Family photo

Claudia Hult, left, a former Cape Carteret commissioner and magistrate, sits with her husband, Donald Hult Sr., in a family photo from 1969. Ms. Hult died Dec. 28 at the age of 79. (Contributed photo)

CAPE CARTERET — An early town commissioner, magistrate and longtime resident died Dec. 28 and got plaudits last week from those who loved and respected her.

Claudia Hult, 79, served on the Cape Carteret Town Commission in the 1970s, less than two decades after the town was chartered by the General Assembly in 1959.

Ms. Hult was also a magistrate and left behind a legacy of public service and involvement in civic affairs.

Her son, Donnie Hult, and his wife, Jessica Hult, are also well known in the community, as they own and operate Hadnot Creek Kennels in nearby Peletier.

Paxon Holz, daughter of the founder and developer of the town, William McLean, served on the town commission with Ms. Hult and was a good friend. Ms. Holz, also a developer in town, delivered a poinsettia to Ms. Hult right before Christmas, and Ms. Holz’ sister had delivered her a pie.

“I’m glad we got them there in time,” Ms. Holz said Tuesday, the day she learned of her friend’s death. “I’m so glad. She’s going to be missed.”

Dave Fowler, a friend of Ms. Hult and a former mayor, said he would miss her and her support and involvement in the town.

“Claudia always spoke the truth as she saw it, and she was a supporter of the town and the current board of commissioners,” he said. “You could always depend on Claudia to say what she thought, and that’s important.

“Claudia had a lot of respect all over the county,” the former mayor continued, “and that’s not an easy thing when you’re a magistrate.”

The mayor said he was always glad to see Ms. Hult at town board meetings.

“She managed for many years to speak her mind and be fair to all,” he said.

Jessica Hult, Claudia’s daughter-in-law, also mentioned her service to her town and the county, citing her time as town commissioner, during which she helped formulate the address system.

“She dug into Cape Carteret’s tax books to find discrepancies and rectified them,” she said.

As a magistrate, Jessica Hult said, Claudia Hult performed “literally countless wedding ceremonies,” including

Ms. Holz also recalled the late magistrate’s popularity as a maker of marriages.

“Back then, everybody was in the phone book, and since our last names were so close together, I used to get a lot of calls asking me to marry people,” she said. “I’d have to tell them it was Claudia, not me. We always laughed about that.”

Ms. Holz said Claudia Hult was a diligent, hard-working commissioner who did her homework before meetings and loved her town. The developer also noted that Claudia Hult was a fun, kind and loving woman who was very devoted to her family and faithful to her friends.

Jessica Hult emphasized those qualities.

“No matter what Claudia was doing, you would first hear her laughter, then you’d see her smile,” she said. “Mom-C was always smiling and laughing.

“Claudia Hult was the best mother-in-law I could have ever asked for,” she continued. “… We could not have had a more supportive person in our lives. I’ve worked at our kennel these past 20 years, right next door.”

Mayor Fowler and Ms. Holz wished the best to the surviving members of the close-knit family.

Jessica Hult said the family is planning a celebration of Claudia Hult’s family sometime around Easter.

Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email Brad@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.

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