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David Hunsicker

Chaplain David S. Hunsicker, Captain, USN, (ret.)

Tuesday, November 6th, 1934 - Sunday, April 5th, 2020
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Obituary

Captain David Stuart Hunsicker, CHC, USN (RET), age 85 of Temple Tx passed away from this life during the early morning of Sunday, April 5, 2020 at the William R. Courtney State Veterans Home in Temple Texas. David was born on the sixth day of November 1934 in St. Louis Missouri. David was the son of William Howard and Ione Emily (Mottershead) Hunsicker.

As young man he grew up in south St. Louis with his mother and father and three brothers: Bill, Richard and John. He attended University HS and was later inducted into the University High School Hall of Fame. His brother Bill Hunsicker aided my father in organizing a Hall of Fame celebration in St. Louis. After graduation, he attended Southwest Baptist Junior College in Bolivar, Missouri from 1952 to 1953. He studied evangelism and was a grader for the music department chairman. He also played music and lettered in music with clarinet and bass clarinet. He was on the debate team, winning the Midway American debate contest for exemplary speech at Westchester College. His proposition was: “All states should and not fair employment practices laws.” He then was accepted to Baylor University in Waco Texas. He attended from 1953 to 1956 and was granted a Bachelor of Arts in both Philosophy and Religion. He minored in German and History. At Baylor, he was awarded Pi Gamma Mu from the National Social Science Fraternity and Pi Sigma Tau from the National Honorary Philosopher Cole Society. In addition to his studies at Baylor, he was a pastor at South Third Street Children’s Mission from 1953 to 1956. He was the teacher for incoming Baylor freshman on spiritual formation classes. He worked in the dining hall for women’s North dormitory and as a ranch-hand at the WW Ranch in Lorena, to work his way through school.

David Hunsicker began working on a Bachelor of Divinity (B.D.) in Louisville, Kentucky from 1956-1960. He concentrated in apologetics and pastoral counseling. He also worked at the Louisville Young Men’s Christian Association as Director of Boys Club. He was a foreman for Pepsi Cola bottling company in Louisville. He was the pastor of Swallowfield Baptist Church in Frankfort Kentucky.

In 1968, he started a Master of Divinity (M Div.) from Southern Theological Seminary studying pastoral counseling. In the fall of 1958 Dave and LaVerba met at the chapel at the seminary. She was a student teacher at the nursing school. They were married on May 27, 1961. Dave was given active duty status and was assigned as Jr. Chaplain at the NAS Pensacola chapel. In 1961, Dave and LaVerba joined each other in his assignment in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. LaVerba and Dave lost Debra Jean, an infant, not soon after her birth on January 15, 1961. Dave left for sea duty on the West PAC Tour. He was assigned to the US Navy as Chaplain at the Naval enlisted training depot from 1963-1970. During this time, he left on the USS White Plains.

In 1964, Lynda Jane, was born at the Sharp Memorial Women’s Hospital in Balboa Park, San Diego, CA.
In 1965, he received orders to the newly constructed hospital in Da Nang, Vietnam. Before he arrived, the hospital was destroyed by enemy forces. He then began his ministry in the field with the United States Marine Corps. He was also called to help with the Army’s 9th Infantry Support Unit north of Da Nang when they needed a Chaplain. During this time he had to return to St. Louis after getting the news that his son, David Jr. passed away from a virus. He was not able to get the news in time to see him before he was buried. Leslie Mae was born on October 16, 1968 at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, Ca.

In 1970, David was assigned to the NAS Barbers Point (1970-1974) Chapel as Jr. Chaplain. During this time, he proposed a program to support families both in the Navy and community surrounding the base.
The program included the following: Youth Ministry, 24/7 Crisis intervention line, a “Coffee House” for a safe hang out for enlisted personnel, Financial Counseling, Project 45 for Drug Rehabilitation and coordinations with the Hawaiian state government. He also developed, with another Chaplain, the CREDO program that is still flourishing today in the Navy. Amongst many duties in the Navy, he was the first Navy Seal Chaplain to Seal Team 1. He also held memorial services at the Pearl Harbor Memorial from 1970-1974.

In 1974, he was assigned to further his training for program planning at the 39-week course for Senior Chaplains in Newport, RI. There he studied systems adaptation and development which was supervised by the University of Boston.

In 1975, Dave was given the status of Senior Chaplain of the US Atlantic Fleet, NAS Norfolk in Virginia Beach, Va. He led ministries and coordinated efforts to notify 49 naval personnel who perished in the incident in Barcelona, Spain (January 17, 1977). In 1978, Admiral Ames contacted David to begin planning of the proposed family program discussed in Hawaii. He was selected to be the lead person to plan a Family Awareness Conference and put personnel in place for the opening. He wrote a chapter for this endeavor in Ann Okeffe book titled “Launching the Navy Family Program: A Heartfelt Blend of History and Memoir”, about the development of the Naval Family Services Program. The book is available on Amazon. The program included the following programs: deployment program including classes for absentee fathers, communication during deployment, “Ride home with father” program, Grief classes and provisions for emergency leave. While at NAS Norfolk, Dave completed his Doctor of Ministry, (D.Min.) in 1979 with support from the community for Social Work and Child Welfare courses. He also received rank as Captain during this time.

