Robert J. "Chief" Hunter, a career railroader who retired from Amtrak, died of heart failure Wednesday at Little Flower Manor nursing home in Darby, Pa. The former Lutherville resident was 91.

The son of Robert Hunter, a shipyard worker, and Delia Hunter, a homemaker, Robert Joseph Hunter was born and raised in Philadelphia, where he graduated from West Catholic High School for Boys in 1941. He earned a bachelor's degree from LaSalle University and served in the Navy in the Pacific.

He began his career in 1946 with the old Pennsylvania Railroad as an usher at the 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, where he later rose to become stationmaster.

He also worked at Pennsylvania Station in New York City, and in 1967 he moved to Lutherville when he was promoted to superintendent of transportation at Penn Station in Baltimore.

Mr. Hunter, who was known as "Chief," later joined Amtrak, where he worked in its operations department until retiring in 1985. Since 2004, he had lived in Boothwyn, Pa.

He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and had been a member for 61 years of the American Legion. He enjoyed traveling.

His wife of 28 years, the former Norma H. Wachter, died in 1976. His second wife of 20 years, the former Edwina Luczak, died in 2002.

Mr. Hunter was a communicant of St. John Fisher Roman Catholic Church, 425 Chichester Ave., Boothwyn, where a celebration of life Mass will be offered at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Mr. Hunter is survived by four daughters, Christine Cavalier and Noni Annucci, both of Aston, Pa., and Gloria Altman and Patricia Weisel, both of Folsom, Pa.; a stepson, Edward Luczak of Maryland; a stepdaughter, Donna Robertson of North Carolina; 15 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com