James "Gary" Hunt passed away Sunday April 13, 2014 after a short battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his family and close loved ones during his final hours.
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He was born to Harold and Naomi Hunt Dec. 17, 1946 in Redding, CA; the family moved to Porterville shortly thereafter.
He grew up in the Nanceville neighborhood of Porterville, which he affectionately called Dogpatch, among many who would become his life-long friends and that is where he met Mary Miller, whom he married Jan 24, 1969.
He graduated from Porterville high school in 1966 and joined the army that same year. He served as a sergeant in the Vietnam conflict; earning a Bronze Star medal for valor due to his heroic actions during a search and destroy mission in the Que Son valley. After his time in Vietnam he finished his service at Fort Lewis, WA.
Upon his discharge from the army in 1968 he returned to Porterville, worked for Sierra Forest Products and in the family business, Harold's Market. He took over the market in 1974 and eventually transitioned it into Westside Auto Sales in 1978.
At Westside Auto Sales he worked alongside Mary, her father Billy Miller and her brother, William "Sluggo" Miller. In 1998 Westside Auto Sales closed and Gary went to work for the Tulare County Road Maintenance department. During this time he purchased a lot in Camp Nelson, CA and, with the help of many friends and family, built a mountain home. He and Mary moved to Camp Nelson as full-time residents in 1999.
During his lifetime he was a member of: The Eagles Lodge, The Elks Lodge, and was a Grand Humbug of the E. Clampus Vitus. He liked woodworking, fishing, and taking rides in his jeep "Old Roy". Among his favorite activities was simply spending time drinking beer, laughing, telling stories and visiting with his many friends and family and just loving life in the mountains with Mary.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and older siblings: Billy Newby of Porterville, and Rae Trembicki of Valparaiso, IN
He is survived by Mary Hunt, his wife and constant companion of 45 years; son, Billy, his wife Heather, their children: Harper and Hayden of Porterville; daughter Rebecca, her husband, LD Maples, their children Baily, Jarrett, and Aiden of Roseville, CA. He is also survived by his sister Laura Johnson of Porterville , and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
There will be a memorial service 11:00am 4/24/2014 at the Porterville Veteran's Memorial Building, 1900 W. Olive Ave.
Published in The Porterville Recorder on Apr. 23, 2014