Nature 28

Eileen Smith Hunter

January 29, 1925 ~ October 8, 2019 (age 94)


With family by her side, Eileen Smith Hunter passed peacefully to her heavenly home on Tuesday night, Oct. 8, 2019. She was 94. On January 29, 1925, Eileen was born to Rosaly and Burnie Smith in her grandparents home on S. Downing St in Englewood, CO.  She was the eldest of 5 children.  Eileen spent her childhood on the family homestead near Weldona, CO and attended the North Star country school. Eileen graduated from Englewood High School when she was 17 in 1942. Although she had a scholarship to Denver University and had plan to become an art teacher, Eileen took a job with the War Department and worked at Lowry Field. She was hired as a chauffeur but never drove. Instead, she was needed as a Clerk-Typist. This was the beginning of her 38 year career with the Federal Government. She transferred to the Bureau of Reclamation and worked briefly on the Columbia River Project in Washington State. Most of Eileen’s career was in Loveland, CO working on the Colorado Big Thompson project. She was highly respected at the Bureau and received many commendations and awards. However, the love of Eileen’s life was (James) Roy Hunter whom she married and partnered with in farming and ranching. Together they raised and showed quarter and paint horses. She and Roy worked together to build a ranch at the Devil’s Backbone near Loveland where they raised and trained many horses over 40 years. She was very proud of the ranch and was pleased that most of it had been acquired by Larimer County for the county park trail system.

Eileen love watching Bronco football and was an avid baseball fan. She watched every Rockies game and kept records and detailed scores of every at bat until her eyesight failed. She was always ready for a trip to Coors Field for a ball game. In fact, she was always ready for a trip. Her family remembers the many personal greeting cards sent to them with love for every birthday and special occasion. She knit special Christmas stockings for each family member and always had a welcoming candy bowl every visitor. She photographed countless family gatherings and produced personalized photo albums that were the most awaited Christmas gifts each Christmas morning. She never complained about losing her eyesight and she was always a competitive card player. Eileen loved league bowling and could still challenge her family on a trip to the bowling alley late into her 80’s.

Eileen is survived by sons James Roy Hunter Jr. and Terry Hunter, sisters Marjory Samuelson and Helen & Richard Sparks; grandchildren Amy and Brice VanMeter, Emily and Tom Morris,  John and Elizabeth Hunter and Sarah and Kyle Urich; great grandchildren Hannah and Cameron Hockensmith, Hunter VanMeter, Elijah Morris, Annika Morris, Liam Hunter, Lillian Urich and Rosalie Urich; former daughter-in-law Mary Hunter and many cousins, nieces and nephews and special friends. 

Eileen was preceded in death by husband James Roy Hunter, sister Nancy Langhoff, brother Albert Smith, daughters-in-law Sandy Hunter and June Hunter.

Eileen’s memorial will be 10:00 AM, Saturday, Oct 26, 2019 at the Buckhorn Presbyterian Church in Masonville just west of Loveland. Address is 8762 Buckhorn Rd, Loveland 80538

The Memorial will be immediately followed by a luncheon at the Backbone Special Event Center, 1720 Glade Road, Loveland 80538. Please bring special thoughts and memories of Eileen.

Memorial gifts may be made to Loveland Community Kitchen or Buckhorn Presbyterian Church in care of Viegut Funeral Home. 

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