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Walker J. Huffman, 87, of Norwich, crossed over the river to join his wife, family, ancestors, and friends at 1:04 a.m. on Monday, April 1, 2013, at Genesis Good Samaritan Hospital. He came into this earthly life on July 30, 1925, in Zanesville, Ohio, as the son of Walker A. and Mary Moore Huffman.
Walker graduated from Lash High School in Zanesville in 1943. He served his country in the United States Navy from July 1943 to February 1946 on a landing ship tank (LST) in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater of War in World War II, participating in four combat amphibious invasions. He was President of the Ohio LST Amphibs Veterans Association from 2005-2009 and organized its annual convention in Zanesville twice during his presidency.
He held degrees from The Ohio State University (B.S. in 1951), Bowling Green State University (M. Ed. in 1956 and Ed. Spec. in 1966) and an Honorary Degree in Public Service from the Muskingum Area Technical College in 1989.
Most of Walker’s occupational career was spent in the field of Public Education Administration, serving Meeker Local Schools in Marion County, Paulding Village Schools in Paulding County, Frazeysburg-Nashport Schools in Muskingum County, Cadiz Village Schools in Harrison County, and Lakota Local Schools in Fremont County. In 1967, he initiated the Muskingum Area Vocational School District (currently known as the Mid-East Career and Technology Centers). He simultaneously pioneered the establishment of the Muskingum Area Technical College (now Zane State College); in so-doing, he served as Superintendent of the Vocational School and President of the Technical College.
After 30 years of service to Ohio Public Schools, Walker retired to manage the Knights Inn Motel and served as Interim Superintendent of the Belmont-Harrison Vocational School District. This was followed by service with The United States Department of Labor as a Vocational-Technical School Consultant to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 1981-1986, creating the Administrative Structure for the Kingdom’s Vocational Schools.
Returning to the United States in 1986, he worked with the Technical College on its Foundation Board and served as Director for one year. In the 1990s, he served as a Consultant for the Jobs for American Graduates (JAG) and also helped establish the Jobs for Ohio Graduates (JOG) Programs in Muskingum, Perry, Noble, Guernsey, Coshocton and Licking Counties.
Walker was affiliated with many educational organizations. He was a life member of The Ohio Educational Association and The Ohio Vocational Association, American Association of School Administrators, Buckeye Association of School Administrators, and a 50-year member of Phi Delta Kappa (Educational Honorary). The Ohio School Boards Association awarded him the “Advocate of Education” honor in 2008.
He was a lifetime member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #1058 (Zanesville), and was inducted into the Muskingum County Veterans Hall of Fame in 2000.
Walker served on the Associate Board of the Zanesville Art Center, and as President, he chaired the building fund drive in the 1970s that raised the funds for re-locating from Adair Avenue to Military Road. Walker also was active on the Muskingum County Board of the American Cancer Society and co-chaired its men’s golf tournament for ten years. He served as President of the Muskingum County Genealogy Society and was involved in various capacities with the Rotary Club, Goodwill and Red Cross Boards, Ohio P.T.A., First Families of Muskingum County, and First Families of Ohio.
He was a long-term active member of Grace United Methodist Church, and was a 50-year member of the Ohio Masonic Order and Royal Arch Masons.
The center of his life was his wife of 65 years, Mary, as they reared their five children and worked as a team honoring their religion, country, and family (both past and present). Walker and Mary were world travelers circumnavigating the earth three times while visiting over 40 countries.
Walker is survived by five loyal and loving children, Jennifer Ellen (William) Stewart, Craig Moore (Judy) Huffman, Deborah Ann Huffman Mirib, Mary Lynne (Gary) Cohen and Steffanie Lee Huffman Kaib; ten current generation grandchildren, Brian Walker (Caitlin) Stewart, Amy Elizabeth Stewart (Brian) Smith, Allison Marie Stewart (Jonah) Barasz, Craig Moore Huffman, Jr., Jessica Lynne Stewart (Corey) Doak, Ashley Nicole Kaib, Lesley Norma Cohen, David Tanner Stewart, Jennifer Ann Cohen, and Kevin Andrew Kaib; seven great- grandchildren; Kendalyn Lacylee Kaib Swartz, Blake Benjamin Kaib Swartz, Makayla Elizabeth Stewart, Toyba Leah Barasz, Andrew Walker Stewart, Jacob Andrew Lee Schultz, Makenzie Marian Smith, and several cousins, nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Lois Lacy Huffman, who died March 11, 2013.
Friends and family may call from 2-4 & 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, April 4, 2013, at THE SNOUFFER FUNERAL HOME, 1150 WEST MILITARY ROAD, ZANESVILLE and one hour prior to services on Friday. Flat Rock Lodge #580 of Payne, Ohio will hold Masonic Services at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday at the funeral home. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, April 5, 2013, in the Snouffer Chapel with Rev. Steve McGuire officiating. Walker will be laid to rest next to his wife in Zanesville Memorial Park Cemetery. VFW George Selsam Post #1058 will hold full military rites at the graveside.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Zane State Scholarship Foundation, 1555 Newark Rd., Zanesville, Ohio 43701.
To send a note of condolence to the Huffman family: visit www.snoufferfuneralhome.com, find us on Facebook or call our caring staff at (740) 450-8000.