Milton Douglas Hunt was born in a little house his father built on Valley Street in Port Angeles. Named after the silent-film star Milton Sills, he shared the home with his parents, Calvin and Rose (Harrington); brother Clayton; and sisters Florence, Yvonne and Kay.
His father was employed at the Rayonier mill. His mother was the daughter of Thomas S. Harrington, a Clallam County pioneer whose farm on Monroe Road remains in the family.
In his early teens, Milt moved to the Monroe Road farm, where he helped his grandfather with chores that included working with the draft horses King and Prince. In the evenings, he liked to listen to Ella Fitzgerald and hockey games on the radio, as well as to his grandfather playing the fiddle.
Milt enlisted in the Army Air Corps and was stationed in Hochst, Germany, in the 1940s.
He was a lifelong Democrat and a patriotic person but was never one to adopt party affiliation or patriotism as an identity; he simply believed in serving one's country and community, helping the less fortunate and not carrying on about it.
In the Port Angeles community, Milt served with the Salvation Army, Rotary, Clallam County Historical Society and Port Angeles School Board.
After marrying Barbara Jostol and graduating from the University of Washington with a master's degree in architecture in 1960, he taught at Edison Technical School in Seattle, Washington, and in 1967 moved with his family to Port Angeles to teach engineering at Peninsula College.
Milt soon opened an architectural firm, and if you've been to Port Angeles, it's likely you've visited one of his buildings: He designed The Bushwhacker restaurant, the Lincoln Park longhouse, The Landing mall and many residences on the Olympic Peninsula.
Milt also designed and oversaw construction of housing and community buildings for many Northwest Native American tribes, including the Hoh, Lower Elwha Klallam and Makah.
In 1978, Milt designed and built a new family home on the Monroe Road property and lived there until he moved into assisted living in 2011.
Milt's preferences in music included Jimmie Rodgers "The Singing Brakeman," the Mills Brothers, Edith Piaf and Nat King Cole. He also enjoyed a nice bagpipe rendition of "Amazing Grace" and some Bert Kaempfert or Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass with dinner.
If you asked Milt what his favorite movie was, he'd say "Picnic" but would not tell you why; however, it's likely because of Kim Novak.
When you invited Milt to a meal, it was best to follow these easy-to-remember guidelines: no leftovers and nothing that swims or flies. Serve him a nice pork roast, potatoes and carrots like his mother used to make, and he was a happy man.
Milt was a voracious reader of American history and could tell you just about anything you wanted to know about the American Revolutionary War or the Civil War. He was also blessed with an uncanny knack for locating wild blackberries in the woods and was an expert in making berry buckets from Folgers coffee cans and fencing wire.
After Milt decided to stop dialysis treatment in late September 2013, he spent his remaining days enjoying time with family, friends and the caring staff at St. Andrew's Place in Port Angeles.
His children are thankful for St. Andrew's Place and the good people at the Northwest Kidney Center for being part of his family during the last years of his life and to Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County for its compassionate assistance.
He is survived by his daughters, Julia Hunt (Ron Christoffel) and Paula Hunt; his sister, Kay Carlson-Bilbao; and many beloved nephews, nieces, cousins and friends.
His brother, Clayton Hunt; sisters Florence Hunt and Yvonne Hunt; and niece Lynell Carlson-Miller predeceased him.
A private burial was held at Ocean View Cemetery in Port Angeles on October 4, 2013.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent in Milton Hunt's name to St. Andrew's Place Assisted Living, 520 East Park Avenue, Port Angeles, WA 98362; or Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County, 540 East Eighth Street, Port Angeles, WA 98362.
The family plans a memorial service — or they may just call it a "See you next time, Milt!" party — sometime in January 2014. A notice will be posted when it's scheduled.
Published in The Peninsula Daily News on Oct. 16, 2013