Hugh Huffaker Jr., Prominent Civic And Business Leader, Dies At 84

Saturday, June 7, 2014
Hugh Huffaker Jr.
Hugh Huffaker Jr.

Hugh Dayton Huffaker, Jr., prominent civic and business leader, died Friday at 84.

He was a leader in the insurance and real estate business for many years and served his church and community as a visionary, leader, and fundraiser.

He was born in 1930 to Mary Katherine (Kap) Huffaker and Hugh Huffaker, Sr. He graduated from McCallie School, and attended Davidson College for two years where he was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. Returning home, he enrolled at the University of Chattanooga as an ROTC cadet, graduating as a second lieutenant in the artillery.  

While at UC, he met his wife, Marion Henderson. They married in 1952 and immediately left for Fort Rucker, Ala., where he taught basic training. They were also stationed at Fort Sill, Okla.

When he returned to Chattanooga, he joined his father, Hugh Huffaker, Sr., at Ferger Brothers and Huffaker Insurance Agency. He and his brother, Bob, later started Huffaker and Associates Inc., where he served as president and later chairman of the board. 

Mr. Huffaker started Huffaker Realtors in 1982 and developed the Hidden Brook (Signal Mountain) and Ramsgate (Hixson) subdivisions with developer Tommy Lupton. When he sold the business to Crye-Leike Realtors in 1997, it was the largest independent real estate company in metro Chattanooga with five offices. 

Mr. Huffaker was very active in his community and church. He and his wife were charter members of Rivermont Presbyterian Church, where he served as the church’s first elder and remained an elder emeritus until his death. During this time, he helped lead the building projects for Rivermont’s two sanctuaries. 

A former Rotarian, he was a past president of the Insurers of Chattanooga and the Chattanooga Board of Realtors, former chairman of the McCallie School board of trustees, and one of the original organizers of CARTA, which named its building in his honor. He has served on the boards of the Maclellan Foundation, the Electric Power Board, and Lay Renewal Ministries.

He is a past recipient of the Sertoma Club’s Service to Mankind Award and McCallie School’s Distinguished Alumnus Award for leadership and service. 

A former city handball champion, he enjoyed the YMCA and led the effort to start the Y’s North River location.

He helped to guide the Chattanooga Bible Institute in its transition to Richmont Graduate University, a school for ministry and counseling. He served on its board and as board chairman for many years. He was a trustee emeritus when he died – and received an honorary doctorate from the university in 2013. 

The family will gather for a private burial service at Forest Hills Cemetery and will receive friends on Friday, June 20, from 3-5 p.m. and Saturday, June 21, from 2-3:30 p.m. at Rivermont Presbyterian Church.

A memorial service will be held from 4-5 p.m. Saturday at Rivermont with Ministers Reverend Clay Thomas and Dr. Bill Dudley officiating. 

The family has asked that memorial contributions be made in Hugh’s honor to the Rivermont Presbyterian Church Missions Program, 3319 Hixson Pike, Chattanooga, Tenn., 37415, or Richmont Graduate University, 1815 McCallie Ave, Chattanooga, Tenn., 37404. 

Arrangements are by Wann Funeral Home & Cremation Center, at the foot of historic Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga, 423 821-7551.

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