Times West Virginian
Benjamin Elmus Huffman, 84, of Shinnston, died at his home Monday (April 8, 2013) of natural causes.
He was born March 19, 1929, at Cook Hospital, Fairmont, the second of four sons of the late Carl and Louise Huffman, formerly of Pleasant Valley.
He was preceded in death by his wife, the former Donna Mae Johannsen, also of Fairmont, whom he married in First United Methodist Church on Jan. 12, 1952.
A longtime resident of Green Valley, Ariz., Mr. Huffman returned to West Virginia in 2007 to re-establish his deep connections to Marion County and its residents.
He was a veteran of both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force, from which he retired, with more than 21 years of faithful service to the nation, holding the rank of master sergeant. As a young man, he saw service as a paratrooper and served in the U.S. Army of Occupation in Japan immediately following World War II.
While in Japan, he was assigned to the storied 187th Infantry Regiment (Rakkasans), then part of the 11th Airborne Division, before making the transition to the U.S. Air Force. His final military occupational specialty was that of an extremely proficient machine code programmer, in the early beginning days of main frame computing. Following his military service, he continued his career with U.S. Federal Civil Service and earned an additional retirement.
He attended West Fairmont High School, Class of 1947. Mr. Huffman was a master mason, expert marksman and an avid outdoorsman. His passions included traveling extensively throughout the United States with his beloved wife, before her passing, and was a fan of collegiate sports.
He is survived by three brothers, Wilbur Carl Huffman Jr. of Canyon Lake, Texas, Robert Patterson Huffman of New Port Richey, Fla., and John Bruce Huffman of Upper Jay, N.Y.; and five sons, Benjamin Stewart Huffman of Kahului, Hawaii, John Richard Huffman of Portland, Ore., Robert Carl Huffman of Richmond, Va., George Patterson Huffman of Kihei, Hawaii, and Thomas Edwin Huffman of Kilauea, Hawaii.
The Huffman family would like to extend its appreciation and respect to the residents of Chandler Drive, Shinnston, and specifically to Arnold Robinson, for their compassionate help and assistance during this difficult time.
Family and friends may gather for a memorial service, to be held at Ford Funeral Home, 201 Colombia St., Fairmont, at 11 a.m. Monday. Interment will follow at ViewPoint Cemetery in Rachel with full military honors at graveside.
The family requests that donations, in lieu of flowers, be made to the Wounded Warrior Project at www.woundedwarriorproject.org.