Hermon “Si” Hunter, 91, of Meadville, passed away Monday, October 14, 2019 at Meadville Medical Center. He had been a lifelong resident of the Hayfield Township and Harmonsburg areas.
He was born September 21, 1928 in Hayfield Township, Crawford County, a son of John O. and Orpha Dearborn Hunter. Si was born into a farming family but before his retirement made his living in a variety of non-farming occupations. As a child, the family’s home was without running water or electricity. They used kerosene lamps for light. At the time, Route 98 was a dirt road. One of Si’s favorite and earliest memories was of neighboring farmers going up and down Route 98 smoothing out the bumps along the road with big iron rakes drawn by teams of horses. The reason for this was that each farmer owning frontage along the road would make a contract with the State to “grade” the road for the length of his land, thus sparing the Commonwealth from having to bring in heavy equipment. In the early 1930’s, when Si was just a little shaver, the State undertook to pave the road. This was an enormous undertaking, requiring years to complete because the road crews were unable to work during the winter season.
As a child, Si attended a one room school house through grade 9. The school had outdoor privies as well as a coal burning pot-bellied stove. However, by 10th grade Si began attending Meadville High School and was a 1946 graduate of the Crawford County Vocational Technical School.
Even though Si was born into a traditional farming family, as an adult he did not follow in those footsteps. Instead, he made a living and provided for his family in “town” jobs, including a stint at the Westinghouse facility in Meadville from 1950 to 1960, owning and operating along with his wife Barbara a Red and White grocery and variety store in Saegertown from 1960 to 1972, and as an automobile salesman, parts manager and general manager for Jim Taylor Motors, retiring in 1990.
He married Barbara DeVore May 7, 1950 and their children, Virginia and Robert were born in 1952 and 1954 respectively. In 1956, Si built with his own hands, the house he and Barb have continued to live in.
Si was of the Protestant faith. He was a member of Masonic Lodge 408 for almost 70 years and 32nd degree Mason, member of the Scottish Rite Bodies, Zem Zem Shrine Temple in Erie, Hayfield Grange #800, life-member of Hayfield VFD, and a 76 year member of the PA State Grange. A “Jack of all Trades”, Si was one of the last surviving children delivered by Dr. Mosier.
Survivors, in addition to his loving wife Barbara, include a daughter, Virginia (Ginny) Hunter of Meadville; a daughter-in-law, Jan Hunter of Linesville; three grandchildren, Michelle Glaser of Greenville, SC, Michael Hunter of Falls Church, VA and Melissa Longnecker of Berwick; seven great-grandchildren, Becker and Adriana Glaser, Madeline, Benjamin and William Hunter and Luke and Avery Longnecker; and nieces.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a son, Robert James Hunter and a brother, John W. Hunter.
A private family funeral service will be held at the ROBERT W. WAID FUNERAL HOME, 581 CHESTNUT ST., MEADVILLE .
Interment will be in Greendale Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the Shriners Hospital for Children, 1645 W. 8th St., Erie, PA 16505 or the Parkinson’s Foundation, 1359 Broadway, Suite 1509, New York, NY 10018.
Memories and condolences may be shared at www.waidfuneralhome.net.
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