On Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023, Cleve Coleman Hunt passed away unexpectedly in Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital attended by his loving family. Cleve passed one week short of his 87th birthday, March 5, 1936. He was born in Lewis County, Washington, to Elexcious Hunt and Ethel (Coleman) Hunt. He was the ninth of 10 children, and his family was one of the earliest to settle in the Peterman Hill area.
Cleve had many entertaining stories of his life growing up on "the ranch": bitter winters, wet springs and glorious summers, fishing and hunting at will.
Cleve attended school at Mossyrock, Washington. He found he had a talent for music (playing in the school band) and for sports. During his four years playing football for Mossyrock, his team was defeated in one game only. Cleve and Vivian became a couple in their senior year, graduating in 1954 and married shortly thereafter.
By the fall of 1954, Cleve and Vivian were living in Los Angeles. Cleve started his machinist career right away while Vivian kept the home. They started their family (one child) and then briefly came back to Peterman Hill. Two more children, and Cleve decided that his little family’s financial opportunities would be better served by going back to Los Angeles.
In 1965, the Hunts moved back to Washington state. They settled in Terrace Heights (Yakima). By this time, Cleve and Vivian have six children, four girls and two boys. Cleve is working for Decoto Aircraft (1965 version), and Vivian is looking for more room for their large family. They bought acreage on South Naches Road, Naches. Their life was busy on this small farm.
Cleve had a great love of family and the outdoors. Coming from such a large family himself, there were always many, many relatives and friends to gather with at holidays, campouts, reunions, birthdays and barbecues. Lots of happy memories.
In 1978, Cleve accepted a position with Production Milling in Everett, Washington, ultimately becoming VP of the company. So, the little farm in Naches got left behind. They packed up the three girls still living at home, found a new home in Granite Falls, Washington, and moved.
Cleve retired from Production Milling in 1994 and his career took a turn. He bought a logging truck. He drove that log truck while waiting for Vivian to retire. In 2000, Cleve and Vivian were both retired.They moved back to Eastern Washington (Selah) to be nearer family and to watch their grandchildren grow. Cleve was best known for his quick wit, easy smile, love of family, unabashed passion for golf. He picked up the sport at age 36. He would play 18 holes any chance he could get. Cleve was able to attend several prominent tournaments, met celebrity golfers and even played at St. Andrew’s course in Scotland.
Cleve's family and friends still cannot believe that we will only see his smile in photos now. He so looked forward to visits from his only surviving sibling, his brother Chad.
Cleve is survived by his wife of 69 years, Vivian (Kirkendoll) Hunt, and children, Vivi Hunt, Darrold Hunt, Kathryn, Dena (Rob) Wiseman and Claudia Hunt. He also has 15 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. Some of these children he knew well and some not so well, but they were all much loved.
Cleve was predeceased by his son Greg Hunt.
On Saturday Oct. 7, 2023, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Mossyrock Grange, we will gather to celebrate the lives of Cleve and his brother-in-law Pepper Kirkendoll (passed Aug. 26). All family, friends and neighbors are welcome to share stories.