Obituary: Shirley Hunt
February 10, 1928 – August 20, 2021
Shirley Tacke Hunt was born February 10, 1928, to Charles and Anna Tacke in St. Louis, Missouri. Shirley was an amazing lady, she proudly attended Washington University in St. Louis, and had to quit school to help support her family. There was a rainbow in that cloudy season as her good friend at work asked if she would want to come with her on a double date to a fraternity party in Rolla Missouri. Shirley said yes to the double date and was totally smitten by the “handsome blonde young man with blue eyes” dressed in a yellow sweater who met her at the train station. That geophysics student from Missouri School of Mines in Rolla was Dick Hunt who was to become the love of her life. After a trip to Lubbock Texas, where Dick showed Shirley what she was signing up for, they were married. Shirley, who had lived her entire life in St. Louis, moved to West Texas with Dick. There they had two daughters, Valerie Ann Lankford and Susan Merrill Atkinson (Al). During Dick’s work in the oil patch, they moved 16 times. Shirley always said, “she loved every minute of her life with Dick and every new place they lived”. Dick’s work in Colorado brought them to the Carbondale area and led to Dick and Shirley to buying property on Cattle Creek and later on Missouri Heights. In1968 Shirley and Dick moved to Houston, Texas. In 1974 Dick took a consulting job in London and Shirley spent that year immersing herself in British history. In 1977, after their move to Houston, they made their 17th and final move to mom’s favorite place, the Homestead at the Ranch at Roaring Fork. They made a wonderful life for over forty years in the Roaring Fork Valley. In 2021 Dick and Shirley celebrated 70 years of marriage.
Shirley was truly a Renaissance Lady, self-educated on many subjects including astronomy and Spanish. Shirley was involved in the women’s auxiliary of the Houston Geophysical Society and P.E.O. She was a talented, self-taught artist. Each time they moved, she decorated their homes with her watercolors, pen and ink sketches and needlecraft. She sewed everything from beautiful prom dresses to school clothes to bathing suits for her daughters. Shirley was an excellent cook and she and Dick loved entertaining at The Homestead. She enjoyed gardening, bird watching and star gazing. Shirley loved walks to the river with her beagles, volunteering at Valley View Hospital, reading books to students at Crystal River Elementary School, playing bridge, learning the art of stained glass with Mary at Crystal Glass Studio, and volunteering at the Aspen Music Tent. Shirley was an avid reader of classic literature, history, mysteries, and popular fiction. She kept numerous financial records for Dick’s various interests, made and gave away countless jars of apricot and plum jam from their fruit trees, and tended beautiful flowering gardens all around her home.
Shirley was a loving grandmother to Ryan Lankford, Amy Atkinson Dees, Brendon Lankford, Laura Atkinson Miller, Luke Atkinson, and Meredith Lankford Mata. She made each of her grandchildren a quilt and Christmas Stocking, read endless books to them, and was always interested in their lives. She and Dick attended all of their grandchildren’s’ high school and college graduations and weddings. Shirley put her whole heart into everything she did especially her love for her husband of 70 years and her daughters and their families. Her family is very thankful to her son-in-law, Al Atkinson, who cared for her and entertained her so lovingly. They also want to thank the exceptional friends and caregivers that she had at Heritage Park. Shirley was an amazing lady, beautiful inside and out and will be truly missed by all who knew her.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
A memorial service in her honor will be held in the Spring of 2022.
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