Deacon Johnnie L. Hunter
A Beloved Father, Grandfather, and Friend
Johnnie Laten Hunter was born to Johnnie Hunter, Sr. and Costella White in Milam County, near Cameron, Texas, on July 30th, 1924, (however, it was noted and erroneously recorded as July 31st, 1924). His biological father passed away shortly after his birth. As time would have it, during his childhood, his mother then married Manse Abner, Sr. As a family, they moved and he spent his early years in Sweetwater, Texas located in the Panhandle of Texas. He enjoyed life in Sweetwater, Nolan County, Texas along with his sister, Georgie Hunter, and little brother, Manse Abner, Jr. as well as his extended family. He accepted Christ at age of 10 years old and was baptized at Mount Rose Baptist Church by Pastor Frank Williams in Sweetwater, Texas. He was only able to complete his formal education up to the 6th grade due to work, family obligations and responsibilities. Later, he was encouraged to get his GED at the ripe age of 64. As he was growing up, life in Sweetwater was not always sweet, he endured picking cotton and lots of hard times. That life persuaded him to look for better outlooks and options.
In the year of 1942, Johnnie decided to enter the United States Army as a teenager at the tender age of 18. He enlisted and served Our Country in the US Army, 3194th Quartermaster, CJK Service Company. He fought in World War II and while overseas he visited many countries. While touring in Belgium, he met a young lady Barbara Pfeiffer, and fathered a son, Raymond Pfeiffer. As fate would have it, he and his son reconnected, created a bond and continued a loving relationship throughout the years. While serving his Country, he received various Military Honors such as WWII Victory Medal, Overseas Service Bar, Lake Champain Medal with 5 Bronze Stars, Good Conduct Medal, and a Victory Ribbon. Upon receiving an Honorable Discharge, he traveled to Houston seeking employment. He cherished his status as a Veteran. In the early 1950's, he worked at Mosher Steel Company as a shop helper. He advanced by carefully honing his skills while learning the trade, and retired as a welder. He returned to school to study to become a certified automobile mechanic. His entrepreneurial spirit allowed him to open his own auto mechanic repair shop. As business expanded and he learned to operate a wrecker truck, and opened JL Wrecker Service. He would help anyone who needed him and/or relied upon him for service and advice. He offered tow services to church members and the community stranded in various areas throughout Houston and surrounding counties, including as far away as Beaumont, Texas. Also, he once owned and operated, J.L.'s Light Furniture Hauling Service. His business motto was, he accepts Checks "Hot or Cold". He was multifaceted and his knowledge granted him employment with Continental Airlines, Kroger, and Rhoades Automotive. He had a strong work ethic.
He made a promise to God upon returning unharmed from The Service, that he would serve God and do His will. God granted him a longevity for his obedience. He joined Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church in 1954 under the leadership of the late Rev. C.G. Wilkins.
J.L. Hunter met and united in holy matrimony with Miss Leatha Jean Balfour on May 21, 1955. They were married for twenty-six years. To this union, three daughters were born, Frances Pawnae, Sandra Aline, and VonSonjia. Well before the term "Girl Dad" was coined, he perfected it. The family made their home in the Carver Crest section in the Piney Point Community and were active with civic and social endeavors. At PRMBC, he immediately began doing the Lord's work and continued through the years. He served faithfully on Usher Board I from 1954 until 2012, until his health began to decline. He was bestowed title of Head Usher Emeritus. In 1964, Bro. J.L. Hunter was ordained and became a Deacon at Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church. Deacon Hunter proudly served as one of the first doorkeeper's in the house of the Lord. In fact in 1965, he and the late Bro. J.D. Sykes and the late Pastor C.G. Wilkins spent the night in the church in preparation of the grand entrance into the new (present-day) sanctuary. He did a superb job in carrying out his duties as an Usher. He knew the importance of this auxiliary as it greeted every person who entered. As President of Usher Board I, he taught the Usher Board the original hand and greeter's signals. A notable highlight was the Ushers of PRMBC served at the National Baptist Convention hosted by Houston's St. John MBC in the newly-built Astrodome, Houston's Eighth Wonder of the World. This convention will serve as the first convention held in this venue. In 2006, he was recognized and honored as a Pioneer Historian by PRMBC's Historical Committee for his invaluable contributions in recording and capturing the history of his church, school, and the Piney Point Community. Bro. Hunter was the Head Usher, he was noted as an Iconic Deacon at PRMBC in the Piney Point Community but notably he was an Icon to all of us. He had a special way of making us all feel "Welcome" at the church, in his home and in his businesses. Other duties he acquired were a volunteer with the Parking Ministry and a freelance Photographer. Although his greatest accolades came from working in the church as a very active servant with the duties of Ushering and being a Deacon, he was also vital in other ministries in the church such as securing and preparing the church grounds for worship, funerals, wedding, etc.
He was highlighted in an article "Face in the Crowd" of the Houston Chronicle Neighborhood News Memorial/Westchase, on Tuesday, October 24, 2006. Mr. Hunter was active with Piney Point Civic Club and Houston Police Department's Positive Interactive Program. He was passionate about the community in which he lived. He was the recipient of the Piney Point Community Service Award presented by the Piney Point Civic Club on December 10, 2010. He was a gentle Giant who offered advise sharing wisdom and knowledge as a teacher and leader; always having a listening ear as he was a blessing to many. Referred to as Mr. Hunter, Bro. Hunter or JL, he left his mark and was highly respected and loved in the Piney Point Community, He was a giant of a man in both stature and spirit. He was a great man who lived a great life filled with love, memories and time.
J.L. Hunter was preceded in death by his parents; his siblings; his daughter, Frances Hunter-Winn; former wife and the mother of his daughters, Leatha Jean Hunter; and Godson, Reginald Rasmus, Sr.; Goddaughter, Leatha Jean Watson and family.
Deacon Johnnie L. Hunter answered the Lord's whisper to come home and rest on Tuesday, August 16th, 2022. He was a Servant of God, for a job Well Done! He will always be remembered by those who knew and loved him. He leaves to cherish his memories and legacy: One son, Raymond Pfeiffer (Marie-Therese) and their daughters, Aline and her daughter, Lara; Nathalie (Michel) and their son, Gary; and Chantal (Andreas) and their sons, Neil and Owen; Two daughters, Sandra Hunter, and VonSonjia Hunter Coleman (Mitchell) and three grandsons, Charlie Ray Moblin-Hill Jr., Wallace LeAndrea Coleman Ill "Tre" & Johnnie Laten Hunter Coleman; God son, Christopher Robinson; a host of bonus sons & daughters, nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives, friends, community, and PRMBC Family.
Friday, September 2, 2022
Viewing: 7 PM - 9 PM
Saturday, September 3, 2022
Celebration of Life Services: 10 AM
Pilgrim Rest Missionary
3401 Jeanetta Road
Houston, Texas 77063
Reverend Daymond Wilkins, Pastor
Officiating & Eulogist
Houston National Cemetery
**IN LIEU OF FLOWERS **
DONATIONS ARE REQUESTED TO THE HUNTER EDUCATIONAL FUND
AT PROSPERITY BANK
ACCOUNT - 221710954