David Iolas Huffman 1935-2014

David Iolas Huffman, M.D.

"Then & Now"

"Of necessity, an obituary is a thing which cannot be so judiciously edited by any hand as by that of the subject of it."--Mark Twain. Unfortunately the subject of this obituary is deceased and the family must try its hand at paying homage to an extremely bright, wry, erudite, obstreperous, quirky, mischievous, fun, irreverent and cantankerous lifetime scholar.

David I. Huffman M.D., passed away April 7th, 2014 at 11 PM in his home after struggling for the last year with the very rare disease pemphigus, which was caused by an even more rare cancer of the thymus gland. It was ironic that this disease fell within David's field of expertise, yet he had never seen a case of it. He was a retired otorhinolaryngologist (Ear, Nose & Throat doctor) and performed maxillofacial plastic surgery.

Despite his difficulties during the past twelve months, David was determined to remain with the love of his life and his first wife of 56 years, Lois Petersen Huffman. The two met while in college at Duke University and never ran out of things to discuss and laugh about. They loved traveling in their RV, navigating the Lincoln Highway and parts south and attending the annual jazz festival in Chautauqua, NY. They loved to dance and were Harlequin Dance Club members for years. They traveled throughout Europe in the early 60's in a VW camper and later ventured forth on Elder Hostel trips and were fortunate to enjoy many vacations with the entire family all over the world.

Born in Ravenna Ohio in 1935, David graduated from Duke University in 1958 and from Ohio State Medical School in 1962. He completed his residency at the University of Iowa and then heeded the advice, "Go west young man" by opening his first practice in California. In 1979 the family moved to Longview, Washington where he continued his medical practice.

Photography was one of the ways David shared his love of nature and the outdoors. His work was exhibited several times at Longview Public Library, which gave him the extra wall space he had run out of at home. He volunteered for several years as a guide at the Mount St. Helens National Monument. He was an avid cyclist and toured in the Pacific Northwest, France, Texas, and California. Skiing was another passion. He once barely escaped getting lost at Timberline lodge after mistakenly skiing out of bounds. He loved to sail his Chrysler 22 on the Columbia River and was often sighted motoring the open roads in a convertible.

Relentlessly eloquent, David never tired of pontificating on his favorite subjects. His admiring internet fan base will miss his regular missives consisting of entertaining stories and reflections, photos, and often inappropriate jokes. A lover of fine wine and food, David could often be heard proclaiming, "God eats here," when eating at an exceptional restaurant. He also referred to himself as a curmudgeon. When asked about his religious views, he sometimes quoted one of his favorite authors Douglas Adams, "The answer to the question of life is 42."

In addition to his grieving wife Lois Huffman, David leaves behind his daughters Kara Huffman Hamilton, Erin Huffman Moore and Meghan Huffman, his brother Tom Huffman, and many beloved cousins and other extended family across the country. He lived an adventurous and fulfilling life and his uniquely fun personality will be sorely missed.

A celebration of life will be held on July 26th. Details to follow.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to KMHD jazz radio station or The Nature Conservancy.

(RC 4-20-14)

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  • I knew David as a Sunday school classmate in Ravenna, Ohio seventy years ago. Remember him bringing a pet turtle along and always had an abundance of spending money to go across the street and buy some treats. Would liked to have had contact in later life and share the love of Him who is the way, and the truth and the life.

    Please accept my sympathy during your time of sorrow.

    Bob DeYoung