David Reginald Hunsaker, Sr., of Azle, Texas, passed away on December 25, 2022 after a long battle with Parkinson’s. He was lovingly surrounded by his kids, siblings, favorite music, and storytelling of our favorite memories.
He was born to parents Reginald and Ruth Hunsaker in Ogden, UT. He was the oldest of five siblings; Jack, Bob, Steve, and Susie. Each sibling worked hard every day before and after school, to manage the 80 acre family farm in Tremonton, UT. The story was that grandpa hated weeds and so his kids worked tirelessly to make sure there were none.;) Dad had a lot of stories about his youth. One of the ones we heard often was from a time when he was eight years old and was driving a John Deere tractor. His foot got caught in the wheel of the tractor and the tractor dragged his foot under and ran over it. He was sure that his foot would be broken. He prayed and had faith that his foot would be okay. When it was x-rayed, there were no broken bones. This is the kind of faith that was central in my father’s life. He gave his children Father’s blessings each year prior to the start of a new school year. He taught his children to love and honor our Heavenly Father, pray often, and turn to the scriptures for answers. Our father’s faith was strong. He blessed his first grandchild when she was 3 days old and right after she had life-saving surgery. The doctors called her a miracle baby as she recovered in miraculous time. He believed that families are eternal and we would all be together forever after this life.
Our dad served on a two-and-a half year mission in Germany when he was 19 years old. He then completed his undergraduate work at BYU of which he was very proud. He woke his children often with the BYU fight song growing up. After attending BYU, dad was accepted to Northwestern University dental school. During dental school, he married Celia Higley and they had 3 children. After dental school, dad accepted a job in Switzerland where he and his little family spent one year immersed in the beauty and culture there. They then settled in Maryland, where 4 more children were born and his dental practice flourished. His children are Lisa, Michael, Katrina, David Jr., Sarah (who passed shortly after her birth), Alecia, and Jonathan. When his children were young, you could often find him playing games, tickling them, singing You are My Sunshine, and feeding them like little birdies. He also loved gardening, running, and extreme sports which he often did with his brothers and his best friend John Harris. The sports included skydiving, ultralite piloting, snowmobiling, downhill skiing, cross country skiing, and 4-wheeling in the sand dunes of Arizona. They were wild men with many stories.
When he separated from Celia, he settled in the West. He married Patricia Hunsaker, and they bought a ranch in Dewey, AZ called ToothAcres where dad gardened and he and Pat raised horses together. Dad started a successful cosmetic dentistry business in Prescott Valley where he was involved in the community and Rotary Club. Pat and dad had a beautiful and supportive relationship which endured to the end.
He and Pat also had a ranch in ShowLow, AZ where they attended rodeos and raised their horses. They often exercised together, worked at the temple, and entertained their kids and grandkids. His grandkids will remember him as strong (he could do 40 pull ups at age 70 and ran a 50 miler in his 60s), faithful, loving, a farmer, fearless, and a storyteller.
He had a boisterous laugh, a love for everything farming, his Heavenly Father, his kids and grandkids, his wife, dentistry, and healthy living. His grandchildren include: Ashley, Aida (great-grandchild), Julietta, Katerina, Joseph Alexander, Emma, Braedon, Darian, Alea, Sam, Anna, Evie, Nathan, Jeremy, Brianna, Wyatt, Alivia, and Ava.
Please honor the life of our dad with us at the memorial service on Wednesday, January 4th, 2023 at Noon with a viewing held prior from 10:30-11:30 A.M. All services will be held at the Rogers & Taylor Funeral Home (111 North 100 East,- Tremonton, UT). Interment in the Elwood Cemetery. The service will be livestreamed and may be accessed below.