D. Michael Hunter passed away on May 10, 2023, in Rockport, Texas, leaving a legacy of professional and personal accomplishments. Born to Grace M. and Don M. Hunter on August 21, 1942, in Texas City, Mike spent his teenage years working at various summer jobs, including a position at Texas City National Bank. Mentored by the bank's Chairman of the Board, Margaret Noble, the experience proved to be inspirational and chartered the course for an impressive career that spanned more than 40 years in banking and finance.
Mike graduated from St. Mary's University in San Antonio, where he also attended law school. He began his career with FirstCity Bancorp in Houston in 1965. During his 24-year tenure with this major institution, he held numerous executive-level positions, including Executive Officer of FirstCity Bank in Alice. In 1988, he joined Victoria Bancshares and served as President and Chief Operating Officer of both the holding company and Victoria Bank & Trust. Under his leadership, a major expansion ensued, resulting in the acquisition of 14 institutions.
In 1995, Mike founded First Capital and served as Chairman, President and CEO of the holding company and Chairman and CEO of the bank. He launched an aggressive program to purchase existing banks in Victoria and Houston, and in 2000 made the fifth-largest branch purchase in the United States. In 2005, he merged his $750 million company with Prosperity Bancshares and served as Vice Chairman of the holding company and the bank until his retirement in 2008.
Recognized as a dynamic, experienced leader of major banking organizations, Mike was called upon to contribute his skills to numerous business and professional boards. He served on the St. Mary's University Board of Trustees for eight years, as well as on its Investment Committee overseeing the University's endowment fund; the Whataburger, Inc. Board of Directors for 15 years; the Board of Directors of FirstCity Financial Corp., a publicly traded financial service company; and FirstCity Financial Advisory. He also was appointed Chairman of the Texas Bankers Association Political Action Committee, BALLOT. He served as Chairman of the of the Political Action Committee for American Bankers Association, one of the largest professional organizations in the United States, and as a member of their Board of Directors and Administrative Committee.
Mike ensured that businesses supported their community's civic and charitable endeavors. He served as Chairman of the United Way of the Coastal Bend; held numerous positions in Chambers of Commerce in South Texas; was a board member and past President of Victoria Economic Development Corporation; and sat on the boards of the Art Museum of South Texas, the Victoria Regional Museum Association, the Texas Council on Economic Education and Gulf Coast Council of Boy Scouts of America.
His unbridled passion for banking and finance was only exceeded by his love of fly fishing and his collections of reels, flies, and hand-crafted knives. An avid sportsman, he traveled the world to fish waterways of exotic ports in Nicaragua, Belize, Costa Rica, the Yucatan, Boca Pila near Tulum, Casa Blanca in Mexico, and tributaries of the Amazon in Brazil.
Blessed with a treasure trove of friends and business associates, Mike relished memories of relationships with people from every walk of life. His path led him to a cast of colorful individuals, including legendary ranching families in South Texas, cultural benefactors in Houston and a cherished circle of friends in Rockport. He is survived by his former wife of nearly 50 years, Mary Hunter, and the light of their lives, daughter Stephanie Hunter and husband Michael Breen, of Austin.
Although Stephanie wanted her dad to live with her in Austin, Mike chose to stay in Rockport. He was cared for wonderfully over the last 10 years by Laurie Scott. We give her our heartfelt thanks and consider her family.
Memorials may be made in Mike's name to a charity of your choice. A private memorial is planned for a later date.