In the surf and at local restaurants, Greg Hunt was a household name. A passionate surfer, he loved travel and adventure, and never met a wave he didn’t like. Greg died in his sleep Nov. 30, 2020, at the age of 54.
The oldest of three children, Gregory Leyland Hunt was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 28, 1966, to Anne (CHS ‘59) and Frank Hunt. His father predeceases him. His mother was born in Coronado.
Greg attended Coronado Middle School and Coronado High School, Class of ’84. As a young boy, he was completely possessed by soccer and hockey before discovering surfing, and that changed his life and priorities forever.
He also attended Cal Poly State University, where he graduated with a BS in graphic communications and print management. After college, Greg got into the printing industry. He worked at several major locations, including Neyenesch Printers, a top-tier printer in San Diego, where he specialized in sales.
As his network of businesses and clients grew, Greg decided to start his own business. He became a printing services broker, using that vast network he had built to put people and businesses together, to meet their printing needs. He did that for six years, until the digital age altered the rules of the game.
Like many in Coronado, Greg also worked in the restaurant industry waiting tables. He worked for several years at Miguel’s Cocina and Chez Loma, becoming part of that family of young people who surfed by day and waited tables by night, while saving money for their next surf trip.
One day Greg met Therese Ahlstedt, from Stenungsund, Sweden. It was love at first sight. The two married, and had three children, Isabella (16), Julia (14) and Liam (10). Greg loved their many trips home to Sweden together, and loved his kids and family.
Greg was teaching his son Liam to surf at the time of his passing. “I’d never seen Greg so happy as when he was with his children,” said his mother Annie. “When Liam began to take to surfing, it gave Greg a whole new lease on life. They loved going to the beach and to sporting events together.”
Greg’s friends were eager to share stories about surfing and their many adventures. “My favorite thing about Greg was he never made it about himself,” said Curtis Pepper. “He had a terrific attitude about surfing. He was always a shredder on the waves, frequently getting the wave of the day. But it was never about him. He was always telling you how great you did, and how great your waves were.”
Another close friend was Manny Granillo. “Greg was a good all-around athlete,” said Granillo, a local surfer and former surf shop owner. “Not many know that because he pretty much hung up his hockey skates once he started surfing.”
Granillo owned Island Surf, then-Coronado’s oldest surf shop. “I surfed with him for years,” he said. “He got more than a few boards from me, and he really ripped on them, no matter how old and patched they were. His type of surfing was always going for the tube rides. It didn’t matter if it was the Great Wall of China close-out at Outlet. If he could ride the tube at all, he would pull in. That was the type of surfer he was.”
Greg was known for wearing gobs of zinc oxide on his lips and face, which earned him a special nickname. “We grew up in an era, seemingly on the edge of time, where surfing communities bestowed humorous and descriptive nicknames on each other,” said Granillo. “Greg’s nickname was, ‘Lips.’ We all called him that.”
Childhood friend Mike Dennis recalled from his home in Hawaii memories with Greg. “His laugh and smile were what I will remember most about Greg,” said Dennis. “He really loved to hang out and have fun. He truly enjoyed his friends.”
The general consensus among Greg’s friends was that he lived hard, played hard, and surfed hard. Everyone agreed he was a happy person who loved his family and friends to the end.
Moving back to Coronado in 1978 was a dream come true for mom Annie Hunt. For little Greg it was a chance to see the wonderful island he had heard so much about from his mother. While surfing soon dominated his life, there was far more to Greg Hunt – dreams, family, spirituality.
“My son was a Christian man and believed deeply in God,” said his mother. “He was an infrequent visitor to Sacred Heart Church, that is, until he realized the best surf usually took place at the same time as church service,” she added with a smile.
Greg is survived by his wife Therese Hunt and three children, Isabella, Julia and Liam (Tierra Santa) and his mother Annie (Santee). He is also survived by his sister, Laurie (Tony) Hunt-Puglia of Kauai and brother William (Josie) Hunt of Hawaii.