Rebecca Lillian (Raulerson) Hunt

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Mrs. Rebecca Lillian Raulerson Hunt, age 91, died Tuesday, February 4, 2014 in Lake City. The youngest of 12 children, she was born on September 29, 1922 in Enid, a rural community in Polk County, to Rufus and Roseanna Raulerson. When she was 5 years old the family moved to Linden after her father was told he could get rich in Sumter County growing strawberries. Two years later, in 1929, her father died and the Great Depression began. Dreams of getting rich growing strawberries soon vanished, but the family survived with help from older brothers who quit school and went to work to help raise their siblings. In 1940 Lillian, as she was known to family and friends, married her husband of 62 years, William Hunt, and moved to the Groveland area, but their marriage was soon interrupted by World War II. William joined the Navy and was sent to the Pacific theater of war, and Lillian moved to Chicago where she worked in an assembly plant for Douglas Aircraft and had their first child, Iris. When the war ended William, Lillian and a very young Iris returned to Groveland, where three more children were born (Jimmy and twins Faye and Kaye). After the children were all in school. Lillian obtained her high school diploma by attending night classes at Clermont High School, then earned a Bachelor's Degree from Florida Southern College and a Master's Degree from the University of Florida. She taught school for 25 years, primarily at Spring Lake Elementary School in Ocoee, before retiring in 1987. After retiring, she and William moved to Lake City, where her son lives, and raised cattle, which was nearly as profitable as growing strawberries during the Great Depression. Always a scrapper, Lillian battled Alzheimer's for the last 15 years, but remained cheerful, friendly and energetic. She was a member of St. Luke Lutheran Church in Lake City. William died in 2002 at age 84. She is survived by her four children: Iris Wiley of Lakeland, Faye Hyatt of Grape Hammock, Kaye Simmons and her husband Donnie of Clermont and Jimmy Hunt and his wife Gloria of Lake City. She is also survived by 9 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Brewer & Sons of Clermont. Viewing will be at the funeral home in Clermont on Friday, February 7th from 6:00pm-8:00pm. Funeral services will be at the funeral home on Saturday, February 8th at 9:00am and burial will follow at Green Pond Cemetery in Polk County.
Published in Lake City Reporter on Feb. 7, 2014
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