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HUNTER, Howard "Deac" Jr.
Deac loved acting, he loved singing, he loved playing poker and bridge, he loved telling stories and entertaining, he loved long trips and golf, but most of all he loved his family.
Howard "Deac" Hunter was born on September 21, 1922 in Colorado Springs to Aletha and Howard "Pop" Hunter. He was raised during the depression years in Ralston, Nebraska with his brothers and sisters, Ida Mae, Bob, Walter and AJ.
World War II
he enlisted in the
Air Corps as a bomber pilot, flying 35 missions over Germany. Upon returning from the war, he enrolled at Pomona College on an unofficial football and poker scholarship. It was there he met his future wife, Nora Brink. They were married in 1948 and last summer celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary. They moved to Whittier in 1951, where they lived for over sixty years, raising four children.
His early career out of college was spent helping build the new family business, Hunter Tools. He sold Magic Tip Screwdrivers and Smitty Wrenches out of his car trunk at first and later from the block-long plant in Santa Fe Springs.
In the mid 1950's, he began teaching at Stevenson Junior High School in Los Angeles. Soon he created his own drama program for the school and went on to teach drama for the next 26 years at both Stevenson and John Burroughs Junior High. When he retired, the school
district changed the name of the theater at Stevenson to "Hunter Hall."
In 1961, he followed his brother Bob and brother-in-law Jack Heller into the Whittier Community Theater. Over the next 50 years he served as president, board member, perennial director, legendary actor, and the voice on the answering machine. He continued to act into his late 80's, performing in the Victorian Feast to benefit the Whittier Historical Society. He was a founder and first president of the Hunter Foundation which provides vocational scholarships to Whittier Union High School District graduates.
Of all the things he loved, he loved being with his family most of all. He looked forward to long cross country road trips every summer and hosting a family reunion every Thanksgiving. He used golf as a thinly veiled excuse to spend time with his children and grandchildren. He played his last round of golf with them at the age of 91. He died on March 2nd at home with family at his side.
He is survived by his wife Nora, his children, Susan (Michael) Eiden, Scott (Paula), Kathryn (David), and Clark. His grandchildren are Emily Eiden (Trevor) Murphy, Alex Hunter, Andrew Eiden, and Nora June Hunter. He has one great-granddaughter, Ava Hunter, and a second great-granddaughter due in July.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, March 17th at 11:00 am, in the Hillside Chapel at Rose Hills Memorial Park, 3888 Workman Mill Rd, Whittier, CA 90601. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Whittier Community Theatre at P.O Box 601, Whittier, 90608.
Published in Whittier Daily News from Mar. 13 to Mar. 14, 2014
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"Our hearts go out to the family. God is close to those that are broken at heart. Keep faith in the hope..."
"We so enjoyed sharing the stage with you in the 70's. Gene & Charlotte Lemon"
"Mission accomplished, Deac. Whittier Theatre wouldn't have been the same without you. Rest in peace,..."
- Paul C. Martinez
"A wonderful human being who contributed his talents unto others."
- Ronnie vasquez
"In Spanish a teacher is called a "Maestro" (Master)and he truly was a Master...a teacher of consummate..."
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