- William Donald Hunt -

Don and Billie Hunt

Scenes From My Life ~ by William Donald Hunt

Date: July 24, 2002

Location: Orem, Utah

Recorded and written by: Jennifer Hunt Johnson

Off to a Great Start

Where were you born?

Date:              September 12, 1924

Where:                     at home, delivered by a midwife

Birthplace:              Ora (Ashton), Fremont, Idaho

Vital statistics

Weight:                    12 pounds

Eye Color:                brown

Hair color:               black, wavy

Temperament:        mild, laid back


Name:                     Purcell Byron Hunt

Date of Birth:        January 12, 1898

Birthplace:             Richmond, Cache, Utah


Name:                     Stella Cora Hill

Date of Birth:        October 12, 1900

Birthplace:             Ora (Ashton), Fremont, Idaho

Were you named after someone?

I was named after William Henry Hill, a grandfather on my mother’s side.

Did you ever have a nickname?


I’ve always gone by “Don.” The only other one I can remember is “Browny.” I was kind of short, but I had big, brown eyes. I was also called “Donnie,” especially by Billie’s side of the family.

Purcell Byron and Stella Cora Hill Hunt

Purcell Byron & Stella Cora Hill Hunt

What are the names and birth dates of your brothers and sisters?


Beatrice                   February 20, 1921         Ora (Ashton), Fremont, Idaho

Ronda Purcell        October 3, 1922            Ora (Ashton), Fremont, Idaho

Mildred Fontella   April 12, 1928                Ora (Ashton), Fremont, Idaho

John Keith              May 23, 1930                 Buhl, Twin Falls, Idaho


Did you fight with your brothers and sisters?


Yes, but not too much. I was always the friendly type—never got in any quarrels with anybody. I got along well with people, especially my family.

Growing Up

What towns did you live in when you were growing up?


The first place I can remember anything about was in Buhl, Idaho where I started first grade. Then we moved from Buhl to Besslen (Dietrich), Idaho. All Besslen had was an elementary school and a depot. We moved from Besslen to Carey in 1937.

Describe the house you remember the most from your childhood?


The house in Besslen is very much etched in my memory. It was a tarpaper shack—that’s all it was. There was one room for Mom and Dad and everyone else slept in the room that had a heater in the middle. I slept by the window and the snow would sift through the cracks onto my bedclothes. We had a big, potbellied heater in the middle of the house where we burned railroad ties and sage. The fire threw sparks up on the roof and that scared me to death. I used to run outside in the middle of the night to make sure the roof wasn’t on fire. I had nightmares about that for a long time. There was also a wood-burning stove in the kitchen.

When Ronda and Beatrice got big enough to go to the dances with my parents, I had to stay home and baby-sit. I’d look out the window and I’d swear it was too light out there. I’d run out to see if it was on fire. Golly, it was bad.

Ronda Purcell Hunt
Beatrice Hunt
John Keith Hunt
Mildred Hunt

Ronda, Beatrice, Keith, and Mildred

Ronda, Don, and Keith Hunt

Ronda, Don, and Keith at Stella's funeral. I call this, Variations on a Theme. (The photo bomber is Jenni Hunt Johnson.)

Don Hunt picking flowers

Picture from the Baker Democrat Herald newspaper - Coach Hunt gathering flowers for his biology collection, along with some of his track team.)

Don and Billie Hunt on their honeymoon

From Billie's Bride Scrapbook. Honeymoon at Yellowstone National Park.

Don Hunt obituary

William Donald "Don" Hunt Obituary