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Chuck Hunt, Jane Swift’s husband and First Gentleman of Massachusetts died, Leaves Behind his beloved Wife and Children

Chuck Hunt, loving father and husband of former Massachusetts Acting Governor Jane Swift, died on December 21, 2021, at the age of 67. He passed away peacefully in his lifelong home of Williamstown, Massachusetts after facing health complications from a genetic kidney disorder.

Jane Swift’s husband, Chuck Hunt, dies at 67

Hunt was born with a condition called Alport syndrome which causes progressive kidney damage. In 2018 at age 64, he underwent a kidney transplant in hopes of managing the disease. However, his body rejected the transplanted organ in 2020, leading to a downward spiral in health over the past two years.

Hunt died surrounded by family on his pastoral Williamstown farm where he had helped raise his three daughters with Swift.

Hunt’s death deeply saddened his surviving wife and daughters. His wife Jane Swift served as Lieutenant Governor and then Acting Governor of Massachusetts from 1999-2003 while Hunt raised their girls at home.

Hunt was Remembered at Williamstown Funeral Service

On Sunday, December 26, 2021, friends and family gathered to remember Hunt at a visitation service in North Adams, MA. The next day, a funeral Mass was held at Sts. Patrick and Raphael Church in Williamstown where Hunt was a lifelong member.

At the ceremony, Hunt’s daughter Lauren spoke about her father’s immeasurable love. She shared fond memories of feeding livestock together on the farm as a child and riding on his motorcycle as a teenager. Though just 20 years old, Lauren feels lucky to have had a father as devoted as Hunt.

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“I have a million of those memories,” “It feels horrible and awful that I’m 20 years old and lost my dad, but I also know that he dedicated more time to us in my lifetime than a lot of people’s parents do when they’re there most of their lives. I know that I’m lucky, even if that’s hard to feel right now.”

Lauren said.

“He has told us on numerous occasions that we are the best thing that ever happened to him,”“My dad never made it a question of whether we knew how much he loved us and it wasn’t just in his words, but also in his actions.”

Lauren said.

Chuck Hunt’s Early Years in Williamstown

Chuck Hunt was born on March 2, 1954, in Adams, Massachusetts. He was 67 years old when he passed away. He grew up on a family farm that had been in his mother’s family for over a century. Chuck was the only son among four siblings born to Ruth Godfrey Hunt and Charles Hunt. He had three sisters – Sharon Wetteland and Diane Hunt, both of Georgia, and Dolores Kornn who passed away earlier in 2021. Though he grew up on the farm, he “did not have an idyllic childhood,” according to his wife Jane Swift.

He was born with a genetic kidney disorder called Alport syndrome which causes progressive kidney damage and hearing loss. The condition would plague Hunt with health issues throughout his entire life.

Chuck Hunt Family
Chuck Hunt with wife Jane Swift and daughters Elizabeth, Lauren, and Sarah in 2001. (Source: Berkshire Eagle)

Hunt became a standout multi-sport athlete at Mount Greylock Regional High School, serving as captain of the football and baseball teams his senior year and winning the award for best athlete in his class. Teammates looked up to Hunt for his athletic prowess and strong character.

After high school, Hunt played semi-pro baseball for a time before moving to California in his 20s. He lived there for much of his 20s and 30s. During this time, he graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a degree in physical education and a minor in exercise science.

Hunt moved back to Massachusetts in 1989 to accept a job offer as a coach at Mount Greylock Regional School. However, the coaching job was soon eliminated due to school budget cuts.

Chuck Hunt’s Career

Though his coaching career was short-lived, Chuck Hunt maintained steady work over the decades operating his own small construction business based in his hometown of Williamstown, Massachusetts.

throughout the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, Hunt was able to earn a living doing hands-on building and contracting work in the area.

Hunt had a lifelong love of horses and worked extensively with them throughout his adult life. He offered horse riding programs over the years and boarded horses on the Williamstown family farm.

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His wife Jane Swift said Hunt showed great kindness and empathy toward creatures that lacked power or status. He saw something special in animals that others dismissed or mistreated.

“He just had a kindness toward the least powerful, whether it was animals or people,” Swift said. “That was something many people noticed, and that he passed on to my girls.”

