Sunday, September 18, 2011

Obituary: Richard L. Huff - Class of 1944

MADISON - Richard L. Huff passed away on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011.

He was born on May 6, 1927 in Madison, to Forrest Gibbs Huff and Lucille Beimborn Huff. An only child, he graduated from Central High School in 1944, received his B.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin, graduating with honors in 1951. He was united in marriage to Harriet Willis on July 26, 1959, in Des Moines, Iowa. Dick taught school in Georgia until a friend suggested he learn television directing, which took him to WKOW-TV where he worked in the earliest days of television. In 1957, he was hired as a producer for television syndication business, which he purchased several years later.

Dick was active in various community organizations. In 1968, he served as one of the Wisconsin delegates to the Republican National Convention. He also served as volunteer chairman of the Dane County Children's Service Society and chairman of the UW Medical School Ophthalmology Advisory Board.

Dick was a gifted artist, and prolific writer. He loved music, books and acquired a great passion for painting. He published several poems, wrote several novels and wrote and co-produced a science fiction motion picture titled, "The Giant Spider Invasion". Along with his work in syndicated television, Dick wrote a book for the National Association of Realtors, published a marketing magazine and taught screen writing at the UW Extension. Dick was a member of Bethel Lutheran Church.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Harriet; three children, Mary Lee "Molly" (James) Miller of Brookfield, William Gibbs (Sue) Huff of Minneapolis and Peter Bashford Huff of Sun Prairie; and seven grandchildren, Daniel James Miller, Sarah Emily Miller, John Willis Miller of Brookfield, Joseph Hunter Huff, Samuel Gibbs Huff of Minneapolis and Elizabeth Frances Huff and Anna Grace Huff of Sun Prairie.

As a child and teenager, Dick loved fishing with his father and uncles and later with his sons, in Boscobel and Prairie du Chien and the rivers there inspired a life-long love for the Wisconsin landscape. A private burial will be at the Huff family lot in Boscobel, where five generations of his family are buried.

A memorial service will be held at GUNDERSON EAST FUNERAL HOME, 5203 Monana Drive, Madison, at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011, with the Rev. John Swanson presiding. A luncheon will immediately follow the service. Visitation will be at the funeral home from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the service on Thursday.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Bethel Lutheran Church Media Ministry, 312 Wisconsin Ave., Madison, WI 53703 or HospiceCare Inc., 5395 East Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI 53711.

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on September 18, 2011 (submitted by Michael Vahldieck, Class of 1968).

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