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Betty J. Huffer

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Betty J. Huffer Obituary

Betty J. Huffer

82, aviation pioneer, business entrepreneur and philanthropist, died peacefully at her home in Boca Raton Florida on February 1, 2013. She was the daughter of Oscar and Loretta (Heidelberg) King of Gas City, Indiana. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband James E., and a sister, Sharon A. King (Richerson) Indiana.

She was born in Gas City, Indiana on November 19, 1930. Among her survivors are her son, Michael J. Huffer; a grandson, Jason B. Huffer, Georgia; a granddaughter, Laura J. Huffer, Georgia; three brothers, William D. King, (wife, Colleen), Oklahoma, Jackie L. King, (wife, Katherine), Pennsylvania, and Edward L. King Indiana; eight nieces and seven nephews.

Mrs. Huffer graduated from Gas City High School in 1948, and attended Indiana Business College and Indiana University. She was a cheerleader for the Gas City High School Tigers. After graduation she worked in the accounting office of the Owens-Illinois Glass Company in Gas City. She moved to Indianapolis in 1949 where Leaders Department Store employed her as a Buyer of ladies clothing. In this capacity she bought for eight departments, flying to New York City for seasonal markets. While at Leaders, she developed an inventory control system for her departments, which was later adopted by the entire store.

In 1950, Betty went to work for Lake Central Airlines. She worked in the area referred to; as the "inner sanctum" comprised of Betty, the only woman in the company, founder Roscoe Turner, and the company President. Betty had the talent to work through ambiguous federal regulations, did much of the work on petitions to the Civil Aeronautics Board for new routes.

Following her husband Jim to Pennsylvania after he was drafted in 1952, she was employed by the number one CPA firm in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania until he was transferred to Chicago in 1953. The following year she co-founded Local Beauty Supply with her husband, a wholesale distribution firm that grew to operate in four states with 28 locations. Betty was the Chief Financial Officer of Local Beauty Supply.

In 1971, she was the first woman appointed to the Hoosier Capital Girl Scout Finance Board. She operated five summer camps where her efforts resulted in greatly reduced insurance costs for the Girl Scouts.

In 1986, Betty and her husband James sold their company, Local Beauty Supply, to a Fortune 500 company, and Betty focused her attention on community service and philanthropy, while continuing as financial officer for the Huffer's real estate development business that began in the 1960's. The Huffer's were early developers of the Castleton, Indiana area.

Betty was a traveler, visiting eighty-eight countries over her lifetime; a highlight was in 1994 when she traveled Around the World on the Concorde. She also enjoyed gardening, and the gardens of her Carmel, Indiana home have been toured frequently by Indianapolis garden clubs, and articles featuring the gardens have been published nationally.

Throughout her life, Betty served on many boards and committees, both in Indiana and Florida. She was a generous benefactor to many associations and groups that included:

American Pianist Association, Boca Raton Community Hospital, Boca Raton Historical Society, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Benefe Guild, Cara Charities, Eiteljorg Museum, Friends of the Library, Indiana Historical Society , Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis Symphony, Women's Committee, Indiana University Kelley School of Business, Morikami, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Norton Museum of Art, Prevent Blindness Indiana, Riley Hospital for Children, Indianapolis 500 Festival Committee and the University Club FAU.

In 2012, Betty was inducted in to the Indiana University Presidents Circle, one of the highlights of her later life. She and her husband, Jim, formed a Private Family Foundation to ensure that their generous spirit of giving would continue after them.

A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, February 13 at 10:00 a.m. in St. Luke's United Methodist Church. Calling hours will be on Tuesday, February 12th from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. in Crown Hill Funeral Home in the Remembrance Hall and for one hour before the funeral service in St. Luke's UMC. Burial will be in Crown Hill Cemetery. Online condolences may be offered to the family at:

Published in the The Indianapolis Star from Feb. 9 to Feb. 10, 2013
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