Daniel Kent Hunter
Born September 21, 1948 in Wenatchee, Washington, Dan slipped away from his loving family and dearest friends on January 22, 2013. For his first five years, Dan lived in Wenatchee with his parents, Marvin and Olene (Summers) Hunter, two doting older brothers, Jerry and Vern, and his sweet grandmother, Lizzie Hunter. In 1954, the family moved to Spokane where Dan attended school in the West Valley School District, graduating in 1966 from West Valley High School. He went on to graduate from Eastern Washington University (then Eastern Washington State College) with a BS in Managerial Finance and as a Distinguished Military Graduate of the Army ROTC program. He was commissioned in December of 1970 as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Finance Corps and served for more than five years in West Berlin, Germany, and Chicago, Illinois, leaving active duty in August of 1976. Upon moving back to Spokane, Dan joined the Army Reserves, retiring in 1993 as a Lieutenant Colonel. He and his father established Empire Spray Service in 1976, and were eventually joined in the business by his brother Vern. Dan continued to run the company after the death of Marvin and Vern. With the assistance of his extremely competent and loyal staff, Dan was able to spend less time at work and more time with friends and family during his last years.
Dan and his wife Bonnie (Beedle) met as seventh graders at Dishman Elementary School and were friends from that day forward, marrying on September 8, 1968 - enjoying more than 44 years together. Their greatest joy came with the birth of their daughter Jennifer Anne in 1971 while they were stationed in West Berlin. They settled in Spokane in 1976, where Dan continued to serve in the Army Reserves while also working diligently to build and grow the family business. Dan spent his off time working equally hard to provide whatever was necessary for his daughter's love for horses and the outdoors. Countless hours of fence-building or mending, hay-hauling, mucking out mountains of manure with his beloved John Deere tractor - and the list goes on and on. Dan always included Jenni in all the work on the ranch, no matter how difficult or dangerous, teaching her every step of the way and always finding a way to turn even the most dreaded chore into a challenging game. Dan's greatest passion had to be fly fishing at Harvey Creek - a family tradition, passion and inborn talent that Dan took to heart and made sure to pass on to Jenni, son-in-law Greg, and two grandsons, Jared and Harlan. The priceless moments shared with his family while camping and fly fishing would bring tears to his eyes whenever he talked or thought about them. The happiest moments of Dan's life were those spent with his wife, grandsons, daughter, and son in law, embracing every moment and always teaching them a skill or valuable life lesson and never missing the chance to ask "So, did ya learn anything?" when one of them made a mistake. Dan came across as a tough, gruff, no-nonsense man, but those who truly knew him, knew he was actually a soft-hearted, take-the-shirt-off-his-back-for-you kind of guy. He said what he meant and did what he said, and he expected the same from others. His straight-forward, honest and confident demeanor along with his extreme work ethic and intelligence enabled him to keep the family business profitable even in the toughest of economic times for 36 years and counting. Dan and Bonnie enjoyed yearly reunions with the "West Valley Gang" and their spouses, playing golf and reliving their silliest adventures and misadventures from high school, college, and military days. Some of their most memorable moments were the cruises and trips that Dan and Bonnie shared with these lifelong friends. Dan's death is leaving a huge hole in the lives of his wife, daughter, son-in-law and grandsons, his beloved older brother Jerry and his dearest friends. Dan Hunter was "One of a Kind", one of the "Good Ole Boys", the kind of person that made a lasting impression on anyone he met. He is leaving a huge void in the hearts of those he loved and who truly loved him back.
Dan was preceded in death by his parents, Marvin and Olene, and by his brother Vern. He is survived by his wife, Bonnie; daughter Jennifer; son-in-law Greg; grandsons Jared and Harlan; brother Jerry; numerous nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews; and countless friends and associates, both from his days as a business owner and from his days of military service.
A military burial service will be conducted at 3:00 PM on Monday, February 4, 2013, at the WA State Veteran's Cemetery in Medical Lake, Washington. A true celebration of his life and memorial tribute will take place later in the spring. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the charity of your choice or to Hospice of Spokane.