Nelda Hunter

Published 8:15 am Monday, June 1, 2015

Nelda Hunter, nee Loving, born in Bogalusa in 1924, died in hospice care on May 28, 2015, with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren at her side and nearby and loving visits from friends and family.

Nelda’s life accomplishments were significant. She completed elementary and junior high school in Columbus, where she and her sister Monita spent each school year at the Palmer (Presbyterian) Children’s Home They spent summers with their mother, Agnes Bennett Loving, in Bogalusa.

Nelda finished her formal education at Bogalusa High School after marrying G.C. Hunter Jr., who soon left for duty in the U.S. Navy. She was the first married student allowed into her high school and strove to do her best to open opportunities for other married students. She excelled in mathematics and language arts, graduating in 1942 with a fine record. After graduation, she worked as a statistical clerk for scientists at the U.S. Tung Research Laboratory in Bogalusa. Her flawless math skills netted her increasing responsibilities there until the research began to wind down in the late 1960s.

After the war, Nelda moved to St. Louis with G.C. and worked in the office of a trade school he attended on the G.I. Bill. G.C.’s certification attained, Nelda and he returned to Bogalusa and went to work, he at the box factory as an electrician and refrigeration specialist and she in the Tung research office. They made their home; attended First Presbyterian Church; and raised three children, working hard to help them all complete multiple university degrees over the next decades.

In 1969, Nelda and G.C. moved to Baton Rouge when his ill health and the imminent dismantling of the Tung lab required it. Recognized by Ethyl Corporation evaluators as the first person in the country to make 100 percent on the statistics examination she took during the interview, she accepted a position as senior statistical clerk at Ethyl’s offices in Baton Rouge. She enjoyed her years at Ethyl. She retired about 10 years after G.C. died in 1980.

Nelda had a full, happy life, always loving, generous, doing well whatever needed to be done, glad to help in hard times. She thought of herself as a patriot, loved Fox News, did civic projects and had fun with lively lady friends. She was a maker of tasty meals, big Sunday dinners, holiday treats and birthday cakes. She loved crosswords, jigsaw puzzles and playing cards and dominoes. She cherished time with her family.

Nelda was preceded in death by her husband, her mother and her sister, Monita Harris.

Her survivors include her children, Priscilla Hunter, Joe Hunter and his wife Glenda and (William) Kent Hunter and his wife Anne; grandchildren, Catherine Solaas, Stephanie Roach, Elizabeth Roach, William (Bill) Hunter, Valerie Hunter, Lindsey Hunter and Brooke Hunter; and great-grandchildren, Stella, Sigmar, Sander Solaas, Lari Hunter, Taylor Hunter, Sarah Johnson and Jasmynn Brown. She is also survived by, Bennett, Harris, and Hunter; and cousins, nephews, and nieces.

Nelda will be buried beside G.C. on Sunday, May 31, 2015, in Hillview Memorial Cemetery in Bogalusa after a short visitation at Brown-McGehee Funeral Home at 2 p.m. and a brief graveside service at 3 p.m. Friends and family may contact Joe Hunter regarding an informal reception in celebration of Nelda’s life to be held in Baton Rouge.

Visitation will be Sunday, May 31, 2015, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Brown-McGehee Funeral Home.

Graveside service will also be Sunday, May 31, 2015, at 3 p.m. at Hillview Memorial Gardens.