Barbara Erwin Hunt

03/30/1914 — 09/10/2005

From Richland, WA, US | Born in Prescott, Washington

Barbara Erwin Hunt

Barbara Erwin Hunt, 91, died peacefully at her home in Richland on September 10, 2005. We will miss her loving care for each of us and her quiet wit that provided us with a wealth of funny sayings through the years.

Barbara was born March 30, 1914 in Prescott, Washington, and raised on a dry land wheat ranch. As she helped care for three younger brothers and her younger sister, she learned the meaning of hard work, where the labor included an arm-powered washing machine and cooking meals for mule team-era harvest crews on a wood stove, while coping with swarms of flies in the sweltering summer heat. In the 1970s, in response to her daughter going through a “back to the land” phase, she commented that there was nothing romantic about raising chickens and cooking on a wood stove, and she had no desire to give up her modern appliances!

After graduating from Prescott High School, she went to Washington State College, joining the Kappa Delta sorority and making lifetime friendships. The most important friendship from her years in Pullman was with Wally Hunt, whom she married at her family’s home in Prescott on June 24, 1939. Barbara and Wally celebrated 62 years together and inspired us all with their love and respect for each other. In February 2002, a month before Wally’s death, the residents of Alterra selected them as “Valentine King and Queen,” a fitting closing tribute to their marriage.

Wally and Barbara started married life in Oakland, California, endured the separation of Wally’s overseas Navy assignment during World War II,  then returned to the Bay Area after the war. In 1947, Wally went to work for General Electric and they moved to Richland in 1948.

Barbara enjoyed social dancing, and in the early 1950s they were part of a group of couples who met in each other’s homes to dance together, often in the basements of their government homes.

Barbara played the piano and loved the popular songs from college days, the war years and the Fifties. She started her son Tom off as a toddler with popular songs like Mairzy Doats, and in the last years of her life he continued musical reminiscing with her, singing through verses of old songs when he came to visit.

She was an accomplished homemaker. Her children were well into their adult years before realizing what a gift their happy childhood was, with their mother providing pleasant family mealtimes as well as doing the decorating, cleaning and baking that created such a welcoming home. She loved and encouraged her children and grandchildren, especially with thoughtful birthday and Christmas gifts. She was a skilled seamstress and gifted her family with handmade clothing that somehow fit perfectly, even when the recipient lived many states away.

Barbara was an active member of Marie Circle at West Side Church and also served as a volunteer with Kadlec Auxiliary for many years. After Wally’s retirement, she enjoyed their winter travels to Arizona and Hawaii, Caribbean cruises and many trips to visit children and grandchildren.

The most enduring theme of Barbara’s life was her love for her husband and family. She was, indeed, the excellent woman spoken of in Proverbs:

An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.

Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future. She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness.

Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her saying: “Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all.”

Barbara was predeceased by her beloved Wally in 2002, as well as brothers Jim Erwin and Sam Erwin and grandson Daniel A. Hunt. She is survived by many family members, including son Tom Hunt and wife Karen of Vancouver, daughter Pam Cadd and husband Tedd of West Richland; grandchildren Damon Hunt and wife Alejandra, Jason Hunt and wife Lisa, Brian Dymalski, Sara Hoenes, Tom Cadd and wife Anna, Amy Milne and husband Jim; great-grandchildren Robin, Daniel, Robert and Lauren Hunt, Blake and Whitney Milne; and brother Bob Erwin and sister Jean Ronald.

A special thank you to the staff at Alterra who cared for Barbara with heartfelt kindness for the past five years.

A memorial service to celebrate Barbara’s life will be held at West Side Church, 615 Wright, Richland, on Sunday, September 25 at 1:00 pm.

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Barbara Erwin Hunt

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  • To Pam,Tedd & families,

    To Tom,Karen, & families,

    We were saddened to learn of Aunt Barbara’s passing, as that means there’s one less woman of grace in the world.That’s what she always represented to me and my family.

    We are glad to know, though,that her spirit is FREE,no longer bound by a body that refused to function for her. And she is with Jesus, and with Uncle Wally.

