Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bruce Chester Hunt

Last Wed. while I was watching a friend's kids, my dad called to tell me that my mom's dad passed away the night before. It was not unexpected. He's been battling Parkinson's disease for years and has been in steady decline. He had a close call about a month ago when his heart rate slowed waaaay down. He had pacemaker surgery and never quite recovered.  My parents have been caring for my grandparents for the last 13 months, so it was extra hard on them when they had to admit him to a (great) rest home in Snowflake Easter weekend and then when he passed. It was amazing how quickly everyone was able to arrange the funeral services.

My family was lucky enough to live close to my grandparents that we saw them a couple times a year. It wasn't a question of if I'd go or not. It was a, "I really hope tickets aren't going to break the bank, but I'm going even if they are."  It was a whirlwind weekend. I looked for tickets and booked a flight for Friday after Matt got off work. It worked out perfectly. I took Edward with me and left the other two with Matt for the weekend. I was a little worried to travel with a baby by myself, but he was amazing. He seriously didn't cry at all the whole weekend (probably because I could actually tend to him immediately) and people on the planes coming and going commented on how he was one of the best babies they'd ever sat by on a plane. He is just a gem.

The service and weekend was wonderful. All 7 of his kids were there. All 7 Waterman kids were there, so we had a mini family reunion at my Uncle Doug's. So much fun to see everyone since we only get to see everyone every other year. One of my cousins said there were 30 of 36 grandkids in attendance and quite a few great grandchildren as well. One thing that touched me was when my aunt announced that 3 of the cashiers from Albertsons who have waited on my grandpa (the only way they knew him) made sure they got work off to make it to his funeral. So sweet and such a testament to what a guy he was.

You know, it's interesting. It was the first funeral I've attended since I've had kids. Easter weekend we had a family home evening lesson on the Resurrection. Trying to explain death, the relationship of the body and spirit, and resurrection to children made it all click a little differently in my mind. When my dad's mom passed away, I couldn't go see her at the viewing because I felt very uncomfortable. This time, however, I feel like I had much more peace and understanding about family, the resurrection, and it didn't make me feel uncomfortable to see him. I knew that I would see him again when his spirit and body were reunited in the resurrection and that everything would be just fine.

When I think of Grandpa, I think of a quiet and gentle person with a dry sense of humor and cute smile. He was very predictable and dedicated in his routines and behaviors. His running/walking in the morning, cracked wheat for breakfast, whole wheat bread and butter with dinner, and cracking pecans while watching football. He was very consistent and faithful in reading his scriptures. I loved watching him with his long citrus picking poles, picking us boxes and bags of fresh pink grapefruit (that we would salt, of course).  He was always so even in his demeanor and I don't think I ever once heard him raise his voice.  I remember him irrigating and  letting us play in their flooded yard.  What a hard worker.

Grandpa's girls. It wouldn't let me load the one with the whole fam.
Here is the obituary that appeared in the newspaper:
Bruce Chester Hunt
88, died Tuesday April 10, 2012 in Snowflake AZ. Bruce was born November 6, 1923 in Joseph City. He was sixth of nine children born to Benjamin and Pearl Hansen Hunt who owned and operated Homestead Dairy. Bruce was a loving, hardworking son, husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. He served in the Army Air Force near the end of World War II and married Zena Louise Beadle in 1947. Bruce graduated from the University of Arizona in Business and established Hunt's True Value Lumber Company in Flagstaff in 1967. He was known as an honest business man. Bruce was active in the LDS Church and served as a branch president in Wickenburg, as a stake missionary on the Navajo Nation, and with his wife Zena served LDS missions in Ireland and South Africa. Bruce is survived by his wife, five daughters and two sons: Lois Waterman, Deborah Esquibel Hunt, Jennifer Menegas, Colleen Crane, Sandy Harenberg, Jefferson Hunt and Doug Hunt. Bruce and Zena have 36 grandchildren and 55 great grandchildren. Funeral services will be held Saturday, April 14, 2012 at 3 PM
Waterman Clan

I love my family and I'm grateful for the knowledge I have that we can be together again some day. Death is not the end.

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