Who is Jane Swift?

Jane Maria Swift was born on February 24, 1965, in North Adams, Massachusetts. She grew up in a large extended family in the northern Berkshires region. Swift’s maternal grandmother immigrated to the U.S. from northern Italy after World War I. Her paternal grandfather was a Massachusetts native with ancestry tracing back to the Mayflower.

Swift became interested in politics at a young age, learning from her father Jack Swift who ran a local HVAC business and was active in Republican political circles. Her mother graduated from North Adams State College and worked as a teacher in area public and private schools.

Swift attended North Adams public schools through high school. She graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut in 1987 with a degree in American Studies. At Trinity, Swift held work-study jobs, played on the women’s rugby team, and joined the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.

Chuck Hunt Wife Jane Swift
Jane Swift, former Massachusetts governor (Source: Boston Magazine/Ken Richardson)

After college, Swift worked as a senior account executive for the Neilsen Company before taking a position in the Massachusetts state government. She quickly rose through the ranks working for Republican Governor William Weld’s administration in the 1990s.

Swift’s political career reached new heights when she was elected Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts in 1998 at just 33 years old. Then in 2001, she became Acting Governor when Governor Paul Cellucci resigned. At 36, Swift made history as the youngest woman and first to give birth while serving as governor in any U.S. state. She served as Acting Governor for nearly two years before Mitt Romney took office.

Chuck Hunt Marriage life as a Beloved husband and a devoted father

Hunt married three times before meeting his fourth wife, Jane Swift, in the 1990s after spotting her holding a political sign and being struck by her smile. They married in 1994, and Hunt became a dedicated stay-at-home father to their three daughters – Elizabeth, Lauren, and Sarah.

As we know Jane was not his first wife, he had previously been married to another woman and had a son named Brian, who died in 2014.

In 1998, Swift was asked to become the running mate for Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts under Paul Cellucci. Around the same time, Swift learned she was pregnant with her first child with Hunt. After discussions, Hunt supported Swift’s pursuit of higher office even though it would require major changes for their family.

Chuck Hunt Wife Jane Swift and their Daughter
Acting Governor Jane Swift with husband Chuck Hunt and daughters on her last day in office in 2003. (Source: The Boston Globe/Jonathan Wiggs)

Swift gave birth to their first daughter Elizabeth in 1998 shortly after the election. Over the next several years as Swift’s political career reached new heights, eventually becoming Massachusetts’ acting governor, Hunt supported her by continuing to raise their girls full-time on the family farm. He cherished this role, later saying “If I can be home on the farm and raise children, I’ll be happy.” Hunt took on the role of full-time father. He retired from work to focus on raising Elizabeth and their two other daughters Lauren and Sarah back on the family farm.

Hunt always put family first, he was a devoted parent who always made his daughters feel loved. Friends say Hunt was exceedingly polite and led by example – principles he instilled in his daughters.

Chuck Hunt and Jane Swift’s and Daughters

Jane Swift and Chuck Hunt’s first child together, Elizabeth Hunt, was born in 1998 shortly before Swift was elected Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts. Elizabeth spent her early childhood on the family’s farm in Williamstown while Swift served in the state government. She made history as the first baby born to a sitting governor in Massachusetts when Swift became Acting Governor in 2001.

She attended Rice Memorial High School in Burlington, Vermont, graduating in 2017. After high school, Elizabeth enrolled at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In December 2021, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics, completing her college education just a month after the tragic loss of her father.

Chuck Hunt Daughter Elizabeth
Chuck Hunt comforting daughter Elizabeth with fever in 2001. (Source: The Boston Globe/Suzanne Kreiter.)

Swift and Hunt’s two younger daughters, Lauren and Sarah, were also born while Swift served as Acting Governor. Like their older sister, the girls spent most of their childhood being raised by Father Chuck on the family farm. After Swift’s tenure ended, the family moved to Vermont.

Lauren and Sarah attended Burr & Burton Academy boarding school in Manchester, Vermont. Both sisters graduated from the prestigious prep school in 2019.

Now in their early 20s, Lauren and Sarah have continued achieving academically and professionally.

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