Don Edward Hunter, a gentle and loving patriarch, educator, neighbor, and friend to all, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2019. Don was born on February 6, 1944, in Lake Shore, Utah, to William Hayden Hunter and Afton Davis Williams.
Don married his sweetheart and best friend, Mary Sheila Hunter, on September 7, 1963 in the St. George Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They first lived in Cedar City, Utah while Don was attending college, and eventually settled in Orem, Utah where they happily lived and raised their family for the past 44 years.
Don was interested in learning about everything! He loved playing all sports including weightlifting, wrestling, and football. He graduated from Spanish Fork High School in 1962. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Zoology/Biology and Teaching from the College of Southern Utah in 1967. He earned a Master of Science Degree in Health and Teaching from Brigham Young University, Provo Utah, in 1972; and later a second Master of Science Degree in Education in the Coaching/Sports Area from Lesley University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Don was passionate about his hobbies which included exercise of any kind, gardening, emergency preparedness, and genealogy. A life-long weightlifter, Don once considered competing for the Mr. Utah competition, but as he began raising his family, he focused instead on being an attentive husband and parent, as well as a magnificent provider for his family. He loved and cherished his children and grandchildren dearly and always tried to attend their various sporting and academic events.
Don was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints serving in many capacities. Above all, he was a wonderful example of a dedicated home teacher and in later years would often enlist help from his grandsons when a companion was unavailable to accompany visits to families. He also had the distinction of serving in the first Father/Son full-time mission at the Mount Timpanogos Temple for two years with his beloved son, Joshua Hayden Hunter.
Don is survived by his wife of 56 years, the former Mary Sheila Houchen of Cedar City; his daughters, Laurie Lynn Moran (Michael); Gina Dawn Luke (Richard); two grandsons, R. Hunter Riggs (Michelle) and Harrison D. Riggs; four granddaughters, Amanda Goldie Peterson (Austin), Summer Lynn Moran, Jocelyn Sheila Penrod, and Chelsea Elizabeth Luke; one great-granddaughter, Avery Mae Riggs; and another great-granddaughter on the way, Evelyn Goldie Peterson. He is also survived by a brother Harold Hunter (Stacy). Don was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Dan Hunter (Trudy), sisters Jean Stickney (Coey) and Beverly Joy Stubblefield (Jim). He was also preceded in death by his son, Joshua Hayden Hunter in December 2015.
Our family would like to express our dear thanks to the wonderful care provided by the staff, aids, nurses and administrators at Lakeridge Memory Care, and for all their love and kindness. A special thank you to McCall and Encompass Healthcare for the kindness they have shown our family over the years. Finally, to all the wonderful ward members, neighbors and friends who demonstrated their love to the Hunter family with consistent faithful service of the highest order, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Funeral Services will be held on Monday, December 16, 2019 at 11 am at the Stonewood Stake Center, 450 S 100 W, Orem, UT. A viewing will be held on Sunday, December 15, from 6 pm – 8 pm at Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary, 495 South State Street, and on Monday from 9:30-10:30 am prior to services at the Stonewood Stake Center. Internment will be in the Spanish Fork Cemetery, 420 S 400 E, Spanish Fork, UT.
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