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James E. Huffer

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James E. Huffer Obituary

James E. Huffer

82, a marching band trumpeter who became a spy chaser in the Korean War, died February 4, 2012. He was the son of Ivan F. and Laura Irick Huffer, natives of Clinton County, Indiana. He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Mary Jane English.

He was born in Frankfort, Indiana on September 13, 1929. Among his survivors are his wife, Betty King Huffer, a son, Michael J. Huffer, a grandson, Jason B. Huffer and a granddaughter, Laura J. Huffer, sister, Martha Strayer, 3 brother-in-laws, William D., Jack L., and Edward L. King, 2 sister-in-laws, Colleen and Katherine King, 8 nieces and 7 nephews.

Mr. Huffer graduated from Palm Beach High School in 1947. He was a member of the marching band that was invited to play in the 1947 Orange Bowl.

He graduated from Indiana University in 1951 with a Bachelor of Science in Business, his Diploma in one hand and a "Greetings Uncle Sam Needs You" in the other. Our army was a draft at the time; not a volunteer army as we know it today. The North Korean People's Army (Communists) invaded South Korea on Sunday, June 25, 1950. Mid-summer, Jim received his draft notice to report for active duty. If you were a junior in college and had certain grades you could file to complete your final year, but must report for active duty after receiving you diploma. While at IU, Jim was a member of Acacia Fraternity, President of IU Chapter in his senior year and a member of the International Fraternity of Delta Sigma Pi.

Mr. Huffer went off to the Army. Basic training at Ft. Holabirb, Indiantown Gap, PA, 5th Infantry Division, Company F. 2nd BN, 2nd Reg. Counter Intelligence Corp (CIC). The terrain at Indiantown Gap, PA was similar to where the fighting that was going on in Korea. Having scored the first ever perfect score on the final exam and sporting a Sharpshooter's Medal, he was given his choice of posts. To the amazement of his peers he chose 5th Army Headquarters in Chicago to be close to his wife, Betty and son, Mike.

During his life, his pioneering spirit led Jim and wife, Betty, to the founding of a company, Local Beauty Supply, Inc., a wholesale distribution firm for beauty products, an Indiana Corporation operating in 4 states.

His new concept for marketing products was to open outlet stores in shopping areas to complement the field sales force traveling with a sample bag to the customer, limiting the products that could be shown. The customer now would have a place to see the full array of products available…not only available, but no waiting for shipment. This became an industry standard and the company was sold to a Fortune 500 Company. Jim and Betty considered the creating of jobs the most rewarding part of the growth of the company.

Jim and Betty diversified into real estate beginning in the late 1960's and became one of the early developers in the Castleton area, site of the largest mall in Indiana.

The same pioneering spirit led to a development of a premier housing compound in Carmel known as Estancia. The gardens at their home in Estancia have raised funds, over the years, for a number of organizations including Park Tudor School, People of Vision, Indianapolis Garden Club with house & garden tours. The Huffer gardens have been published nationally.

During his life he enjoyed the many activities of golf at Meridian Hills Country Club in Indianapolis and the Royal Palm Yacht and Country Club in Boca Raton. He is also a member of the Service Club of Indiana, Gyro Club, Masonic Lodge, Englewood Lodge No 715, F. & A.M. A big thrill in golf was his Hole-In-One on September 18, 1974 at Meridian Hills. He also followed baseball and football. Sports Highlights: Jim and wife, Betty, made the trip to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl in 1968 when IU played O.J., Who? The fans that traveled from Indiana to California were part of the largest airlift since the Burma Hump in WWII. They attended the Masters Golf Tournament in 1984-86-94-95-96, and the Baseball World Series Games when the Cardinals played.

Exploring the world for marketing ideas, the Huffer's traveled in 88 countries; a special highlight was a trip in 1994 Around the World on the Concorde.

He and his wife were active in philanthropy through involvement with numerous not-for-profit organizations since the 1960's helping to advance humanitarian, the arts and social causes including, IMA, Eiteljorg, IN Historical Society, Riley Hospital for Children, Starlight Musicals, 500 Festival, National Trust for History Preservation, Boy Scouts of America, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Morikami Museum & Gardens, Delray Beach, FL, Boca Raton Historical Society, Norton Museum of Art, Palm Beach, FL.

A lifetime member of IU Foundation, he and wife, Betty, made a recent gift to the Foundation of Undergraduate Expansion & Renovation Campaign for the Kelley School of Business. He is a member of the 12th Man Club supporting the IU Athletic Department.

Jim's sense of humor was infectious to all those he came in contact with, his friends, too numerous to count. We all will miss him. He will be remembered. Friends are invited for a funeral service at 11:30 a.m. Sat. Feb. 11 in the Memorial Chapel at Crown Hill Funeral Home . Calling hours will be from 10:00 a.m. until the time of funeral service at the funeral home. Burial will be in the family plot at Crown Hill Cemetery.

The family would like to thank the entire team at Marquette Manor Health Care Center and St. Vincent Hospice for Jim's final care. It was exceptional. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to the IU Foundation or Riley Hospital for Children will be appreciated or to the donor's .

Published in the The Indianapolis Star from Feb. 9 to Feb. 10, 2012
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