In 1981, David was assigned to NAS Brunswick, Maine as Senior Chaplain of the Chapel. He then retired on July 16, 1982. Lynda graduated and went to school at Baylor University in Waco, TX. Later she received a Bachelors and Masters in Psychology and is currently working on her PhD. Leslie went with Dave and Laverba to Kansas City, Mo. David was called to be senior minister at Kings Grant Baptist Church. Over the years, Laverba played piano and organ to help worship services. In 1986, Leslie started her college education and later while working in a hospital she earned her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Indiana University Southeast in 1995, and later received MSN in Healthcare Informatics in January 2019 from Grand Canyon University.

David graduated in 1990 with a PhD in patristics and was an honored member of the Society for Spiritual Formation. He studied Church History, Pastoral Care, and Historical Theology. In 1990, he was called to interim positions with a church in Shepardsville KY. In 1991, he was called to Tunnel Hill Christian Church in Georgetown, Indiana as Senior Pastor.

After 9/11, He was called to Hillside Memorial Church in Fort Worth, Texas. Then in 2002, David and LaVerba moved to the Spring, Texas area where their daughter was living. They stayed in the Houston/Spring area until 2017 right before Harvey hit Houston. They moved to Temple to be closer to Leslie and her family while living in the Meridian Temple Senior Living Center. David battled with several issues that affected him through his arrival to Texas: hip replacement, shoulder replacement, neuropathy, cardiac issues and diabetes which all were diagnosed as a part of Agent Orange in 2005. He was exposed to barrels of Agent Orange sprayed on foliage in Da Nang, Vietnam in the 1960’s and on the USS White Plains during the war as well. Finally, David struggled further with Lewi-Body Dementia a form of Parkinson’s for a short time over the last year. He passed away during this COVID-19 pandemic and had limited visitation til the end. He will be missed. David S. Hunsicker and his beloved wife, LaVerba were graced by God to help each-other build a ministry to help families with Spiritual Formation and Healing throughout their marriage and worked diligently to help both civilian and military personnel to encourage resources and spiritual healing throughout their life together.

To God be the Glory for the life of Rev. David S. Hunsicker.

To view a video of Mr. Hunsickers Hall of Fame induction for University High School please go to the this link. https://youtu.be/K3div-ozrAU
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Monday, April 13th, 2020 |
    When
    Monday, April 13th, 2020
    Location
    Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery
    Address
    11463 State Highway 195
    KILLEEN, TX 76542
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
A private family service will be held at Hewett-Arney Funeral Home, due to the COVID-19 crisis. The funeral home does everything it can to abide by the social distancing rules and still serve our families needs. Please respect the family and our business.

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MS

Millard Susman

Posted at 12:04am
I was a classmate of David Hunsicker at University City Senior High in the Class of 1952. We didn’t know one another very well then. David was immersed in his work as a supporter of the sports program in our high school. He worked as a manager and booster for virtually every team at our school, and the athletes loved him. I was decidedly not an athlete, and our paths rarely crossed. But David was such a warm, outgoing, cheerful character that everyone, including my “intellectual” cohort, knew and liked him. After high school, of course, David went on to grow a lot — physically and intellectually — and he became the highly educated, influential, dynamic, esteemed, and lovable person whom we have just lost.

Years after we had graduated from high school and college and postgraduate preparation for our lives, David took on the task of setting up a very large email group that included a diverse and widely-scattered population of members of our high school graduating class. That was a gift to all of us. David stimulated communication among us by proposing interesting subjects for us to discuss — questions pertaining to politics, religion, sports, philosophy, and such. It was wonderful to be able to make contact with old friends, to exchange ideas, and to keep abreast of their current activities. It was clear that David wanted us all to keep in touch because he cared about us, remembered details of our lives and families, and hoped somehow to make us better and happier people — Christian love, I suppose, that was intrinsic to David’s nature.

I know that David was a wonderful chaplain, an admired pastor to sailors in many venues around the world and the creator of an organization that provided support for the young families of members of the military, but my interactions with him arose from his extracurricular efforts to maintain the connections between members of our high school graduating class — and, later, through a years-long series of telephone calls in which we exchanged news and ideas. David and I could hardly have been more different in our outlook on life. He was a devout Christian; I am what is called a apathist. He was a Republican; I am a liberal Democrat. He was immersed in spiritual matters; I am a scientist. Nevertheless, David and I had a real friendship that was based on mutual respect and affection. We had long conversations in which he tried to get me to wrestle with questions pertaining to faith, religious history, and societal values, and I would happily try to make him aware of the wonderful things that were happening in my world of science. Our conversations meant a lot to me. I looked forward to talking with David, and I shall miss those telephone calls.

I send my sympathy to LaVerba, to David’s progeny, and to his many friends. We have all lost a good friend who lived an exemplary life. It was our good fortune to have known David and to have memories of him that we will cherish.





TA

The Tom Anderson Family - MaryLiz and all

Posted at 02:10pm
Our thoughts and prayers are with you. I love you Laverba - When you feel like talking give me a call at 573-289-1774 MaryLiz
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