American Veteran 04

Richard Hunter

October 17, 1932 ~ January 6, 2022 (age 89)


Richard “Rich” Lorimer Hunter October 17, 1932 - January 6, 2022 Richard Hunter passed away on Thursday, January 6, 2022 of a heart condition. He was smart, generous and had a great sense of humor

Rich was born in McKees Rocks, PA (near Pittsburgh) on October 17, 1932 to Lorimer and Lillian Hunter. He had humble beginnings in a small row house on Hober Avenue in McKees Rocks where he had a happy childhood with his older sister Charma Lou, parents and grandma. The family attended First Baptist Church of McKees Rocks where Lillian was the organist and Rich was baptized. Rich loved working on electronics in the family’s basement. He graduated from Stowe High School in 1950 and was named runner-up for best dancer in his yearbook. His first job was a delivery boy for Tony’s Meat Market, and he was also a mail boy for the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad where his father was the Yardmaster. Right after high school graduation, he was drafted by the US Army during the Korean War. After basic training, Rich applied for and was accepted into the Signal Corps where he trained to be a radio operator. The war ended while he was training for the Signal Corps, but Rich stayed in the program and completed his education. Because of these skills, he was able to work for AT&T and other microwave communication companies on the East Coast as well in some southern states through the rest of the 1950s and into the 1960s. One of his jobs took him to Germany to work on microwave communication towers and radio systems, where he met a German lady named Sonja. After a whirlwind romance, they married in 1964 and in the next few years lived in Boston and Oklahoma (where son Walter and daughter Heidi were born). From 1967-1970 the family moved to Tachikawa, Japan where they lived near an Air Force Base and Rich worked as a civilian contractor for the General Electric Company selling equipment to the military. Son William (Bill) was born in Japan. In 1970, the family moved to San Jose, California and bought a home in the Berryessa area. At that time there were orchards all around, the 280/680 freeway didn’t exist and was just acres and acres of strawberries and walnut trees. In 1974, daughter Sonja was born. During this time, Rich worked for Granger Associates as the Far East Sales Manager and traveled regularly to the Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and the Middle East. After inheriting $5,000 from his Uncle Bill in the mid 1970s, Rich and his wife Sonja along with their friend Fructuoso Nieto took a giant leap of faith, eventually quit their full time jobs, and started their own telecommunications and test equipment company called Venator Systems in the family’s garage. In ten years with a lot of hard work (even the children worked there part and full-time), they were able to turn it into a successful company which they sold to the 3M Corporation in 1986. Being able to retire at the age of 55 afforded Rich the ability to travel the world and visit many faraway and exotic places such as Russia, Saudi Arabia, Europe, South America and Africa. He also loved hanging out with “the guys” at local donut and coffee shops (first Daybreak Donuts and then The Coffee Cup), eating donuts (maple bars were his favorite) and discussing politics and current events. Rich was a Mason, a proud member of the Sons of the American Revolution, and a contributing member of the McKees Rocks Historical Society. Forever fond of his hometown, McKees Rocks, he visited regularly and was well known as Dick or even Dickie.

Rich is survived by son Walter Hunter (Germaine) of Aptos, daughter Heidi Boyd (Patrick) of San Jose, son William Hunter (Melissa) of Aguila, AZ, daughter Sonja J. Halstead (Randy) of San Jose, former wife Sonja Hoesch of Germany, eight grandchildren: Johanna, Alex, Christian, Zoë, Richie, Lukas, Annaliese and Julianna (JaCee), nephew James Braun (Rose) of Pittsburgh, PA, and nephew Robert Braun (Kathy) and sons Stephen and Christopher of McKees Rocks, PA.

Friends and family are invited to a visitation on Thursday, January 20, 2022 from noon to 1pm and a Celebration of Life funeral service at 1pm at Darling & Fischer Chapel of the Hills, 615 N Santa Cruz Ave in Los Gatos. A private burial with family will be held at the Los Gatos Memorial Park immediately following the service. Please visit the Darling & Fischer website for more information.  The service will also be live streamed and recorded. Please email by Wednesday evening for the link to the livestream.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Richard “Rich” Lorimer Hunter to the McKees Rocks Historical Society.  Checks can be made out to:

McKees Rocks Historical Society

Care of Sandy Saban

169 Clinton Street

McKees Rocks, PA 15136

To send sympathy gifts to the family or plant a tree in memory of Richard Hunter, please visit our tribute store.


January 20, 2022

12:00 PM to 12:50 PM
Darling & Fischer Chapel of the Hills
615 North Santa Cruz Ave.
Los Gatos, CA 95030

Funeral Service
January 20, 2022

1:00 PM
Darling & Fischer Chapel of the Hills
615 North Santa Cruz Ave.
Los Gatos, CA 95030

Private Committal

Los Gatos Memorial Park
2255 Los Gatos-Almaden Rd.
San Jose, CA 95124


McKees Rocks Historical Society, Care of Sandy Saban
169 Clinton St, McKees Rocks PA 15136

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