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American Patriotic 10


Russel Alec Hunt

April 20, 1951 ~ November 9, 2018 (age 67)
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Russel Alec Hunt, 67, of Summerville, Oregon passed away at the Grande Ronde Hospital in La Grande, Oregon on November 9, 2018.  A Celebration of life with military honors will be held at the Baker City Christian Church at 2:00 PM on Saturday, May 18, 2019.  Memorial contributions may be made to the Blue Yesterdays (a local Big Band Russ played with), the Navy Musicians Association, or to the Cove Christian Camp through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel at 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR  97814.  





























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"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the game." - Randy Pausch from The Last Lecture.

By definition, optimism refers to the hopefulness and confidence about a future outcome.  I think I am beginning to understand that optimism isn't necessarily always in favor of a positive outcome such as beating cancer, but rather a confidence that whatever the outcome turns out to be everything will eventually be okay. Russ was the was the most self-assured, positive, confident, hopeful yet realistic person I have ever met.  I could go on with the adjectives that describe Russ but you get the idea.  He was a take-charge man who lived life on his own terms, loving what he did, loving his family and loving what his life turned out to be.  

I spent many hours in Russ' office telling him my problems, bouncing ideas off of him, learning how to deal with difficult situations and he always had a solution or a compromise for me.  I began counting down the days until I could talk to him again, he was comforting but at the same time not afraid to tell me when I was out of line without being offensive.  Sometimes our talks were intense and he has made me cry on a regular basis, probably more than anyone in my entire life.  I went through all of this with him knowing that he was sick but never really seeing it.  

Outwardly he was optimistic, he was going to beat his illness but was beating his illness what he was optimistic about? Or was he optimistic that regardless of the outcome everything would work out as planned? He set the stage well for his exit and he did it on his own terms in true Russ fashion.  

This is a hard loss for Troy and myself; Troy had a much longer relationship with Russ and is feeling his parting intensely.  I mean who else can bear to listen to us for an hour at a time?

A lesson was learned here for both of us and I would like to share it.  When you find people who you can't envision your life without take every moment you can and let them know that.  Let them feel that you think the world of them and no matter how busy you think you might be, drop what you are doing and be present when that person needs you.  You never know when someone will "go home", so live your life like every day may be the last.  

In closing, knowing Russ he would be proud that a lesson was learned. I can see him sitting in his chair with a smug smirk on his face right now but that doesn't take the hurt and the guilt away for not pushing for the time needed to let him know one more time how much we truly do appreciate and love him and all he has done for us.

I'm sorry Russ and we love you.


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