Life Story / Obituary
David Hunter, 76, of Mount Pleasant, Michigan, passed away Tuesday, November 21, 2017, at the University of Michigan Health Care System in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with his beloved family by his side. The Hunter Family welcomes you to come to a visitation on Sunday, November 26, 2017, from 2:00-8:00 p.m., at Charles R. Lux Family Funeral Home. A Funeral Mass for Dave will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, November 27, 2017, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, with Father Loren Kalinowski as celebrant. The family will receive friends at the church one hour prior to Mass. Burial will be in the Calvary Cemetery. Following burial, all are invited to Hunter’s Ale House for a luncheon, at 4855 E. Blue Grass Road, Mt. Pleasant, to continue celebrating Dave’s life through music, stories, and video.
Dave was born September 23, 1941, in New Haven, Connecticut, son of the late Winfred and Ruth (Riblet) Hunter. Dave married Cheryl Kelly on March 11, 1978, at St. Mary’s Church in Hermansville, Michigan. He was the owner of The Wayside Central (1975), O’Kelly’s Sports Bar & Grille (2001), The Cabin Bar (2003), Hunter’s Ale House (2007), and Hunter’s Handmade Brewery (2014), all located in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, and an oceanfront home in Destin, Florida, on the beautiful Emerald Coast.
Dave loved spending time with his family, especially his grandsons, David and Dylan, and his newest granddaughter, Haven. He loved attending all of his children’s and grandchildren’s sports. Sports meant a lot to Dave, whether at the collegiate level or the little league level. He loved watching all sports on the TV in his kitchen, enjoying a glass of wine on his patio, and has spent 34 beautiful years making family memories at his beloved cottage at Eight Point Lake with family and friends. Also, one of Dave’s favorite pastimes was as a Sacred Heart High School Manager of the boy’s varsity baseball team for over 16 years.
Simply put my Dad meant EVERYTHING to our family. He was the backbone to our family businesses. He was the rock that we all leaned on. He counseled each and every one of us daily and kept us all on the path of success. He was an amazing: Father, grandfather, brother, boss, coach, bookkeeper, friend, and husband to my mom. Dave Hunter was known by most in the community as a gentleman. He always treated everyone in the same manner whether you were a big wig or the delivery man. He loved to help others and had a heart made of gold. He was the strongest of strong businessmen. He would grind daily. He was, no doubt, a hard worker! In fact, he even worked the day of his eventual passing. My dad poured his heart and soul into our family businesses. He made them successful by his daily attention to detail, willingness to push thru the hard times, and the management and employees that have helped him throughout the years.
Dad made it 42 years and 1 day as the owner of the Wayside Central and by his side the entire 42 years and 1 day was Norm Smith. Dad will forever be grateful for Norm’s dedication and friendship. Lastly, I want to thank the Mount Pleasant community. The support everyone has given me & my family during this hard time has been incredible. Dad always said there is no better town in the WORLD to raise a family in. Let me leave everyone with this short success story: In the early 70's in Kalamazoo Michigan a young man, down on his luck, working in the kitchen at Kalamazoo College (definitely not a student) and as a dishwasher in a local pub earned an opportunity from a legendary businessman Joe Cekola. This businessman, who ran nightclubs, pizza places, and taverns (sound familiar?) often did dishes with his employees to clear his mind from the hustle and bustle from the front of the house. The businessman told dad, "you’re a hard worker we should get you a promotion" and gave him the opportunity. Dad took that opportunity and worked from dishwasher-cook, cook- doorman, doorman-bar back, bar back- bartender, bartender -assistant manager, assistant manager - GM. Shortly after becoming GM, Dad told Joe I can improve your businesses by this amount over the next several years. The businessman said, "if you can do that I will buy you your own bar". And just like that dad showed up the next day with an agreement in place. After easily reaching that goal and exceeding expectations the two (Joe & Dad) jumped in a car driving from to town to town in search of a good bar to own when they stumbled upon a giant bar in Mount Pleasant with the doors padlocked. In 1975, Dave Hunter moved to Mount Pleasant for a fresh start and with 1 paper bag full of clothing and a rusted out car. True story. We will all miss Dave Hunter.
Dave is survived by his wife, Cheryl; two sons, John (Danae) Hunter and James (Jodi) Hunter, three grandchildren, David Hunter, Dylan Hunter, and Haven Hunter, all of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan; Four siblings, John R. Hunter of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, Kirk Hunter of Orlando, Florida, Carol Weymueller of Honeoye Falls, New York, and Scott Hunter of New Haven, Connecticut; aunt, Jane (Dave) Parker of Albany, New York; father-in-law, Charles Kelly of Mt. Pleasant; in-laws, Debra (Darin) Nelson of Norway, Michigan and Brian Kelly of Mt. Pleasant; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins who loved him. Memorial contributions may be made to The Hunter Family Scholarship Fund, or Sacred Heart Foundation. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home or Sacred Heart Church. Please comment with your stories and love for Dave at: Hunter Brands Facebook page, or www.charlesrlux.com.