The death of an 86-year-old Seattle man has been linked to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, according to his son. 

Kenneth Robert Hunt died Monday, according to a Facebook post by his son, Ken Hunt Jr., of Seattle, and a statement from the Ida Culver House in the Ravenna neighborhood, where Mr. Hunt was a resident.

“At 86 and with his underlying lung and kidney issues, he perfectly fit onto that at-risk population,” Hunt Jr. wrote of his father Monday, “but the shock of him being one of the soonest deaths is staggering.”

Mr. Hunt was hospitalized March 4 and received a presumptive positive test result for COVID-19 two days later, according to Albert Munanga, the regional director of health and wellness for Era Living, which runs the Ida Culver House, a senior-living facility.

“Mr. Hunt was a beloved member of our community and he will be greatly missed,” Munanga said in a statement. “On behalf of everyone at Era Living, we send our sincere condolences to his family and we grieve with them.”

Four residents have presented with symptoms of COVID-19 and have been tested, including Mr. Hunt. One new resident tested positive and has been hospitalized, and the other two results came back negative, according to Era Living.


Era Living has reached out to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC) and requested COVID-19 tests for all residents and staff who consent to be tested. UWMC will be providing tests for all Ida Culver House Ravenna residents and staff.

In addition, all Era Living retirement communities are screening and limiting visitors; asking staff members with any symptoms of illness to stay home; canceling events that bring in outside guests; doubling frequency of surface cleanings and disinfecting; and screening residents for any symptom of illness.

Ida Culver House is one of 10 nursing-home facilities where residents or employees have tested positive for coronavirus, Public Health – Seattle & King County said Tuesday.

Also Tuesday, Gov. Jay Inslee placed new restrictions on people visiting long-term-care facilities, such as nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, to reduce the spread and danger of the new coronavirus. The restrictions will limit long-term-care residents to one visitor per day, excluding end-of-life situations.

Visitors must be screened for symptoms of COVID-19, according to the new measures. Staff at those facilities will also have to be screened at the beginning of each shift.

The elder Hunt moved to Seattle in October 2018, after the death of his wife four years ago, his son wrote.

While at Cornell University, where he was a member of the Chi Psi fraternity, Mr. Hunt was an NCAA wrestling champion and the only wrestler to beat Princeton’s Donald Rumsfeld, who would go on to twice serve as U.S. Secretary of Defense, under presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush.


In 2003, The New Yorker published a story about the match, in which Mr. Hunt said of Rumsfeld: “He exploited every possible tool. I think we rolled into the spectators at one point.”

Mr. Hunt’s son wrote of his father’s “true joy and zest for life … which makes his recent and rapid death so much sadder.”

Mr. Hunt was “a fixture” at Seattle Prep and Villa Academy sports events and the Tottenham Hotspur Fan Club of Seattle, as well as Sounders games, Seahawks-watching events, kids’ graduations and services at Queen Anne Presbyterian Church.

“We’ve had fun,” his son wrote. “Dad was the best man at my wedding, a person with a great sense of humor and fun to hang out with, a real history buff full of stories of his own life and things that he learned.”

How is the pandemic affecting you?

What has changed about your daily life? What kinds of discussions are you having with family members and friends? Are you a health care worker who's on the front lines of the response? Are you a COVID-19 patient or do you know one? Whoever you are, we want to hear from you so our news coverage is as complete, accurate and useful as possible. If you're using a mobile device and can't see the form on this page, click here.

Do you have questions about the coronavirus that causes COVID-19?

Ask in the form below and we'll dig for answers. If you're using a mobile device and can't see the form on this page, ask your question here. If you have specific medical questions, please contact your doctor.