Sky Scene 07

James Thomas Huffaker

July 11, 1929 ~ September 9, 2021 (age 92)

Obituary

James Thomas Huffaker (Knoxville) left this present time and place on September 9, 2021. Born to Lawrence A. and Ella Weaver Huffaker on July 11, 1929, in Knoxville, Tennessee. The second of three children, he was preceded in death by his elder sister, Betty Huffaker Blake, and survived by his younger sister, Mary Ruth Huffaker. James was preceded in death by his companion of seventy years, wife Mary Alice Sims Huffaker, and is survived by his four children - Donna Diaz (Orlando), Lauren Tweeton (Stuart), Callie Word (Frank), and Michael Huffaker (Davilyn). Others he has loved and leaves, both near and far, include six grandchildren – Shea Diaz (Zach Tilly), Ally Diaz (Mike Weber), Caroline Tweeton, Chris Tweeton, Rachel Word, and Eiley Huffaker, and great-grand-daughter Sims Diaz Weber; numerous cousins, and several nieces and nephews. James received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from the University of Tennessee. He began his engineering career with the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the Tennessee Valley Authority. Upon graduation, he went to work for Humble Oil Co. in Baytown, TX. James returned to Knoxville in 1959 to begin work in the nuclear division in Oak Ridge for Union Carbide and Martin Marietta, where he remained until retirement in 1993 and was a Cold War veteran of the Y-12 national security complex. “I did not always realize this, but it is important to know that life is a gift; parents are gifts; children are gifts; friends are gifts.” At Mary and James’ request, there are no formal services or visitation. The family will gather for a time of remembrance at a later date in a joint memorial for Mary and James. In lieu of flowers, friends and relatives may make a memorial gift to either: Friends of the Smokies, 3099 Winfield Dunn Parkway, Kodak, TN 37764, and friendsofthesmokies.org.; or the YWCA Knoxville Foundation “for building and renovation plans,” 420 Clinch Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37902. Gentry Griffey Funeral Chapel is honored to serve the Huffaker family and invites you to view and sign the online registry.

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