hosey

Vietnam War veteran and avid shooter Walter “Jim” Hosey went out the way he wanted… with a bang:

LaVerkin resident Walter “Jim” Hosey went out with a bang.

Several of them, actually.

The Vietnam War Army veteran, who died Jan. 2, received a sendoff from family members and friends Saturday at the Southern Utah Shooting Sports Park in Hurricane where he had spent so much of his life.

In addition to an American Legion rifle salute, Taps and honorary presentation of the American flag to Hosey’s son Clint and daughters Emerald and Heidi, the deceased veteran received a special kind of tribute in keeping with his personality – Clint loaded 50, 12-gauge shotgun shells with his father’s ashes and fired them off with the help of relatives and friends.

“I think he got a kick out of that,” Clint said, acknowledging that he was holding up well, but eventually realization of the family’s loss “gets real.”

“It’s the first time for me that a veteran’s or an individual’s ashes were made into ammunition and then fired through a shotgun,” Spilsbury funeral director Mark Heiner said after the ceremony. “But it’s a fitting tribute to the way he lived.”

Clint said his father didn’t talk much about his service in Vietnam during the family’s early years in Virgin, and Hosey didn’t even bring the medals he’d received home with him when he returned from overseas.

Instead, he concentrated on enjoying each day, and part of that included shooting guns.

“As soon as I could hold a pellet gun up, I was learning to shoot,” said Clint, who now lives in Cedar City. “Dad was always looking for a good time.”

Long before the county shooting park existed, Hosey was out in the area playing with hand-thrown clay targets, sometimes shooting one-handed, his friend Kenny Canfield said.

“He was one of them kind of guys that, if you was having a bad day shootin’ and he was shooting with you, he would just cheer you right up,” Canfield said. “And if he was shootin’ good and you were shooting bad, he would start shooting bad. … He was a character.”

Our condolences to the Hosey family on their loss and their unique tribute to a man who clearly touched many lives.