Robert Kenneth Hunter, 88, of Lakeside, NE, passed away Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at Parkview Lodge Assisted Living in Rushville, NE. He was born in rural Hay Springs, NE on November 28, 1924 to Lee and Effie Hunter. Bob was the youngest of four children. The Hunter family was a ranch family and ranching became a way of life. Riding and hitching horses to a wagon were daily occurrences. Bob rode his horse to elementary school and later into Hay Springs High School, a ten mile trip one way. Bob joined the Army on October 18, 1945 and spent the majority of his time stationed at Hickam Field, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He was discharged from the Army on January 17, 1947 and returned home to Hay Springs. He was united in marriage to Aldean Letcher on August 6, 1949. With three heifers each and a few calves, they began their life together on Mirage Flats, south of Hay Springs. In 1951, Bob and Aldean started their ranching enterprise in Manderson, SD, selling that operation to partner, Marvin Heesacker, in 1956. After residing a short time in the Craven Creek area north of Rushville, they purchased their ranch south of Rushville in 1958. Bob was proud to call this home for the next 55 years. Together Bob and Aldean raised three sons, Greg, Ken, and Roger. Bob had a great eye for a good horse and broke his last gelding, Duke, to ride when he was 83 years old. However, he had the assistance of a lick tub as a stepping stool! His pride and joy was his Hereford cow herd. He had the ability to improve upon their genetics each and every year. Bob was one of the last to adapt to the use of mechanization--no motorcycles and no three wheelers. Horses were used to move cattle, feed cattle, and were considered paramount to a true ranching way of life. Hard work was the norm at the Hunter Ranch and the whole family pitched in. In Bob's later years he enjoyed visits with family and friends and stayed current with world news. He enjoyed a good visit on the phone. He traveled a bit and especially enjoyed a drive to Alaska. He was proud of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren and attended many of their activities. Bob was a role model for many young cowboys. A neighbor summarized his thoughts of Bob's influence in his life in this way--"One of my childhood heroes who was always a standard I could measure my deeds and actions by. I hope all his horses are gentle and smooth gaited and the cows are belly deep in grass. His smile and soft words will endure forever." Bob was preceded in death by his Mother and Father and siblings, Bernard Hunter, Pat Hunter, and Madge Belknap.
Memorial services for Bob Hunter of Lakeside, Nebraska will be held on Saturday, July 13, 2013 at 11:00 AM at the United Methodist Church in Rushville with Reverend Fred Andersen and Reverend Al Trucano officiating.
A memorial has been established for the Parkview Lodge Assisted Living or the Rushville Rural Fire Protection District. Donations may be sent to Chamberlain Chapel, PO Box 970, Chadron, NE, 69337.
Online condolences can be made at www.chamberlainchapel.com
Chamberlain Chapel of Chadron is in charge of arrangements.