    So cool how God does that.

    Both your parents have meant so much to Pat and me. They have always been confident, and quietly encouraging that we’d do all right as a young couple. And somehow, we did. Occassionally, when they were in the area they would stop by for a visit; always an honor for us.

    I’m so sorry we can’t make her service this Saturday. We have a family gathering happening at the same time with people coming from other states. We haven’t had all of our kids together in about five years, and unfortunately, it’s set for the same day.

    Please know our thoughts and prayers are with you. We loved your mom.

    Lovingly, Sharon & Pat

    Sharon & Pat Hogan
    November 4, 2014
    Tacoma, WA, US
  • For Pam & Tom and families,

    I fondly recall having Easter celebration at your house. I wasn’t very big, but it was fun & friendly getting together with all of the Hunt cousins. Your mom was always so calm with all of the “clan” around. I’m sure you will miss her much.

    Ginny Pammler Henderson

    Virginia Henderson
    November 4, 2014
    Reardan, WA, 99029-0287, US
  • Memories about my Aunt Barbara;

    Our family would get together with some of the other relatives for an annual picnic event when we were little. At that time, it would usually be a gathering at the lake cabin we had at Coeur d’Alene Lake. We were elementary school age at the time. This cabin was later purchased by another aunt & uncle who continued the tradition as we grew older.

    Graciousness was not part of my vocabulary at my young adolescent age. As I think back on those early years, I realize now how many lessons of character qualities were not taught by lectures, but “caught” by example – if you were paying attention. If you didn’t, you would miss it many times, before another example came around. It was different then because people didn’t do a lot of explaining about things, they just did them.

    I remember once, when we were staying at the lake and waiting for “the relatives to arrive”, there was some unspoken nervousness on our part. When Uncle Wally and Aunt Barbara came with our cousins, Tom and Pam, we had this kind of a “ cultural canyon” between us kids. Seeing it through the mental image I had at that age, it seemed like “the Father Knows Best” family meets “the Our Gang Little Rascals”. Sometimes it felt like we were from a different culture. My Aunt Barbara and Uncle Wally were always so gracious, they never let on that we were anything but “family”. It was always a pleasure to visit with them.

    One of these lessons, which I “caught” seemed very interesting to me at my adolescent age. As we gathered on the beach, Wally & Barbara came down where we were. Instead of sitting down, they announced that they were going to go for a walk along the beach, together, by themselves! What was this? After all, they had kids as old as we were, and they still wanted to do something like take a walk together, on the beach..by themselves? Hmm

    this was very interesting to me. For a couple of “parents” taking time to be together – caring and sharing – right in front of all of us! What a great couple! That day taught me a lot about the value of taking the time to express to another person how important their relationship is to you.

    It wasn’t until their 50th Anniversary that I found out my mother had been one of the people in their original wedding ceremony.

    Whenever I think of my Aunt Barbara I think of what a gracious lady she was.

    With Love & Fond memories,

    from her nephew and wife,

    Don & Lynne Pammler

    Spokane, Wash.

    Don & Lynne Pammler
    November 4, 2014
    Spokane, WA, US
  • Dear Pam and Tom,

    My memories of your mother are not sperate and clearly personal but rather like that of knowing her as a flower often looked upon as I walk a familiar path through my life’s garden. They are fond memories and I will nurture them. Her flower grows.

    Mike & Enriqueta Pammler

    Mike Pammler
    November 4, 2014
    Springdale, WA, US
  • To Pam,Tedd & families,

    To Tom,Karen, & families,

    We were saddened to learn of Aunt Barbara’s passing, as that means there’s one less woman of grace in the world.That’s what she always represented to me and my family.

    We are glad to know, though,that her spirit is FREE,no longer bound by a body that refused to function for her. And she is with Jesus, and with Uncle Wally.

    So cool how God does that.

    Both your parents have meant so much to Pat and me. They have always been confident, and quietly encouraging that we’d do all right as a young couple. And somehow, we did. Occassionally, when they were in the area they would stop by for a visit; always an honor for us.

