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The Legacy Left behind by Coaching Legend Dallas Hunter
Dallas G. Hunter, 84, passed away peacefully Wednesday, June 14, 2017, with his wife of 61 years, Diane Dragoo Hunter and their daughter, DeeLayne Hunter Mills and husband, Jim Mills and their family at his side. Coach Hunter grew up in Middletown, where he remained his entire life.
Dallas Hunter grew up loving sports, horses and cattle, passions that remained with him his entire life. Dallas lost his mother at the age of six years old during the Great Depression, a loss that created his passion for people and teamwork. Coach Hunter lived, learned and made career of "it takes a community to raise an infant."
It was at Middletown High School where Dallas' life calling became clear. Hall of Fame Coach Von Jameson mentored the young undersized point guard with an oversized heart on leadership and teamwork. Dallas' senior year in 1951 the Middletown Cossacks won Coach Jameson's first Sectional Championship. Middletown went on to lose to eventual State Champion Muncie Central in the final game of the Muncie Regional. To this day the 1951 team is considered by many to be the best team in Middletown High School history. Coach Jameson then helped Dallas receive a basketball scholarship to Kansas State University. Dallas' career was cut short at Kansas State University by a back injury, but he finished his degree in education at Ball State University.
Dallas began his coaching career at Markleville High School in 1961, back in the era when one coach coached all the sports: cross country, basketball, track and baseball. Following a successful career at Markleville, Dallas fulfilled a promise and dream to replace his former Coach Jameson as the hand-picked successor to longtime friend and Hall of Famer at his alma mater Middletown High School. In 1969 Dallas went to Lapel High School, longtime Middletown and Markleville rival, to resurrect Lapel athletic programs. Dallas retired from Lapel High School after 25 years of service.
Hunter's legacy will not be characterized by his 350+ career wins in basketball or championships won, the legacy will be symbolized by the boys and girls that he helped turn into outstanding men and women, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers. Dallas Hunter had an uncanny ability to use his passion of sports, horses and cattle and turn those experiences into life training experiences that he passed onto others. Coach Hunter had another unique ability to tell you where all his students lived and something special about them that only he had shared with them. Coach Hunter believed and lived you cannot teach and/or lead an individual until that individual knows you care about them. "No one cares what you know until they know you care."
Dallas Hunter also raised horses and cattle his entire adult life. Dallas took great pride in the fact he raised several World and Reserve World Champions in The American Quarter Horse Association and the Palomino Horse Breeders of America. Dallas also judged the PHBA World Show in 1984.
After retiring from teaching Dallas served on the Middletown Town Board. He took great pride in being part of a team that saved an old building in downtown Middletown that became The Middletown Civic Center that has and will be enjoyed by many for years to come.
Dallas Hunter is survived by his wife, Diane Dragoo Hunter; his son, Brett Hunter and wife Jennifer, their daughters, Hillary and Hayley of Waco, Texas; his daughter, Dee Layne Mills and her husband, Jim Mills, their daughter, Morgan, her husband, Darin Hardesty and their son, Bridger, son Hunter Mills and daughter Mason Mills, all of Pendleton.
Additionally Coach Hunter is survived by sisters, Mary Banks of Anderson, Ethel Mae Kendall and her husband, Paul Kendall of Middletown; and sister, Ivy Hochstedler of Knightstown.
The family of Dallas Hunter wishes to issue a special thank you to: Robin Riggs, David Real and family, Christine Hayden, Kevin Burke, Doctors Ayres, Josephson and Anderson, as well as the staffs of Rawlins House and Fall Creek Retirement.
A Celebration of his life will be held on Tuesday at 11 a.m. at Ballard and Sons Funeral Home, 118 S. Fifth St., Middletown, with Pastor Marty Ballard officiating. Burial will follow in Miller Cemetery, Middletown.
Friends may call at the funeral home on Monday from 3 to 8 p.m.
Online guestbook at:
www.ballardandsons.com.
Published on  June 16, 2017
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