Joe Elmer Hunter, 87, a lifelong resident of Minden passed away Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013 at First United Methodist Church, 903 Broadway Street, Minden, with interment to follow at Gardens of Memory Cemetery in Minden under the direction of Rose-Neath Funeral Home. Rev. Jim Kennedy, pastor of Pleasant Valley Church, will officiate. Visitation will be held in the chapel of Rose-Neath Funeral Home in Minden from 5 until 7 p.m. today (Monday, December 30).
Joe was born on May 25, 1926 in Minden, son of the late Larry and Gladys Hunter of Minden. Joe was born into a Coca-Cola family, and as was customary, began work at an early age. At just 16 years old, Joe aided in operating the production line at the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Minden, Inc.
After serving in the United States Navy from 1944 until 1946 under Admiral Nemitz, Joe resumed the vital responsibility of the production of Coca-Cola in bottles and took on the role of warehouse manager.
In 1946, Joe married his sweetheart, Bonnie Jean Moreland, to whom he remained a loving husband for more than 67 years. Joe and Polly were not only devoted to each other but also shared an unfaltering faith in God. Joe supervised the bottling line at the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Minden, Inc. until 1979 when he received the calling to join the ministry. He attended St. Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Kansas and served as pastor for multiple churches including Clay from 1979 through 1982, First Methodist from 1983 until 1986, Colquitt from 1987 through 1992 and Pleasant Valley from 1993 until 2006. As a third generation member of the Coca-Cola family, he continued to serve on the board until his death.
He is preceded in death by Mr. and Mrs. Larry and Gladys Hunter, Bill Hunter, Sam Hunter, Joel Gerheart, Bess Hunter and Marsha Hunter (late wife of Bob Hunter).
He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Polly Hunter; sons, Don Hunter and wife, Susan and Bob Hunter; his brother, Ben and wife, Linda; his sister, Nan Hunter Castle and husband, Frank; grandchildren, Larry Hunter and wife, Stephanie, Jill Fields and husband, Bart, Kelsey Hunter and Carrie Himel and husband, Daniel; great-grandchildren, Devon Fields, Parker Fields, Hallie Hunter, Baker Hunter, Jaxon Himel and Gavin Himel, as well as his sweet little dog, Sassy.
A special thanks to extended family, friends and dear medical professionals for their love and support.
For any who prefer a memorial in lieu of flowers the family suggests Hunter Hall at Pleasant Valley Methodist Church 16835 Hwy 371, Minden 71055.