Cover photo for Francis 'Fran' W. Hunt's Obituary
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1921 Francis 'Fran' 2016

Francis 'Fran' W. Hunt

December 11, 1921 — August 19, 2016

Francis William “Fran” Hunt died August 19, 2016 at Golden Living Center in Cozad at the age of 94. Fran was born December 11, 1921 in Ingham, Nebraska to William and Bertha (Jackson) Hunt. He was the fourth of seven children. He grew up and graduated from high school in North Platte, Nebraska. He served his country as a pilot in the United States Navy during World War II. After the war, Fran took advantage of the G.I. Bill and went to college at the University of Nebraska Lincoln where he earned his degree in Business Administration. While there he met his future wife who was also a business major. Fran married Betty Jo Danner on July 17, 1947 and to this union three daughters were born: Mary Lee, Ann and Judy. They raised their family in Cozad. Fran attended the National Institute of Drycleaning in Silver Springs, Maryland. He and Jo then opened Hunt Cleaners in 1951. The business started as a retail drycleaner and later grew to include industrial cleaning. Fran loved being a drycleaner and he was famous for his ability to remove a spot from any fabric. While in Cozad, Fran volunteered with many community organizations including the Cozad Chamber of Commerce Board, the Cozad School Board, Rotary and many committees at First United Methodist Church. Fran and Jo were members of First United Methodist Church in Cozad. He was also a member of the Nebraska Drycleaners and Laundry Association. After more than 30 years in the drycleaning industry, Fran and Jo retired, selling the business to their daughter Judy and her husband Bruce. Following retirement, Fran and Jo moved to Kearney. During their time there, Fran and Jo were active members of Kearney First United Methodist Church. Fran loved playing golf and meeting friends for coffee. Fran and Jo enjoyed living in Kearney for 21 years. Following Jo’s death in 2010, Fran moved back to Cozad where he made Meadowlark Pointe his home. Fran’s biggest love was his family. He was famous for taking family pictures every time any of the family was gathered together. He always needed to take “just one more” to finish up a roll of film. Fran was preceded in death by his parents, wife Jo, daughter Mary Lee Wilhelmi, son-in-law Bruce Cumming, brothers Dale Hunt, Don Hunt, Harold Hunt and Darrell Hunt. He is survived by daughters Ann (Don) Heiman of Denver, CO and Judy Cumming of Cozad; son-in-law Larry Wilhelmi of Grand Island; grandchildren Dana (James)Pavlik and children Kiara, Kael and Jadyn of Wichita, KS; Annette (Jason) Harb and children Caleb, Owen, Emma and Zane Harb of Grand Island; Becky Wilhelmi of Cairo, NE; Sarah Heiman of Denver, CO; Kristen Heiman and fiancé Shad Draper and children Marcus and Jaxson of Denver, CO; Zach Heiman of Denver, CO; Mike (Jennifer) Cumming and children Adah, Boden and Spencer of Kansas City, MO; Holly (Curt) Rickertsen and children Greta, Lorelai, Alexandra and Harlow of Lexington, NE; David (Tiffany) Cumming and children Mylo and Zion of North Platte,NE; Bobby (Teresa) Cumming of Houston, TX; two sisters, Marilyn Maseberg of North Platte, NE and Virginia Tuft of Denver, CO; many other extended family and friends. Services will be Tuesday, August 23, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. at the Cozad United Methodist Church with Pastor Doug Smith officiating. Burial will be at the Cozad Cemetery. Visitation will be Monday from 1 to 8 with family present from 6 to 8 at Berryman Funeral Home.
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