Jack Keith Lunt, 92, of Belgrade, Mont., beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and friend passed away peacefully on April 1, 2013.
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Jack was born Feb. 17, 1921 in Duncan, Ariz., to Edward Lunt and Lettie Stowell. He was born the sixth of eight children, and raised in the valley of Duncan, Ariz. He excelled in 4H Club, FFA, and athletics playing varsity football and basketball at Duncan High School.
Following high school, Jack served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the North Central States Mission. He returned to Duncan in the fall of 1942 and shortly thereafter met his wife to be, LaRita Claridge. Their courtship was interrupted by World War II, as Jack entered the U.S. Army and served his country as a paratrooper and explosives engineer in the 161st Airborne Engineers Division. He was one of the many brave who jumped on Corregidor on Feb. 16, 1944.
After returning home from the war, Jack married LaRita, whom he would forever refer to as his 'sweetheart.' On March 15, 1946, they were married for eternity in the Mesa, Ariz. temple. They established their home in Duncan, where Jack purchased a nearby ranch which consisted of property in Arizona and New Mexico. During the next several years he was active and served as president of the Greenlee County Cattlemen's Organization and the Arizona State Cattle Growers Association. He was also active as a leader in the Boy Scouts of America. In 1960 they purchased a ranch in the Horseshoe Hills and with their family of six children settled in Belgrade, Mont. Jack ranched for many years and especially enjoyed the relationships he developed with his fellow ranchers.
In addition to ranching, Jack worked for the City of Belgrade as a night police officer for the Belgrade Sheriff's Department. Later in life he was elected mayor of Belgrade where he served from 1982-1986.
Jack lived life honorably and especially enjoyed helping those around him. He based his life on integrity, honesty, respect, and courtesy. Jack always strived to ensure fairness in every deal and negotiation in which he was engaged. He immensely enjoyed the association of those with whom he worked.
As a faithful and devoted member of the LDS Church, Jack's powerful testimony of Jesus Christ guided his life, and was exemplified in his daily actions. He will be remembered for his positive attitude and gratitude for the goodness of life under any conditions.
The love, tenderness and respect shared between you and Mom each day of your 65 years together will forever be remembered, Dad. We are grateful of how you taught us to live with faith, courage, dignity and love and will always feel inspired by your remarkable inner strength.
Jack was preceded in death by his sweetheart, LaRita, in March 2011 and his son, Steven Lunt (Vivian), Del Valle, Texas. He is survived by children, Robyn (Debbie), of Moberly, Mo.; Diane of West Jordan, Utah; Carla (Mark) Steiner of Billings, Mont.; Sam (Galena) of New Castle, Ind.; and Debby (Mike) Topp of Albuquerque, N.M. He is also survived by his brother, Garth Lunt, of Pima, Ariz.
Jack's family would like to express deepest gratitude and appreciation to Pat, Barbara and Todd of Dignity Hospice and the staff of Wentworth of Draper for their kind and gentle care, as well as Larkin Funeral Home (Salt Lake City), and Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 2 p.m. in the Belgrade LDS Church, 297 Bridger View Drive. Family and friends may visit at 1 p.m., prior to the services. Interment will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens.
Memorials in Jack's name may be made to the
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service, www.dokkennelson.com.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Apr. 10, 2013