Former Hunter VP of sales Chuck Huston dies at 83

READ MORE: See the full obituary here

“He came here and started building,” Dick Hunter said. “Chuck worked with me through the worst of times, Rain Cat, and the best of times, Hunter Industries. For 25 years, Chuck was my best friend.”

Huston’s efforts helped the company evolve from industry newcomer to preferred solutions provider for irrigation professionals in more than 120 countries. He was instrumental in establishing Hunter as more than a manufacturer. 

He built the company into a trusted partner for customers of all walks of life, from day laborers to the owners of the company’s largest distributors. He strived to elevate every interaction from transactional to meaningful.

“Chuck had a personality that made it very easy for him to open doors,” Dick Hunter said. “He was very focused on the customer, no matter what.”

Ann Hunter-Welborn, co-founder of Hunter Industries, remembered Huston as a hard worker with consistent values, a wonderful sense of humor, and a natural ability to drive conversation. 

“We could talk about anything — the books we were reading, last night’s dinner, yesterday’s customers, politics, our kids,” she said. “Whenever he was there, I knew I had a friend. I miss him deeply.”

Huston was so adamant about making genuine connections that, to this day, Hunter Sales associates turn to well-known and highly quoted “Chuck-isms” for inspiration and motivation. While there are many, here are a few of the team’s favorites:

Practice Lombardi time: Arrive 15 minutes early.Do the right thing.Talk less, listen more.Be a good teammate.You have been hired because of your distinct abilities. It is good to look to mentors but be genuine in who you are.Make mistakes. Learn from them.Appreciate where you and others are from. Respect different cultures and backgrounds.Read. Be well-rounded.“It’s only black plastic; don’t let it wreck your day/life.”The last call of the day is at/to home. Don’t ever neglect your family. They are what we are doing this for.

Greg Hunter, current CEO of Hunter Industries, emphasized Chuck’s lasting impact on the company and the industry at large.

“Chuck’s deep sense of professionalism and fierce dedication to our customers set Hunter Industries on the path to success,” Greg Hunter said. “He is a part of our DNA, and we owe much of our market success to the impact Chuck had on the organization.”

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Kirk Walker