Cecil ""George"" Hunt
Cecil “George” Hunt
Cecil “George” Hunt, 88 of Sterling passed away on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at the Sterling Living Center. Visitation will be from 10 am – 6 pm, Monday, June 25 with family receiving friends from 4 - 6 pm at Chaney-Reager Funeral Home. A funeral service will be held at 10:30 am, Tuesday, June 26 at the Church of the Nazarene with Deacon Ronald Michieli officiating. Burial will be held at 2:00 pm, Tuesday, June 26 at the Greenwood Cemetery in Sidney, Nebraska.
Cecil Lewis (George) Hunt was born in Sidney, NE, 28 June 1929, to Cecil Delbert and Jennie Berenice (Stahl) Hunt. They moved to Colton, NE, where he lived until 10 years old. They moved to Sunol, NE, where he attended and graduated from Sunol High School in 1946. He worked for various farmers and the Union Pacific Railroad until 1949 when he went to work for Marathon Oil Company until 1963, first on oil rigs in Nebraska, Wyoming, and Colorado and then in the Huntsman Gas Plant in Sidney. During that time he was drafted into the Army going in to basic training at Camp Chaffee, Arkansas, as a private, serving in the Second Infantry Division in Korea on the front lines from 1952 to 1954, and receiving an Honorable Discharge from Fort Riley, Kansas, as a SFC. He was awarded the Bronze Star and seven major battle stars. He was a lifetime member of the Elks Lodge, American Legion, and VFW.
He married Ann Cain on 14 April 1960. From 1963 to 1964 they owned and operated the Conoco Bulk Plants in Sidney and Lodgepole. In 1959 George had started a side business repairing outboard motors, and selling a boat, motor, and trailer now and then, in a small building that was the original barber shop in Sunol, next to the pool hall (just two doors from their house). He later purchased the old railroad depot and moved it behind the barber shop to enlarge his work area. He attended Scott-Atwater Outboard Motors School in Minneapolis, MN, in March 1960, the first of many marine mechanic schools he would attend to stay abreast of the inner workings of Mercury, Mercruiser, Johnson, and other engines. They spent summer weekends boating and skiing at Jumbo Lake in Colorado. This really started his love of selling and repairing boats and motors AND being on the water.
In 1965 they purchased the Glendo Marina, Glendo, WY, and built it into a major marina/resort with a store, motel, trailer park, café, gas dock, boat rentals, and liquor store. He went to Cheyenne to the State Capitol to promote liquor stores in State Parks convincing them, since people brought beer and liquor in to the park for the Park Rangers to clean up their trash, the state should benefit from the revenue by letting the marina operators sell in the parks, resulting in their having the first one allowed in any Wyoming State Park, paving the way for other State Parks to do likewise. They sold the marina in 1967, moving to Hermiston, WY, when Ann transferred with civil service to Umatilla Army Depot. He worked for a farmer there, planting and combining some of the largest wheat fields he had ever seen. They had to resume ownership of the Glendo Marina so they moved back to Glendo in April 1968, where they operated the marina until April 1971 when they sold it again.
In 1972 they moved to Sterling, CO, and purchased property on North Sterling Reservoir, building and operating North Sterling Marina with a store, gas dock, boat slips, and boat service, making that operation a popular marina with fishermen and boaters. Later they built a retail boat and recreational vehicle sales and service in Sterling in 1974, eventually opening stores in Denver, Colorado Springs, and Loveland, CO, and Ogallala, NE. He was instrumental with several other marine dealers in starting the Colorado Marine Dealers Association, sponsoring their own boat show in January each year in Denver. He was also a long time member since its beginning of the Marine Retailers Association of America. They sold all but the marina and their home at the lake in 1988 and retired in 1989 from the marine business. In 1992 they sold the marina, property, and home at the lake to Colorado State Parks and Recreation to make the lake a State Park and their home the Park Headquarters. They moved to a home in Sterling. They really enjoyed the marine business telling all they “sold family fun.”
They also owned from 1974 to 1986 Sports Unlimited, Inc., the only motorcycle business to own five major franchises under one roof. Since retirement they continued to develop property in and around Sterling and spent two-three months each summer in Port McNeill, B.C., to escape the heat in Colorado, fishing and playing cards with the many friends they made there, and their winter months at their home in Sun City West, AZ, to escape the cold. Their saying was “we follow the good weather!” A favorite trip each fall was to Cancun, Mexico, for several weeks meeting up with many friends until it became harder to make the long trips.
He is survived by his wife, Ann; nephews Dr. Allen and JoDee Hunt, Lincoln, NE; Timothy and Kathy Hunt, Mesa, AZ; and Timothy Roberts, Aurora, CO; nieces Jody and Brian Davis, Hastings, NE.; Patty Page, Wilber, NE; Teresa and Bill Moss, Oshkosh, NE; and Jeanette and Richard Kohen, Littleton, CO; 14 great nieces and nephews and 21 great, great nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his father and mother; brothers Ron and wife Mary Lou, Don and wife Shirley; sister- and brother-in-law Glenda and Rollie Roberts; niece Kathy (Hunt) Korbelik; and father- and mother-in-law Jake and Allene Cain.
Memorial contributions may be made in George’s name to the Sterling Living Center, Physical Therapy Department in care of Chaney-Reager Funeral Home, PO Box 1046, Sterling, CO 80751.