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A heartbreaking memorial service hears a call for empathy, kindness and consideration.

By SHAUNA ANDERSON

This post deals with the tragic deaths of a family including children, as well as an apparent suicide, and may be distressing for readers.

The Hunt family were remembered by a loving town.

Six-year-old Phoebe Hunt was bossy, charming and persistent.

Her eight-year-old sister Mia was full of empathy and innocence and their older brother, Fletcher – aged 10 – was ‘energy personified’ and the most like his mother.

Heartbreaking tributes to three children who were mourned by the devastated town of Lockhart yesterday.

Family and friends of Geoff and Kim Hunt gathered to pay their respects in a service called a “Celebration of life”.

The private service came nearly two weeks after Kim Hunt, 41, was found dead with her children Fletcher, Mia and Phoebe at their farmhouse near Lockhart, west of Wagga Wagga, on September 9.

The body of the children’s father – and Kim Hunt’s husband, 44-year-old Geoff Hunt, was found with a gun in a dam on the property the following day.

It is believed that Geoff Hunt killed the family, before turning the gun on himself. An investigation into their deaths is continuing as officers prepare a report for the coroner.

The Hunt children died on Sep 9th.

The funeral service was filled with loving images of the family – wedding pictures, holiday photos and school portraits of the children according to Fairfax Media.

Kim Hunt’s sister Jenny Geppert spoke at a public memorial that followed the private funeral, saying that her sister was her idol. “My big sister, my idol, my friend, what an amazing person you were, kind and caring, I feel lost in this world without you,” she said.

She called for the memorial to be a reminder of the importance of empathy, kindness and consideration.

“May you teach your children that competitiveness is not as important as compassion,”

“Teach them to replace tormenting with tolerance, sacrifice your ego for the goodwill of others,” she said.

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“And regardless of your opinion you must respect that it is not the only one.”

Nine News reports she told the memorial that she loved her brother in law, Geoff Hunt and wished she was there for him in his time of need.

Kim Hunt.

The memorial held at the local football field was filled with more than a thousand locals from the town who wept as balloons were released into still blue sky.

Local children sang in honour of their friends.

Jenny Geppert told the memorial that the house where the family lived now stands still.

“The trees will blossom and bear fruit untasted,” she said.

“The tennis court stands empty, the horses unridden, the bike track is silent.”

A statement by family friend, Rodger Schirmer was delivered to the public memorial, before he asked for privacy to be given to the family.

It is for this reason that Mamamia has chosen not to share images of the private family funeral.

Mr Schirmer described Kim Hunt as a pillar for her families, “a generous soul who gave so much to everyone around her”.

He spoke of her tenacity when she overcame her brain injury after a car accident saying she became an “avid campaigner, speaking publicly about road safety and the difficulties arising from brain injury. “

He remembered the Hunt children, their vibrant personalities, their vulnerabilities.

“Today we say goodbye to beloved members of our family. Geoff, Kim, Fletcher, Mia and little Phoebe Hunt. We loved each one of them and we will miss them all for the rest of our lives.”

Full statement from the Hunt, Geppert and Blake families, delivered by Rodger Schirmer:

My name is Roger Schirmer and I have been asked to read this statement on behalf of the Hunt, Geppert and Blake families. This will be the only statement from the families and they have requested that you please withhold any questions at this time. The past two weeks have been traumatic and full of sadness. It’s been a reminder to us the importance of compassion, kindness and respect. To all of you who have supported us through thought, word or deed, we thank you. From your phone calls and food deliveries through to warm hugs and kind thoughts, all of your support has been appreciated. We also wish to acknowledge the efforts of the police and local authorities.

Superintendent Noble and his team have been respectful and compassionate in undertaking their duties. Lockhart Shire Council has been very accommodating and doing all they can to support the local community. Geoff was a devoted father and loving husband. He was talented, good at everything he turned his hand to. He was an excellent water skier, tennis player and golfer. His skills in agronomy combined with with his brother Al’s mechanical skills in successfully running the family farming business. Geoff had a wicked sense of humour and always seemed to have a twinkle in his eye. His personality was never more evident than when he played with children. He did so with abandon. Geoff’s antics on the golf course and at Boree Creek will be missed.

Kim will be remembered for her energy and intensity. She put so much effort and will into everything she did, which was why she was such a pillar of her family. She was a skilled nurse, an amazing chef, a talented gardener and a spirited sportswoman. Kim was a generous soul who gave so much to everyone around her. She was a wonderful mother and wife. Kim will also be remembered for her tenacity in overcoming so much hardship following an horrific car accident in 2012. She was an avid campaigner, speaking publicly about road safety and the difficulties arising from brain injury.

Fletcher, like his mother, was energy personified. This proved advantageous on the sporting field. In one memorable AFL game, Fletcher – at age 10, playing in the under 14s team – managed to kick five goals. We were moved when the team observed a minute’s silence in memory of Fletcher. Fletcher loved jumping motorcycles and recently moved to a full-sized motorcycle. Geoff was kept busy building larger and larger jumps on the property at Watch Hill.

Mia will be remembered for her empathy and innocence. She loved to nurture others and enjoyed learning, thriving within the school environment. Mia’s creative side often came to the fore in the midst of her adventures in the kitchen. She particularly enjoyed and excelled at music and sports. Her aptitude for netball and tennis made her parents very proud.

Phoebe, the youngest member of the family, was also unsurprisingly the most bossy. She too possessed a natural sporting ability and was already learning to water ski. She would respond to both a challenge as well as the lure of a lolly reward. Her charm and persistence will be sorely missed.

The Hunts enjoyed spending time together as a family, water-skiing at the creek, on holidays to Byron Bay, as active members of the local football and netball clubs. They were well-respected among the local community and they were the first to volunteer help when others were in need. Their contribution and generosity to the community will be missed. Today we say goodbye to beloved members of our family. Geoff, Kim, Fletcher, Mia and little Phoebe Hunt. We loved each one of them and we will miss them all for the rest of our lives.

Today will be very difficult for all of us and we ask for privacy and respect as we remember, grieve and say farewell to our loved ones.

 

If you need help please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.

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