LeRoy Richard Hunsperger
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1931 - 2013
LeRoy Richard Hunsperger, 82, passed away in the early morning hours of Monday, June 3, 2013, after a long struggle with emphysema. LeRoy was born January 24, 1931, the 8th child of 9 born to James Hunsperger and Alice Ragains Hunsperger, on the family farm in Melba, Idaho. LeRoy grew up in Melba and at 17 enlisted in the Army and was stationed in Berlin, Germany.
Following his military discharge, LeRoy returned to the Treasure Valley and met the love of his life, Patricia (Pat) Naillon, in 1953. Pat and LeRoy were married in Nampa, Idaho on September 19, 1954. One year and one month later, their only daughter, Evadna (Eve) Rose Hunsperger, was born on October 19, 1955.
LeRoy was always a free and independent spirit in charge of his life and rarely influenced by others in his decision-making. In search of a career that fit his independent spirit, the little family moved around the west for a time. LeRoy ultimately found his calling drilling water wells. He spent the rest of his working career as a well drilling contractor and is responsible for many of the wells servicing some of the best camping areas in Idaho, including Red Fish Lake. He also drilled many wells throughout the Boise Valley including Capital High School, Eagle Hills Golf Course and many residential homes. He was "The Water Bearer".
LeRoy was slight of stature but a powerful presence and quietly touched many lives with his wisdom, patience and love. He was easy to be with and liked by everyone. He would spend endless hours mulling over solutions to any problem he encountered and could repair nearly anything, even if it required building some sort of new contraption or tool to do so.
LeRoy rarely got upset over things on his own behalf. He figured people had their reasons for doing what they did, even if he didn't agree with it. However, he would always stand up for other people he felt were being mistreated. He was not one to judge or to say an unkind word. His attitude was truly "live and let live".
LeRoy and Pat enjoyed 58 years of marriage together. During these years they spent time with family, traveled to the east coast to visit their daughter and her family, traveled to many family reunions, toured most of the west and took a 50th anniversary cruise to Alaska. They loved each other, supported and cared for each other's needs and were forever best friends.
There were few people LeRoy would have entrusted his only daughter to. That all changed when Norb DeKerchove Jr. entered the picture. When he and Eve were married, LeRoy felt like he didn't lose a daughter, but truly gained a son. The two of them had a great relationship. They solved many issues over the years and always enjoyed each other's company.
LeRoy was thrilled when he became a grandpa in 1988 with the birth of his first granddaughter, Erin, and in 1989 when Alison arrived. He was often seen carrying the girls around or sitting with them while they shared a book or told him tales of their school day. He was a champion sandwich-maker, in their eyes, and could be counted on for a ride home from school or other activities whenever needed.
Family was always important to LeRoy and his younger brother, Ted, was his life-long best friend. They didn't talk much, both being men of few words, but clearly understood one another and were there whenever one or the other needed a hand. Since Ted is married to Pat's younger sister, Gaye, the two couples were nearly inseparable from the time they were teenagers to this day, sharing every major life event.
It was only natural that Ted and Gaye's children would be important to LeRoy as well. Their daughter Lesa and son Jason were loved as his own. They both spent many childhood days at Pat and LeRoy's house and traveling with them on camping adventures and vacations.
In his leisure time LeRoy enjoyed being outdoors, camping, fishing, or just working around the house and yard. Pat and LeRoy spent much of their later life traveling around the west camping and seeing the country side. Their granddaughters, Erin and Alison, and great nephews, Josh and Cody, were often taken along and will always remember the many adventures and "loops" taken during such trips.
Volumes could be written but words cannot begin to describe our beloved, kind, gentle husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend. You will be terribly missed by each of us!
LeRoy is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Patricia Hunsperger; daughter, Eve DeKerchove; son-in-law Norb DeKerchove; granddaughters, Erin and Alison DeKerchove; brother and sister-in-law, Ted and Gaye Hunsperger; nephew, Jason Hunsperger; niece, Lesa (Charles Proto) and their sons, Josh and Cody Proto, all of Boise; brother and sister-in-law, Alvin and Shirley Hunsperger of Springfield, OR; sister-in-law, Beulah Hunsperger, of Nampa; as well as nieces, nephews and extended family across the Treasure Valley.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sisters: Dorothy Grandal and Henrietta Hunsperger and brothers: Jess, Henry, Sidney and Delmer Hunsperger.
Special thanks to the ladies from Hearts for Hospice: Jessie, Ellie, Susan, Terri and Julie Ann. You gave him such compassionate care over his long illness. Thanks also to Tiffany from Synergy Home Care. You are such a blessing and cared so lovingly for LeRoy and are fantastic support for Pat in these sad days, always ready and willing to do anything needed at any time of the day or night.
Memorial service will be held at Summers Funeral Home, 3629 E. Ustick Rd, Meridian, Idaho, Monday, June 10, 2013 at 11:30 a.m. Pastor Darrell Wiseman, Boise First Nazarene Church, officiating. Following the service a reception will be held at the home of their daughter and son-in-law, Norb and Eve DeKerchove, 5665 N. Cattail Way, Boise, ID.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family on LeRoy's memorial webpage at www.summersfuneral.com.
Summers Funeral Home - Ustick Chapel
3629 East Ustick Road Meridian, ID 83642
Published in Idaho Press Tribune on June 8, 2013