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Preston, Idaho - Richard Merlin Hunt, 96, graduated to heaven on December 27, surrounded by loved ones in Preston, Idaho. Richard was born on March 27, 1926 in Montwell, Utah. He was the eleventh of twelve children born to Edward Moroni Hunt and Candace Jeanette Brown. As a young child, Richard's family moved frequently and he attended schools all over Utah. In March of 1944, age 17, Richard left school and voluntarily enlisted in the Navy. He was first sent to San Diego for boot camp, then to St. Louis where he trained as an electrician.
Later, on assignment aboard the USS Venango, Richard’s life was spared when, for reasons he did not understand at the time, one afternoon he decided to spend his hour of leisure time reading scriptures in the stifling heat of his quarters, rather than on deck. A few minutes later, an enemy shell exploded on the deck, near the exact spot where he normally read. In another instance, Richard was transferred off a ship that, soon after, took a suicide plane in the hold next to the steering room where Richard had worked. For the rest of his life, Richard would be grateful to the Lord for the protection he received during the war.
While in the Navy, Richard saw much of the world and of history: his ship escorted Chinese soldiers in the South of China. He visited Manilla after the Americans recaptured it from the Japanese. He traversed the Panama Canal, and spent two weeks at a naval base in Cuba. After three years in the Navy, now 21, Richard was discharged and came to Preston, Idaho by Greyhound Bus. Having had many adventures, he would live happily within 30 miles of Preston for the rest of his life.
On the fall of 1947, Richard married LaRue Millard Kendall in the Logan temple. Together they designed and built a home in Preston Idaho, into which they would welcome five children. Their home was a place of order and reverence and kindness. Their children and grandchildren made many happy memories in that house, raising chickens, a huge garden, and picking apples and raspberries, playing chess, cards, and croquet, learning every day from the love and respect that flowed freely between Richard and LaRue.
Richard worked for the U.S Postal Service for 37 years until he retired in 1990. LaRue passed away in 2014, at which time she and Richard had been married for nearly 67 years. In the last years of her life, LaRue suffered from Alzheimer’s, but in this, her final trial, she was blessed to have her husband. Richard scarcely left her side and was never heard to complain. Everything he did, he did with love and patience and gratitude.
A man of deep faith, Richard took seriously the counsel given in the gospel of Mark to "endure to the end." In fact, Richard did not just endure. He flourished. He made his last years count as much as any other in his life. After many decades of devoted church service, Richard was called to serve in the Sunday School Presidency. He was 90 years old! Of the experience, Richard has said: “In all my callings, I’ve always had the support of my wife. So, when they asked me to be a counselor in the Sunday school, I figured it was time to get married again.” Which he did; he met and married Georgia Edlund in the Logan Temple and they have enjoyed the last 6 ½ wonderful years together. The temple was a favorite place, he and LaRue served as officiators for 14 years. He was there very often, even a few days before his passing.
Richard was often seen with a book in his lap. He encouraged his children and grandchildren to get an education, and he led by example: a few months after his marriage to Georgia, Richard achieved another milestone, earning his high-school diploma from the Preston School Board just one month shy of his ninety-first birthday.
He is survived by his wife Georgia, and his five children and their spouses, Lynn & Michelle Hunt of St. George, Utah, LaRee & Val Westover of Clifton, Idaho, Debbie Peters of Springville, Utah, Daryl and LeAnn Hunt of Gilbert, Ariz. and Angela and Doug Larsen of Preston; 28 grandchildren; and 85 great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter. Eleven siblings preceded him in passing—Dalton, Elva, Reita, George, Amy, Jean, Mary, Ardell, Joseph, Dorotha, and Ruth—as well as his wife LaRue; his granddaughter, Julia Hunt; and three great-grandchildren, Emarie Peters, Kayle & Kyler Westover.
A kind and quiet man, always cheerful, always smiling, ever looking for the bright side of any situation and the best in people. He was much loved and will be much missed by his friends and family, each of whom is grateful for the many ways he touched their lives. Dad, Grandpa: Thank you for enduring so magnificently. We love you.
Funeral Services will be held on Monday, January 9, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at the Preston South Stake Center, 55 E 1st South, Preston, Idaho. The services will be streamed live and may be watched Monday at 11 am (MST) by clicking on the following link:
Viewings will be held Sunday from 6-7:30 p.m. at Webb Funeral Home, 1005 S 800 East, Preston and Monday from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the stake center. Military Rites and Interment will be in the Preston Cemetery. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at webbmortuary.com
Sunday, January 8, 2023
6:00 - 7:30pm (Mountain time)
Webb Funeral Home
Monday, January 9, 2023
9:30 - 10:30am (Mountain time)
Monday, January 9, 2023
Starts at 11:00am (Mountain time)
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