NAUGATUCK — Thomas J. Hunt, 77, husband of Diane (Kirk) Hunt and the former Naugatuck deputy police chief, died peacefully on May 3, 2021, in the VITAS Hospice Unit at St. Mary’s Hospital surrounded by his loving family.
Tom was born Dec. 2, 1943, in Waterbury, son of the late Thomas A. and Helen (McDonald) Hunt. Tom graduated from Naugatuck High School, class of 1962. In October of 1964, he married his high school sweetheart, who he affectionately called “Babe.” In 1965, he became a supernumerary police officer with the Naugatuck Police Department. That same year, Tom became a full-time police officer and served in that capacity until 1971, when he was assigned to the detective bureau. In 1972, Tom was assigned to the Naugatuck Valley Regional Crime Squad, where he served as an undercover officer until 1973 and then was promoted to field supervisor of that squad, serving until 1978. In 1978, Tom was promoted to sergeant, in 1981 he was promoted to lieutenant, and in 1984 he served as administrative lieutenant. He was promoted to administrative captain in 1985, he served as acting police chief for four months in 1996 and was promoted to deputy police chief in 1996. Tom retired in 2010 after 45 years of service with the rank of deputy police chief.
Tom’s 45 years in law enforcement were marked with many accomplishments, commendations and honors. He was especially proud of having been selected to serve as an instructor by the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD), which is now called the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Additionally, Tom was chosen by the attorney general of the Virgin Islands to work in an undercover narcotics operation in the Virgin Islands, where he worked alone for three months.
Tom was a former baseball and basketball coach at St. Francis of Assisi Parochial School and a former baseball coach at Peter J. Foley Little League. He was a former member of the Naugatuck Exchange Club and was a member of the Police Association of Connecticut. He was an avid golfer and member of the Watertown Golf Club, where he enjoyed the many friendships that he made there.
In addition to Diane, his loving wife of 56 years, Tom is survived by his sons and daughters-in-law, Thomas and Tracey Hunt, Ronald and Rose Hunt and Steven and Johnna Hunt; his grandchildren, Thomas, Taylor, Jordyn, Ryan, Sydney and Alexis; his sister and brother-in-law, Mary and Richard Bulkovitch; his godchildren, Kristen Jacoby, Jason Kirk, Ronald Pruchnicki Jr., Susan Culotta and Kelly Hiltz; and many nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, Tom was predeceased by his brother, Neil O’Donovan; and his sisters, Ann Jannetty and Eileen Squires.
Special thanks to Mary Calvo, Christina Pruchnicki, Waterbury Hospital Emergency Room and VITAS Innovative Hospice Care.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, May 8, at 11 a.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Church, 318 Church St., Naugatuck. Naugatuck Police Department honors will be accorded. Those attending are kindly asked to please meet directly at church and facial coverings and social distancing will be required. Burial will be private. Calling hours are Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Buckmiller Thurston Mengacci Funeral Home, 82 Fairview Ave., Naugatuck.
In lieu of flowers and to honor Tom’s memory, the family requests donations to VITAS Innovative Hospice Care at St. Mary’s Hospital, 56 Franklin St., Waterbury, CT 06706.
To leave an online condolence, visit buckmillerthurstonmengacci.com.