    I’m so sorry we can’t make her service this Saturday. We have a family gathering happening at the same time with people coming from other states. We haven’t had all of our kids together in about five years, and unfortunately, it’s set for the same day.

    Please know our thoughts and prayers are with you. We loved your mom.

    Lovingly, Sharon & Pat

    Sharon & Pat Hogan
    November 4, 2014
    Tacoma, WA, US
  • For Pam & Tom and families,

    I fondly recall having Easter celebration at your house. I wasn’t very big, but it was fun & friendly getting together with all of the Hunt cousins. Your mom was always so calm with all of the “clan” around. I’m sure you will miss her much.

    Ginny Pammler Henderson

    Virginia Henderson
    November 4, 2014
    Reardan, WA, 99029-0287, US
  • Memories about my Aunt Barbara;

    Our family would get together with some of the other relatives for an annual picnic event when we were little. At that time, it would usually be a gathering at the lake cabin we had at Coeur d’Alene Lake. We were elementary school age at the time. This cabin was later purchased by another aunt & uncle who continued the tradition as we grew older.

    Graciousness was not part of my vocabulary at my young adolescent age. As I think back on those early years, I realize now how many lessons of character qualities were not taught by lectures, but “caught” by example – if you were paying attention. If you didn’t, you would miss it many times, before another example came around. It was different then because people didn’t do a lot of explaining about things, they just did them.

    I remember once, when we were staying at the lake and waiting for “the relatives to arrive”, there was some unspoken nervousness on our part. When Uncle Wally and Aunt Barbara came with our cousins, Tom and Pam, we had this kind of a “ cultural canyon” between us kids. Seeing it through the mental image I had at that age, it seemed like “the Father Knows Best” family meets “the Our Gang Little Rascals”. Sometimes it felt like we were from a different culture. My Aunt Barbara and Uncle Wally were always so gracious, they never let on that we were anything but “family”. It was always a pleasure to visit with them.

    One of these lessons, which I “caught” seemed very interesting to me at my adolescent age. As we gathered on the beach, Wally & Barbara came down where we were. Instead of sitting down, they announced that they were going to go for a walk along the beach, together, by themselves! What was this? After all, they had kids as old as we were, and they still wanted to do something like take a walk together, on the beach..by themselves? Hmm

    this was very interesting to me. For a couple of “parents” taking time to be together – caring and sharing – right in front of all of us! What a great couple! That day taught me a lot about the value of taking the time to express to another person how important their relationship is to you.

    It wasn’t until their 50th Anniversary that I found out my mother had been one of the people in their original wedding ceremony.

    Whenever I think of my Aunt Barbara I think of what a gracious lady she was.

    With Love & Fond memories,

    from her nephew and wife,

    Don & Lynne Pammler

    Spokane, Wash.

    Don & Lynne Pammler
    November 4, 2014
    Spokane, WA, US
  • Dear Pam and Tom,

    My memories of your mother are not sperate and clearly personal but rather like that of knowing her as a flower often looked upon as I walk a familiar path through my life’s garden. They are fond memories and I will nurture them. Her flower grows.

    Mike & Enriqueta Pammler

    Mike Pammler
    November 4, 2014
    Springdale, WA, US
  • We enjoyed your folks when they were winter visitors here in Mesa. Wally & Don

    loved playing golf. We ate and laughed together. It was especially nice because we were related through our daughter Nonie who married Rob Ronald. Barbara cooked us a wonderful dinner when we visited them in Washington. It was our good fortune that we were thrown together in Mesa. We surely have enjoyed your Christmas cards keeping us up to date on your beautiful mother and father.

    Don & Jeanne Carney
    November 4, 2014
    Mesa, AZ, US
  • Dear Family,

    I truly sympathize with your loss. Barbara had quite a dry wit & wonderful sense of humor I shall miss. I’m so sorry I’ll be out of town & miss the service. Thank you for the kindness you have shown me. J Knowland

    Jan Knowland
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, US