Bynum Merritt Hunter
Bynum Merritt Hunter
  • June 13, 1925 - January 18, 2018
  • Greensboro, North Carolina

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Bynum Merritt Hunter passed away at home peacefully in his sleep after a long illness with family by his side.

Bynum was fiercely devoted to his family, his country, and his friends.and to the common cause of humanity.

He was a symbol of decency, collegiality, and courtesy.

A true "Southern Gentleman".he exemplified the phrase "to walk with kings nor lose the common touch."

Bynum Merritt Hunter was born June 13, 1925 in his childhood home on Fisher Park Annie Merritt Hunter and Hill McIver Hunter, where he resided with his older brothers, Hill McIver Hunter, Jr. and Dr. John Gray Hunter.

He graduated from Woodberry Forest in 1943 where he was a Prefect and Captain of the Woodberry track team and a "wingback" on the Woodberry Forest football team.

Bynum volunteered for WWII and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as part of the V-12 program, where he graduated in 1945. He was a star athlete and Captain of the UNC Chapel Hill track team competing at Madison Square Garden in two major track events. He was also a member of Zeta Psi Fraternity and Gorgonshead.

During WWII, he was a lieutenant in the US Navy (1945-1947) and was stationed in the South Pacific.

Bynum stood with his country during war and peace. Proud, confident, and courageous. He was a true Patriot, deeply loving his country and cherishing Freedom.

Upon returning from war, he enrolled at the University of North Carolina School of Law. In 1949, he joined the Greensboro law firm of Smith Sapp Moore & Smith ultimately becoming a senior partner with the firm Smith Moore Smith Schell & Hunter.

He served as the President of the Greensboro Bar Association and was the youngest inductee of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

He was involved with numerous high profile trials working alongside McNeill Smith in the Scales Trial and Telfred Taylor on the Nuremberg Trials. Bynum was known for his brilliance, prowess, and charm in the courtroom.

He served as attorney for the Atlantic Coast Conference for more than 25 years. His Restricted Justice Fund supported the North Carolina Bar Association's Lawyers in the Schools Project, which paired lawyers with schools in North Carolina to further civic education and understanding of the legal system. The Bar Center's Galleria was named in his honor.

Bynum was committed to his community and served as a member of the Greensboro Rotary Club for more than 75 years where his father was a founding member.

He was proud to serve by his wife's side as she served abroad in Helsinki as the United States Ambassador to Finland.

Bynum Merritt Hunter is survived by his wife of 38 years, Bonnie McElveen-Hunter; their son, Bynum Merritt Hunter, Jr.; and daughters, Mary Parker Hunter and Shirley Hunter and son-in-law Alex Pietruska, and a grandson, Hunter Pietruska.

Bynum will be remembered for his impeccable character and integrity, social graces, and patriotism.

Even in death, Bynum has left us a wonderful heritage of love of country, family, and a great generosity of spirit that will never die.

A celebration of his life will be held Saturday, January 20th at 11:00am at First Presbyterian Church. Reception to follow at Greensboro Country Club.

In lieu of flowers, Bynum's family requests that memorial contributions may be made to the Horatio Alger Association Scholars Program. The Horatio Alger Association provides scholarship assistance to deserving young people who have demonstrated integrity, determination in overcoming adversity, academic potential and the personal aspiration to make a unique contribution to society. Checks for Horatio Alger should be made out to The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro and sent to 330. S. Greene St., Greensboro, NC 27401 - or donate on-line at

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