo., Becky Ambrose and her husband Bill of Jefferson City, Mo., and Cindy Van Camp and her husband Doug of Jefferson City, Mo.; one son, B.J. Hunter and his wife Marie of Columbia, Mo.; two sisters, Elizabeth Hawkins and her husband Robert of Jefferson City, Mo. and Jane Gentry and her husband Claude of Springfield, Va. He also leaves eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; one sister, Frances Basinger; and one brother, Clay Ewing Hunter. Visitation will be at Freeman Mortuary from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m., Thursday, June 6, 2013, with a Masonic Service to be conducted at 3:30 p.m. Thursday in the Freeman Chapel. Visitation will also be from 9:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m., Friday, June 7, 2013, at the First United Methodist Church. Funeral services will be conducted at 10:30 a.m., Friday, June 7, 2013, at the First United Methodist Church with the Reverend Daniel Hilty officiating. Graveside services and entombment with military honors will be held at the Mausoleum of Riverview Cemetery. Those desiring may make memorial contributions to Great Rivers Council-Boy Scouts of America, the First United Methodist Church, or the charity of the donor's choice. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Freeman Mortuary.

Services Location

Freeman Mortuary
  • 915 Madison Street Jefferson City, Mo 65101
  • 573-636-5533
  • Fax 573-636-7513
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