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Ralph Smith Hunter, 91, of Iona, passed away September 23, 2022, at Lincoln Court Retirement Community.
Ralph was born July 21, 1931, in Rigby, Idaho, to William Wallace Hunter and Bertha O'Donnell Hunter. He attended grade school in Ririe and graduated from Idaho Falls High School. He graduated from Ricks College in 1954 and later pursued his Master's Degree in math at the University of Utah.
Ralph excelled in athletics from an early age and played football for Ricks College. He also was on the boxing and track teams. After college, Ralph played professional football for the Edmonton Eskimos in Canada. In 1985 he was inducted into the Ricks College Athletics Hall of Fame.
On November 12, 1952, he married Shirlee Jean Hill in the Idaho Falls Temple. Ralph and Shirlee made their home in Iona, Idaho, where they raised their family. Ralph worked as an athletic coach and math teacher. In Coach Hunter's first eleven years at Bonneville, he led the football team to seven undefeated seasons in a row. He also coached at Weber State College for fourteen years before returning and finishing his coaching career at Bonneville.
Ralph had a passion for fly fishing, woodworking, gardening, and reciting poems.
Ralph was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served in various callings through the years, including as a member of the Bishopric and High Council. He also served a mission in the Philippines with his wife Shirlee.
Ralph is survived by his loving wife of 69 years, Shirlee; sons, Kip of West Yellowstone MT, Barry(Kimberly) of Washington GA, Scott(Robin) of Allen, TX, and Dan of Swan Valley ID; Ralph and Shirlee also have 14 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his parents, William and Bertha Hunter, brothers Donnell and Emerson Hunter, sister Iris Ricks, and grandson Garnet.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday October 1, 2022, at the Iona 5th Ward, 7555 North 55th East, with Bishop Ryan Reeves officiating. The family will visit with friends Friday from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Woods Funeral Home Eastside, 963 S. Ammon Road, and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. -10:45 a.m. prior to services at the church. The burial will be in the Iona Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggest donations to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation https://www.cff.org/donate
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.woodfuneralhome.com.