Mildred W. Hunt
Mildred West was born in Lovelady, Texas, August 17, 1907. Her parents’ forefathers left Georgia for Texas after their “Tara” had burned to the ground. Her father died when she was 14. Reared in Huntsville, Mildred received a bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State University and a master’s degree in English from the University of Texas.
She met Paul Hunt in Port Arthur, Texas, where she taught high school, and Paul worked at the Texaco refinery. The two married and had two sons, Paul, Jr. and Bert. While teaching in Port Neches, TX, and on a field trip with her students, a softball hit her in the lower back. She was bedridden for a month, and her kidneys permanently damaged.
In 1948, Paul, with his family, was transferred to Woodbury, NJ. Then in 1952, Mildred began teaching English at Woodbury High School. A natural leader, Mildred was elected president of the Gloucester County Chapter of the American Association of University Women and a state trustee. She and Paul were part of the leadership team that constructed the new Central Baptist Church building in Woodbury.
As a managing engineer for Texaco, Paul helped design and built the Eagle Point Works Refinery. He persuaded one of the contractors of the Refinery to construct the church building without profit, a substantial savings for the congregation. Paul’s father was a minister as was Mildred’s grandfather.
A very spiritual person, Mildred served as superintendent of the junior department, a counselor to many and a confidant to Pastor McNutt.
In approximately 1953, her kidneys began to fail and completely failed on January 20, 1957. She was rushed to Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, where doctors concluded she would not live more than two days. Her sister from Texas came to the hospital, and her family continuously prayed. Through her strong belief in God and Jesus Christ, Mildred willed her kidneys to start functioning again, and they did so for several months. The doctors had never seen a recovery like this before. They truly believed this was a miracle.
Mildred recovered enough to return home in May. Unfortunately, when her kidneys had previously shut down, they damaged other body organs. She died on May 15, 1957. At her funeral, the church congregation overflowed onto the church lawn. Many people from the community and students from Woodbury High School came in her memory.
Mildred and Paul’s spirits remain with the Woodbury community and this congregation. “So long as a person shall breath, so long as she or he shall see, or so long as she or he shall influence thee, so long shall a person live.” Their lives are everlasting through the love and goodness they passed on to others.