George Eldon Hunter (aka Leslie LaVatta), 83 of Hammett, passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, July 23, 2017. He was born on April 16, 1934 at Fort Hall, Idaho to Thomas Lewis and Rowena Lawrence LaVatta the youngest of four children. He had 2 sisters, Annie Laurie and Arnetta Theresa, and a brother Thomas Leland LaVatta. Due to his mother’s illness, Eldon was adopted at age 3 by Alvin and Virginia Hunter of Nampa, Idaho.
Eldon grew up as an only child on the family farm and graduated from Nampa High School in 1952. Eldon worked at various trades until drafted into the Army in 1954. He served for six years touring the world. While in Nampa he met Carolyn Jean Pelkey of Eagle and they were married in 1953. They had four boys, Alvin Stewart, Terry Lyn, Rick Allen, and Randy L. Hunter. They were divorced in 1959.
In 1960, Eldon met and married LaVerna Van Matre, adopted her son, Bruce William, and had son, Clark Dean in 1961. LaVerna passed away in 1984.
In 1961, he returned to serve America’s Air Force with great pride and honor as an EOD Master Specialist detonating explosive devices and performing some of the most harrowing, dangerous work in order to keep others from harm’s way. Eldon retired from the Air Force in 1979 and moved to Nampa, Idaho to be close to family. He began working for the Idaho Department of Transportation, retiring from there in 2002.
After LaVerna's death in 1984, Eldon met Wanda Gale Ballard and they were married in 1985. Together they spent 33 wonderful years hunting, fishing and enjoying life.
Eldon was addicted to guns, ammunitions and all things that go “Boom!” often taking his family to Idaho’s open spaces with self-loaded bullets and clay pigeons to enjoy some target practice. He was a great cook and was always up for enjoying food at family get-togethers. Eldon had a giant, loving heart that he shared with the Lord, his family and many friends. His heart may have given all it could, but his spirit and tremendous faith now rest over us in the presence of the Lord.
Eldon was preceded in death by his parents, sisters, brother, and his son, Bruce William Hunter (05/26/2017).
He leaves behind his best friend and wife, Wanda; his sons, Alvin “Ike” (Elaine) Hunter, Terry (Betty) Hunter, Ricky (Teri) Hunter, Randy (Jeri) Hunter, and Clark (Vicky) Hunter; daughter-in-law, Janet Hunter; grandchildren, Alvin “Ikey” Hunter, Virginia (Tony) Peduto, Andrea (Michael) Thompson, Terry “TJ” (Jennifer) Hunter, Eric Hunter, Steven Rader, Jennifer (Ben) Willis, Larry (Cathy) Hunter, Machelle Anderson, and Jason Hunter; and not to forget many loving great-grandchildren, in-laws, nieces, nephews, and a host of longtime friends.
Many thanks to the long list of Eldon’s caregivers who gave us extra time with him. His family is especially grateful for your support.
Eldon was involved in many social service organizations and requested that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to a favorite non-profit.
Bruce William Hunter, passed away peacefully at his home with his family by his side on May 26, 2017 due to complications from cancer surgery. He was 60 years old.
He was born on March 14, 1957 in Portland Oregon to G.Eldon and LaVerna (Van Matre) Hunter. His father's career in the US Air Force meant that Bruce and his brothers lived in many places while growing up, including Maine, Michigan, Guam and Idaho. He served in the US Army from 1975 to 1978 and was very proud of his military service. He received his GED while in Guam and graduated from Boise State University in 1984 with an Associate Degree in diesel mechanics.
Bruce met the love of his life and soulmate Janet (Kinsinger) while working together. They were married on November 14, 1981 and were happily married for 35 years, rarely leaving each other's side. Together they raised two wonderful children, Steven and Jennifer. The family moved to Montana in 1998.
Bruce worked for 25 years as a journeyman electrician and was a proud member of IBEW Local 233. He loved Montana and doing anything outdoors. He was an avid hunter and especially enjoyed guns and anything to do with the shooting sports. He was an active member of 15-90 Search and Rescue. He also enjoyed spending time with his family, especially when he could beat them at cards. He had a gruff exterior, but inside he was a very loving, generous man.
His life is celebrated by his wife Janet, son Steven (Heidi) Rader and daughter Jennifer (Ben) Willis, grandchildren Hannah, Danielle, Caitlynn, Aylah and Tristan Rader and Cameron, Bryant, Alex and Zander Willis, father and stepmother G. Eldon and Wanda Hunter, and brothers Ike, Terry, Rick, Randy and Clark, as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his mother LaVerna.
A Celebration of Life for Eldon and his son, Bruce will be held on Friday, August 11th at 11:00 a.m. at Dakan Funeral Chapel, Caldwell. A potluck reception will be held immediately following at CV Peckham Community Center adjacent to Dakan Chapel.