Kenneth Eugene Huff
December 10, 1926 – November 14, 2020
Kenneth Eugene Huff, 93, passed away at 2:59 AM, November 14, 2020 at home. His son, Steve, wife Judy and rescue fur baby Benji were with him. Many prayers and visits from family and Christian friends lifted him up through his time of hospice care. The support to the family from OSF Hospice and Synergy was outstanding and greatly appreciated.
Ken was born December 10, 1926 to Waldo and Mabel Huff in Farmer City, Illinois. Ken was educated in Farmer City and attended the Christian Church there. His treasured sweat shirt said “Farmer City, Center of it all.” He loved telling stories of his growing up years there and kept in touch with his friends to the end.
Ken had to walk to school. One day he carried his home made sling shot with him. He took aim at a bird and actually hit him. Ken was so upset he did not go to school that day. His favorite hymn remained “His Eye is on the Sparrow” Matthew 10:29.
Ken had two brothers, Roger and Ralph, and one sister Bernice, they all preceded him in death. Wife, Charlotte Gunderson Huff also preceded him in death. Ken was blessed with three children, Steven Edward (Raelin), Stanley (Margie), and Lori Huff Groetken, (Cecil) also deceased. On February 22, 1991 Ken married Judith E. Heerde Struck Huff, a widow. She survives him. His step children Michael Struck, Larry Struck, Sheila (Michael) Struck Law and Barbara (Rick) Struck Probus also survive him.
Ken has three grandsons, Christopher (Megan) Groetken, Jared (Megan) Huff, and Alex Huff. Surviving step grandchildren include Christina (Nate) Struck Harper, Ashley (Jason) Struck Albee, Robert (Jeanette) Struck, Nick Law, Jamie Law, Kasey (Bryan) Cardwell and Kimberly Probus . Two great-grandchildren Ollie and Finley Huff. Ken is also survived by six step-great-grandchildren Sophia Struck, Lucas Struck, Blakely Harper, Andie Layne Harper, Kennedy Cardwell, and Marshall Law, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Ken worked many jobs and had humorous stories attached to all of them. He worked on the section gang on the railroad, worked at Farmer City Journal, was a bartender, several office positions, owner of Sinclair Oil with his partner and after Sinclair merged with ARCO, sold out to FS. After Ken retired from FS, he worked for the County of McLean first as a bailiff and then as a screener.
Ken was active in the Christian Church from attendance to men’s meetings to teaching a Sunday School class to serving as an usher. In lieu of flowers, you may choose to send a love offering to College Park Christian Church, Normal, IL.
Ken loved his Cubbies and saw them win the World Series in 2016. It took a Cubby Den to hold all of the mementoes he collected. He had many pets throughout his life, usually a loyal dog with a happy tail. A couple of them were named, Cubby.
Most of all, Ken loved his family and friends, never wavered in his faith, and was always ready to lend a helping hand. Ken you were an inspiration to all you knew and loved. GG Ken truly blessed all of us. Rest in Peace, dear one.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, services for Ken will be private. His pastor, Brent Salm of College Park Christian Church in Normal, will officiate. Cremation rites have been accorded.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Kenneth Eugene Huff
Andrea Huff - Castelli
November 22, 2020
To my beloved Uncle Kenny,
You were always my favorite uncle....you were so gentle and steadfast in my life. You stepped up when our dad left this world almost 20 years ago, and stood in the gap for him for us 3 girls. You have always been there for me, listened and comforted me, and made yourself available when I needed you.
I remember you were the first person I called screaming in joy and elation at 1am when the Cubs FINALLY won the World Series. I wish I could have been there watching with you that night! I will miss talking about those Cubs with you...but I'm sure you're busy talking with Dad about how it felt for your team to finally win it after 108 years... He's probably so mad he missed it. And I'm sure you're also telling him if he would'nt have smoked so much he wouldn't have missed it. And now you can tell Ralphie he didn't really win 50 million in the sweepstakes.
We will miss you so much.... but I know you're having such a big reunion up there, that you wouldn't come back even if you could. Give everyone my love and tell them I'll see them soon enough in Heaven's time.
I love you so much
November 21, 2020
The man upstairs has a plan for our lives. It is up to us to listen to Him and keep the faith. Ken was a man of deep faith and convictions. Our first date was to attend an old time revival held in a small town park. Ken brought me back to the religion of my childhood and didn't waste any time doing it.
Let me count the ways this wonderful man influenced my life.
Ken appreciated perked coffee and German Potato pancakes. Yum!
Ken had a real sense of humor Two short stories reflect that. My youngest daughter carried he bald baby daughter up the drive to my home. Ken spied her and and said, "One would think a baby girl would at least have hair." Looking Ken in the eye Barbi retorted, "So what do you use on your head? Mop and Glow to go"? It was game on and another plus for Ken.
