Lt. Col. Tom Huff Lt. Col. Tom Huff, born July 22, 1921 in Walla Walla, WA, passed away on Wednesday, July 2, 2014, in Lacey, WA. His parents were Ralph and Mildred (Dysart) Huff. In 1937, he joined ROTC at Walla Walla High School and enlisted in the Washington National Guard. Sent to British Columbia to help build the Al-Can Highway, he met and married Phyllis Fynn of Dawson Creek, BC. Joining the Allied troops shortly after D-Day, he was part of the Red Ball and Green Ball Expresses convoying supplies to the Allied troops in France. Commissioned as a regular Army officer with a basic combat arm, he attended Artillery School, and assigned to the 48th Field Artillery Battalion. Eight hours later he left for Japan on the way to Inchon Landing. He was awarded a Purple Heart during his service in Korea. He was assigned to various military installations both in the States and abroad. While at Camp Darby, Italy (near Pisa), Tom and family traveled extensively throughout Europe along with the ports of call along the Mediterranean. His final tour was as a logistical advisor in Vietnam while his family thought he was in Okinawa. Lt. Col. Tom Huff retired from the Army in 1962. After retirement he worked for Sears and then taught at Centralia Community College for 7 years. The following 17 years he served as Municipal Judge in Yelm, WA. A founding member and Executive Director of the National Judges Association, he was honored by the Superior Court Judges' as OUTSTANDING JUDGE in 1989. He began 1000's of miles of travel, revisiting and sightseeing over the next 40 years. From the Polar Bear connection in Churchill, Manitoba, then almost to the bottom of the world in Patagonia, Asia, and North Africa were also favorite destinations. Tom and Phyllis had many friends that they remained close to for many years. They spent an entire summer in their camper in the early 70's traveling all over the U.S. visiting former neighbors and renewing longtime acquaintances. They were active and enjoyed their involvement with "People to People" Projects which included putting up visitors from other countries, including China, Japan and Australia. These relationships continued until recently. Judge Huff is survived by son, James (Evelyn), daughter, Nena (Tom) Parrish; grandchildren, Tom T. (Laurie) Huff, Lt Col US Army (Ret), and Diana (Joe) Laws; great-grandchildren, Katie, Tanner, Melanie, and Thomas; younger brother, Kenneth (CCMS) of the Washington State Air Guard; and numerous nieces and nephews. Services will be held at Vista Village Community Hall, 3300 SE Carpenter Road, Lacey, WA, on Saturday July 19, 2014 at 1:30 pm.
Published in The Olympian on July 13, 2014