Clyde “Dude” Elwood Hunsaker Jr.
July 17, 1929 - September 4, 2013
July 17, 1929, Pine, Gila, Ariz. said hello to “Dude” — who got his name from his little sister who always called him “My Little Doodle Bug”… a name he had to shed when he got a little too old — since about the age of 3 he has been know as “Dude” Hunsaker. Until a bright late summer morning Sept. 4, 2013 in Prescott, Yavapai, Ariz. he said goodbye to all of us. Actually me, Colleen Hunsaker, his wife was driving to Pine up the old General Crook Trail out of Camp Verde that morning on a family trip to Pine when he told us all goodbye. I didn’t find that out until I reached home in late afternoon where the message awaited me on the phone answering machine. “Dude had passed” earlier that morning. I had had a very memorable trip up that Gen. Crook Highway reminiscing of the first time Dude had taken me up that road in the rain and the mud way back in August 1970.
I remembered him telling me of his schooling in Pine to the eighth grade, school in Tucson with his Aunt Della during World War II, and then staying with another Aunt Eloise and Uncle Glen while he went to school in Mesa up to the eleventh grade. Seems he was always skipping grades. Then in the eleventh grade he enlisted in the Army after he ran away and hitchhiked to Fort Ord, Calif. for basic training and then on to Fort Hood, Texas where he had specialized training in Pontoon Bridge Building. He always loved that training and it served him well all his life where he worked construction, all over the state, road building and opening uranium pits on the Navajo Reservation for BB Bonner Construction Co. out of Flagstaff.
He loved mankind and always tried to forgive those who had wronged him. He married four times, had three children from the two marriages to one lady. His third wife and third marriage shot him in the arm after their divorce… Go figure, I never have figured that one out. I, fourth and final, have been married to him 43 years on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013, not quite 43 years there. No children.
He was a real estate broker from 1960 to the present years. Loved horse racing and living with me, Colleen, all these years (at least he always said so!!).
He is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a high priest, deeply loved the Lord and his testimony. The last four-and-half months he was a patient in the Prescott VA Dementia Unit. All the staff there said he constantly told them of his love of the Lord and LDS Church membership and his love of the Book of Mormon.
He is survived by me, his wife as mentioned; grandson Thomas Jason Hunsaker and his wife Pam (Roberts) and their two children Amanda Christi and Alexander Hunsaker and grandson Rhett Levi Bond; three brothers, Lee (Sue) of Tonto Basin, Ariz.; Harold (Natalie) of Cottonwood, Ariz.; Melvin (Sandy) of Dewey, Ariz.; sister Joy (Leavitt) Thatcher of Gilbert, Ariz.; and many nieces, nephews from this large family of Clyde Elwood and Ruth Hazel (Randall) Hunsaker. He has one deceased daughter, killed in an automobile accident in 1985, Nancy Lee Hunsaker.
Services are Saturday, Sept. 14 in Pine, Ariz. at the LDS Church, north end town on N. Hwy. 87. Viewing is from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.; program 11 a.m. to noon; burial at noon at Pine Cemetery, followed by a luncheon and visiting back at LDS Church from approximately 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m.