Charles A. Huffer, 1938-2008 

Fellow ASAer Charles A. Huffer of Tontitown, Ark., died Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2008, at the age of 70, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. For those Berliner Kameraden who either knew Charles personally, or had occasions, however briefly, to communicate with him, are saddened by his passing. The enduring words of an English poet go a long way in expressing the sentiments of this group:

     “No man is an island, entire of itself: every man is a piece of the continent,
      a part of  the Main...any man’s death diminishes [us]...ask not for whom
      the bells toll, they toll for thee.”
                                                                                                            John Donne

Charles was born in Hazen, Ark., on September 28, 1938, to the late Lloyd and Dora Grace (Toll) Huffer. He was educated in both Hazen and England schools, graduating from England High School in 1956.  He attended Arkansas State College in Jonesboro on a music scholarship (1956-1959) where he played solo clarinet in the college band and was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity.  While in Jonesboro, Charles joined the Arkansas National Guard.  The school year of 1959-1960 was spent in Oberlin, Ohio, attending Oberlin College.

Charles then joined the U.S. Army in order to become a member of the Army Security Agency and attended the Army Language School at the Presidio of Monterey, Calif.,  receiving his diploma in German in June 1963.  He was transferred to Berlin where he served in the 78th USASA Special Operations Unit.  His time in the 78th in Berlin from July 22, 1961, to Aug. 3, 1963, was regarded by Charles as the finest years of his life.  While serving in the 78th he attended the Berlin Freie Universitaet in the summer of 1963,

Upon completion of his duty in Berlin, Charles returned to Arkansas and attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville (1963 – 1964) and was awarded a B.A. Degree in Mathematics.  He taught high school math in Plattsburg, Mo. (1964-1965).  He then returned to the University of Arkansas as a graduate assistant and obtained a M.S. in Mathematics.  Charles taught one year at Northwestern State College in Alva, Okla.  In 1968 he returned to Berlin and obtained a math teaching position at the Berlin American High School, a U.S. Department of Defense School.  While in Germany, he was accepted as a member of the American Mensa Limited and retained membership for several years. 

Charles was primarily the principal clarinetist in both the Britzer Blas-Orchester and and the Berliner Arzte Orchestra.  He remained in Berlin 19 years before returning to the United States, where he settled in northwestern Arkansas.       


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