Frank Huffman, Jr., 85, passed away Sunday, April 19, 2009 at Autumn Care of Drexel after several months of declining health. Frank was the son of Minnie Mull Huffman and Frank Huffman, Sr. He was born in Drexel, NC and grew up there working in the family-owned grocery store (Huffman Brothers). After his father’s untimely death in 1929, Frank was raised by his mother and later by his stepfather, Reverend Stephen M. Stroup. Frank attended Mars Hill College and finished his education at Bowling Green Business College (now Western Kentucky University). He took a break from his education to join the army during World War II. There he served in the 737th Tank Battalion. Frank was severely injured in an explosion during the war, but nonetheless returned to his battalion. Following the war, Frank married Clara (Polly) Watts and, after finishing college, returned to Drexel where the family made their home. For many years, Frank was employed by Drexel Furniture Co., where he was Director of Employee Sales. He later worked as a Recreational Therapist at Broughton Hospital.Frank was deeply committed to his family, his church, his town, and his country. His life demonstrated these commitments. He would do anything in his power to help his family throughout his life. At Drexel First Baptist Church, Frank served as an active deacon and Sunday School superintendent for many years, regularly visiting newcomers to town and inviting them to church. Until recent years, he rarely missed a service, often arriving early to unlock the doors. The church honored Frank by naming him Deacon Emeritus. Church and family members alike benefitted from Frank’s gardening. For fifty years he grew a huge garden, supplying vegetables to many. Frank also gave sacrificially to the town of Drexel. From 1953-1959, Frank served three terms as Mayor of the town. For fifty years, he was a member of the local Lions Club, a service organization. As one of the charter members of the club, he virtually never missed a meeting and spent many hours and days raising money for Lion Club projects. In addition, Frank was on the original board of management for the Drexel Community Center and served as president of the Drexel Community Fair. For many years, Frank also served on the board of directors of the local Northwestern Bank. Upon retirement, Frank remained active in the church and the community, tutoring local students and singing in the Senoir Adult Choir. Across his life, he was a blood donor, giving 63 pints of blood to the American Red Cross. In 1998, Frank was honored as Drexel Citizen of the Year.Frank is survived by his wife of fifty-eight years, Clara Watts Huffman; his children, Jane Adaire Huffman of Drexel, Frank Robert Huffman and wife, Lynne, of Morganton, and Lydia Huffman Hoyle and husband, Rick, of Cary, NC; Frank’s sister, Doris Huffman Franklin; close family friends, Margaret Church and Mary Thomas; as well as Elizabeth Berry Woody and husband, Bill, and other nieces and nephews. His grandchildren, Haley, Graham, and Cole Huffman of Morganton and Matthew, Michael, and Jessica Hoyle of Cary will miss him greatly.Frank was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Minnie Mull Huffman as well as his sisters, Ruth Huffman Berry, Helen Huffman Tutherow, and Frances Huffman.Frank was a good, kind, devoted, and passionate man. His life touched many. A celebration of Frank’s life will be held at 6:00 p.m., Monday, April 20, 2009 at Drexel First Baptist Church with Reverends Tito Madrazo and Buddy Corbin officiating. The family will receive friends at the church one hour prior to the service. A private graveside service will be held earlier in the day. Memorial contributions may be made to Drexel First Baptist Church Food Ministry, P.O. Box 308, Drexel, NC 28619. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.

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