Jack Huntoon retired after 20 years as a captain in the U.S. Army, then worked another 22 years as a civilian management analyst for the Army - and for the past 27 years he’s been volunteering at the Bishop Museum.
“I like to feel like I belong to something,” says Huntoon. “And I feel like I belong to the Bishop Museum. They are like a family to me.”
Huntoon volunteers his computer skills Tuesdays and Thursdays, entering data on some of the 20,000 birds in the museum’s collection.
“It’s a never-ending job,” he says. “There are birds, skins, skeletons and eggs. If we get a request for information about a species, sometimes I compile the information. If we have birds that come back from on loan, I put them back in the collection. And sometimes we have new birds that come in.”
For a job well done, someone said that Huntoon should get double his pay. Huntoon found it hilarious the next day when he found three cans of peanuts on his desk.
“It’s a happy place,” Huntoon notes, not seeming to mind working for peanuts.
The 88-year-old says his wife, who passed away two years ago, kept him active with their adventures traveling, volunteering to raise money for military activities and aboard their sailboat.
When he’s not volunteering, Huntoon enjoys traveling, and is the treasurer of an adventurers’ club. In September, he plans to take a steamboat cruise to Alaska. The Honolulu resident is a member of the History Channel Club, and says it’s the only thing on television that interests him besides the news. An avid reader, he is presently reading On the Hunt: How to Wake Up Washington and Win the War on Terror by Col. David Hunt, a military analyst for the Fox News Channel.
Huntoon has a son, a daughter, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild, all living on the Mainland.
The Kansas City native grew up in San Diego, and traveled to the Philippines, Texas, California, New Mexico and Germany with the military.
Huntoon recently attended a Coast Defense Study Group conference in San Francisco, where he became an instant expert in artillery since he was the only one there who has had experience with it. The Coast Defense Study Group publication invited him to write an article about his artillery experience, which will appear in its May issue. That publication isn’t the only one Huntoon has been in - he was featured in the in-house Bishop Museum newsletter with his peanuts.
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