Leonard E. (Gene) Hunter, 70, passed away peacefully with his family by his side on August 26, 2018. He was born in Red Lodge, MT on March 11, 1948 to Leonard and Ina (Kujala) Hunter and raised on the Family ranch just outside Roberts, MT on Clear Creek. He attended Roberts Schools, graduating in 1966 as the class President and was a proud Roberts Rocket his whole life.
He eventually caught the love of his life, Cheryle Dalley, and they were married on December 20th, 1969. To this union they added a son, Kevin and daughter Kelly.
Gene was a Vietnam Veteran and recipient of the Purple Heart after being wounded on his 21st birthday. He lived with these wounds for the rest of his life, never complaining, and proud to have served his Country.
For 34 years, he was a rural carrier for the United States Postal Service, having routes in Roberts, Billings, and Joliet. He took pride in his job, always making sure his patrons were well taken care of and enjoyed the many friendships he formed. He also enjoyed baling and swathing hay for local farmers and ranchers around Roberts when he had some down time.
He was a member of the Jaycees, serving as President of the Roberts chapter, and eventually becoming a Jaycee International Senator. He formed many lifelong friendships, created many memories, and received the nickname “Catfish” through this organization.
He loved Roberts Rockets basketball, watching Professional Bull riding and Rodeo, going to pro baseball games and playing poker with his buddies. Most of all, he enjoyed supporting his children and grandchildren in all their activities. He will be remembered for his happy go lucky demeanor and his infectious laugh (you always knew when Dad was around). Thanks Dad for the memories and making life fun.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents, brother Robert, sister Marlene, Uncle Bob and Aunt Maurine Michalies, and nephew Michael Houghton.
He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Cheryle Hunter, son Kevin (Mary) Hunter, Pine Haven, WY, daughter Kelly (Shane) Green, Chester, MT, sister Betty (Jack) Keener, Palmer, AK. Grandkids, Michael Hunter, Rose (Allen) Ikemba, Jarrett and Layne Green. Great-Grandkids Thayne, Eli, Marley, and Noah. Sister-in-law Denise (Gary) Hennelly, Nieces Kim (Robert) Cotta, Crystal (Scott) Nygard, Amie (John) Sommer, Cheryl (John) Morgan, Shannon Hinkle, Tenil (Felix) Belmontez and nephew John (Angie) Keener. He is also survived by his many cousins, friends, and “family” in the Roberts/Red Lodge area with special thanks to Frank Ropp for being with the family as Dad started his next journey.
Celebration of life will be held Thursday August 30th 11:00 A.M. at Smith-Olcott Funeral Chapel in Red Lodge, MT. Graveside services with Military Honors will follow at the Roberts Cemetery with memories to be shared afterward at the Heavy Horse Bar in Roberts.
The Family requests any memorials be sent to the Roberts Community Foundation or the Vietnam Veterans of America.
Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery. Condolences can be sent by visiting www.cfgbillings.com.