By RUSSELL JONES
Paul Hunt is the epitome of what the American Dream represents: He started his own business and built it up from nothing to a successful well-run operation. He married a wonderful woman, had kids and enjoyed life to the fullest.
Born in 1945 in Burlington, Hunt’s father Kenneth was a farmer before he went to work in a factory and later drove a grocery truck and retired from SR Sagers, a wholesale grocer. His mother, Teresia, was a homemaker and later a seamstress at a Burlington lingerie factory.
Watching the hard work of his parents, he was instilled with a work ethic that kept him striving forward. After he was kicked out after only his first few days at South Burlington High School, for smoking, Hunt went on to graduate from Burlington High. He worked part-time for Sagers while in school and continued there after graduation.
Hunt joined the National Guard and went on to work at Middlebury College for 20 years after nearly nine years at IBM. After his stint with Middlebury College, Hunt moved to North Carolina where he began working towards his dream of being his own boss. He started a small plumbing company that he owned and operated for years and said it turned out to be a very successful venture.
In 1965, Hunt needed a date for a function and a friend from school set him up with a girl named Bonnie. After that date, Hunt took Bonnie bowling, and knew that was the girl for him. They were married in October and had their first of two children, Gail, who now lives in Lincoln, in December of the next year. Their son, Matt, was born in 1971 and is a roofer in Charlotte, Vermont.
Hunt also has a pug, Bug-Z, who he calls his adopted child. Hunt said they got the dog when he was eight weeks old and now at seven years, the dog owns them.
Hunt, true to his name, has been an avid fisherman and hunter since he was a kid, and still loves to get out in the woods. He also likes tinkering on cars and woodworking and wishes he still had a shop to continue that hobby.
He was once a drag-racer in Milton, Malta, and other New York racetracks, and is still extremely proud of the hard work and dedication he put in while turning his dream of being a small-business owner, husband and father into a reality.