Helen Hunt Dies

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Former Alabama first lady Helen Hunt has died from a pulmonary disease, with ex Gov. Guy Hunt and their four children at her bedside. She was 70.

Bill Floyd, chairman of the Cullman County Republican Party, said Mrs. Hunt had been treated at Woodland Medical Center since Nov. 13 with pulmonary fibrosis, which robs the lungs of their ability to transfer oxygen into the bloodstream. She died about 4:15 p.m. Monday.

As first lady, she worked with handicapped children, began a campaign to stop littering and encouraged children to read. She was one of two first ladies from Cullman County; the other was Marsha Folsom.

Elected in 1986 after a fractious Democratic primary, Guy Hunt was Alabama's first Republican governor since Reconstruction. He won a second term but was removed from office in 1993 after being convicted on a felony ethics charge. The couple then returned home to their farm in Holly Pond.

The Retirement Systems of Alabama named the RSA Helen Hunt Learning Center, a daycare center in Montgomery, after her.

Mrs. Hunt will lie in state at the Mt. Vernon Primitive Baptist Church in Fairview from 2 p.m. Thursday until the funeral at 2 p.m. Friday. The Holly Pond funeral home is handling the arrangements.