When Ken met my dad he noticed dad's living room was filled with Cubs 'stuff'. Ken asked, "Walt, you are a Cub fan!! Judy is a Cardinal fan. How did that happen"? Dad's reply, "Well, Ken you do your best to raise your kids up right, but sometimes they turn on you".From that day forward we took dad to see Peoria Chiefs home games. At one game Harry Carey was in the broadcast booth..
Ken's friendships ran deep He had a way of meeting people at their level, accepting them for who they were and respecting their opinions even when Ken disagreed. That may well be his greatest legacy.
The Great Depression and hardships of World War II left lasting impressions of how to appreciate and give thanks for his many blessings.
If I could live those years with Ken again, I gladly would and would not change a thing. Thank you, God, for your plan for our lives. Rest in peace, dear Ken.
November 20, 2020
My Dearest Dad
Because you and Grandma Huff raised me from a baby, or at the very least influenced me when I lacked a mother, you had a special meaning for me. You were gentle when you needed to be and a little tough when you needed. But being alone in the adventure of life left more of an indelible impression on me. Many men are not up to the challenge. In part, I turned out pretty good. Just as important, when I have screwed up, I felt a sense of guilt that came from somewhere. I guess your guiding hand gave me both reasonable behavior and a conscious.
If I thought about what my greatest memories are of our adventures together, one of the early memories was shooting and chasing rats in Farmer City and also the gypsy camp during the summer and seeing my first horses. I remember you chasing off the peeping-tom hobo from my bedroom window. I remember our games of catch with ball and glove. It seemed you had unlimited time to do it.
We talked about when I was a 1 year old baby in the hospital and I think I had pneumonia. You came to see me. I climbed of the crib and fell on the floor. I was so excited to see you. And that, I guess, is a microcosm of my life with you.
I hoped you would stay with me forever! I need you to know that I am just glad that by God's will that you were my father and not some lesser man. I love you so much. It isn't much of a gift, but it is the best I have.
Love you forever,
November 19, 2020
There are no words to adequately convey my love for Ken or the difficulty of how hard it was to say good-bye knowing he would soon slip away. Unlike a December 10 decades ago, my father--Judy’s husband, passed suddenly. In time, Mom found love again and married Ken, a man born on December 10. What Ken’s vows to my mother really meant was that he had to take “the rest of us,” too. He didn’t have to love us, but he did anyway. And for decades he shared his love: with the arrival of each grandchild, great grandchild; holiday celebrations; surprise parties—you name it. Grandpa Ken was in the mix, especially remembering the extended family “pups” on Christmas with snacks or a chewy.
I recently found there was a word Ken grew to hate. “Step.” I recently heard him say, “Sheila is my step-daughter, but I really feel like she is my own daughter.” Although I could never replace his love for Lori (nor would I even try), I felt honored just the same. That is the moment I thought back and realized he never treated any of Judy’s “sides” as “steps.” As I reflect now, the grand-and-greats were always “our grandchildren” to Ken & Judy—no step-divide. Nothing made them happier than having the “little people” around.
Flash Forward to now. Mom said it best in a text to me on the morning of November 14, “the silence is so deafening.” The “rest of us”, gathered, sharing things we would miss: Good-natured bantering. Gracious offers to share coffee, perked, of course. The best hardy hugs. The wide smiles (when a camera wasn’t around), especially when Barbi delivered his favorite oatmeal-raisin cookies. Stories of sparrows, the Cubs and trains. My mom references “an empty chair”, but just ask her to share the happy memories it houses. You’ll find there are many treasures still tucked in there.
God bless you Ken for taking us on, loving us and making our world a better place. Love you forever. Sheila
November 18, 2020
I am truly sorry we've lost Ken. He was a better father-in-law than I could have ever asked for. He was supportive and loving from the day I met him. One of my first memories of him is Mel-O-Cream Donuts. When I was at their house on Sat. mornings, when Stan and I were dating, Ken would always bring me my favorite...cream filled with chocolate icing. YUM!
He had the best memory! From his in-depth stories from way back to Cub stats, from way back too.
He loved his family and his sports fiercely. What a wonderful man! What wonderful memories!
November 17, 2020
I love you and miss you so much!
Thank you for being such a great and loving dad. I'm so grateful to have had you for so many years and that my sons got to grow up with you in their lives.
You showed us all how to be kind and caring men, gentle in spirit and always putting others ahead of yourself.
I imagine you playing catch in heaven. The times we spent throwing the ball around after work are my favorite memories and have also become some of the favorites with my sons.
I love you and thank you for being my dad! Stan
Amelia ( Amy ) Grove Ellington
November 16, 2020
I know you are having a party in Heaven with Jesus and all of the family! You were such a sweet and good man “uncle” Kenny. I always called you that because I thought you were an uncle instead of a cousin. Still family no matter what. Thanks for being such a sweet nephew to my dad. My parents loved you bunches. Judy you are precious and I send you my prayers for Gods comfort. Love to the whole family as well. 💗 Amy Grove Ellington