Former Tom Green County Sheriff Joe Hunt died Tuesday afternoon. He was a lawman for 43 years, which included 21 years as a Texas Ranger, and from 2001-2011, as the Sheriff for the county whose county seat is San Angelo, Texas.
Hunt readily won re-election in 2008, but retired before the end of his term in 2011 due to health concerns.
“For the past year, I have been having health issues as the result of a heart attack I suffered in May 2004," he wrote in a farewell letter to the sheriff’s department and the community in March 2011. "Those issues no longer allow me to perform my job in the manner I demand of myself. It is time for me to step aside and the Sheriff's Department to move forward,” he wrote then.
Hunt retired to his ranch south of San Angelo in Schleicher County, where he wrote a self-published autobiography.
“He was an honorable man through and though,” Gus Clemens, who ran Hunt’s political campaigns for sheriff. “And I think that you will hear that all the way around, whether it is from the judiciary or from the professionals in law enforcement.”
Rick Smith wrote a moving tribute in the paper.
(Pictures are from the Tom Green County Historical Society from the 2009 swearing in via Picasa)