Joseph Garland Huffman, Sr., age 77, passed from this life on January 23, 2021. He was born on April 1, 1943, in Sanborn, Iowa, to Garland and Lois (Barnett) Huffman. His mother died when he was 5. His dad was a preacher who moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, in the late 1950s, where he started First United Pentecostal Church and married June Hammack, who became a mom to Joe.
Joe graduated from Lincoln High School in 1961. He was always mechanically inclined and could fix just about anything. He souped up cars and even raced stock cars in his youth. He then turned his attention to airplanes and became a mechanic and pilot. He was hired by Duncan Aviation in 1967 and worked for them the rest of his life. He started as a mechanic and became an engineer, receiving patents on several items, notably a lightweight auxiliary power unit. In 2016 he received the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award from the Federal Aviation Administration.
Joe married Deloris Tiff on June 2, 1969, and together they raised their family in West Lincoln. They took their kids to church “every time the door was open” and often when it was not. The kids learned to serve alongside their parents in whatever needed to be done. They also learned that Dad did not forget when he said he would do something later, whether it was a spanking or a trip to the Grand Canyon. Joe was happy he was able to take his family on trips to see extended family and sights around the country.
Joe enjoyed solving puzzles, was a formidable chess player who never let his kids beat him, accumulated an impressive necktie collection, and took up powered parachuting as a hobby during the last couple decades of his life, enjoying the mechanical aspects of working on his “wing,” as well as the actual flying with extraordinary views. He didn’t let minor things like an occasional crashlanding hold him back.
After getting off track as a young man, Joe rededicated his life to God and took as his motto, Matthew 6:33, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” He lived the rest of his life with the goal of putting God first. For years and years he started each day the same way: bacon, two eggs, toast, coffee, and quiet communication with Jesus.
Joe was involved in all kinds of ministry in support of his local church: Sunday school teacher and superintendent, treasurer, usher, and board member. He maintained church facilities and vehicles, both locally and at a district level. He gave liberally in support of missions around the world. He spent over 30 years ministering to inmates at the Nebraska State Penitentiary. He taught Bible studies and mentored young men. He gave wise counsel and was a steadfast example of integrity.
Joe is survived by his wife of 51 years, Deloris Huffman; daughter Annette Evans of Lincoln, Nebraska; and sons Joseph (Karyn) Huffman, Jr., of Lincoln, Nebraska; and Matthew (Stephanie) Huffman of Magnolia Texas; ten grandchildren Mikayla (Ben) Rodriguez, Landon Evans, Emily Evans, Logan Evans, Kaitlyn (Andrew) Smith, Kassidy Huffman, Jacob Huffman, Jared Huffman, Chancellor Huffman, and Preston Huffman; two great-grandchildren Isabella and Anastasia Rodriguez; and brother Nathan Huffman.
He was preceded in death by his parents and son-in-law Stuart Evans.
Visitation will be Monday, February 1, 2021, 5-8 p.m., at Life Tabernacle Church, 3230 North 1st Street, Lincoln, Nebraska. Funeral Service will be at 10:00 am, Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at the Lincoln Firefighters Reception Hall, 241 Victory Lane, burial will be at Wyuka Cemetery, Lincoln, Nebraska.
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