Virtually every weekend, Dave and his wife, Prudence Spencer, who were wed in May 1945, and their children, Lee, Susa, and Raymond Davis Hunting III, would take off in their sport fisherman, tied up at the edge of their lawn off a Lauderdale lagoon, for marlin in Bimini or other points in the outer islands of the Bahamas. They won many trophies in game fish competitions.
I had the pleasure of visiting their lovely home on the lagoon. In the evening, Dave would pick a lime off a lawn tree for a gin and tonic. Idyllic. He had it made.
But, in midlife, with his second wife, Bernadine, Dave began a new career as a rancher on a huge spread in the Rockies high above the tiny town of Ridgway, CO. Near age eighty, Dave wrote that he could still ski down the winter slopes with youngsters and still wrestle a calf to the ground and brand it.
Dave would have been “Poppa” Hemingway’s kind of guy!
Wish I had kept Dave’s letters. When he rhapsodically sang the glories of the Rockies, he was the John Denver of prose poets. More than that. The mountains, with the ever-changing cloud patterns and colors, were a deeply spiritual experience. Dave fell in love with the beauty, power and grandeur of God’s creation.
Born in the suburbs of Boston, Dave attended Newton High School, where, as a junior and senior, he was an All-Boston hockey star.
Dave and I had an instant bond at Amherst, because we were Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity brothers as were our fathers in the Class of ’12. (Another ’12 Deke was Mike Madden, Amherst’s only All-American quarterback and father of Jack Madden ’45.) Dave played freshman football and was a top golfer.
Continuing the Amherst tradition, Dave’s nephew, Richard Spies, was Class of ’67.
We were part of the Amherst contingent in the Williams Navy V-12 program. Dave went on to Columbia Midshipman School.
In World War II, Dave served as a lieutenant (judge advocate general) where he commanded a PT boat in Burma, working closely with the British forces. Back on active duty in the Korean Conflict, Dave was with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in the Pentagon.
Dave was one of the few ’46ers who remained in the active reserve, rising, I believe, to the rank of commodore.
Dave’s brother, Raymond Davis Hunting, Jr., a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne, was killed in Anaheim, Germany, in World War II.
Dave is survived by his wives, a son, two daughters and five grandchildren.
Knowing his great love for the Gulf and the Rockies, Dave’s family distributed his ashes over both.
Dave’s life was lived in a spirit of great adventure! He will be missed.
—Rev. George P. Carlin ’46