James Eugene Huey, 85, passed away at his home in Mansfield, Ohio, in his easy chair, peacefully passing from this life to the next.
He died on Palm Sunday, the first day of spring, March 20, 2016.
James, more commonly known as Jim, Jimmy, or Pop, lived in Mansfield for 23 years. Jim and his wife, Darlee Anderson Huey, moved to Mansfield in 1993, and left their home in Westlake, Ohio where they had lived for 37 years.
Jim was born on June 26, 1930 in the coal mine mountains of Black Lick, Pennsylvania, southeast of Pittsburgh, and west of Altoona. A child of the Great Depression. His father, Merle, worked in the coal industry and his mother, Nina, educated as a schoolteacher, worked most of her years as a server for a cousin’s diner. Jim also worked as a short order cook at Ray’s Diner before and after his military service.
Jim graduated from Altoona High School. Proud of his cousins and uncles who served in World War II, Jim, all three of his brothers, Homer, Donald and Dave, and his sister, Blanche, enlisted in the Air Force and served their country during the Korean War. Jim was in the Air Force Police.
That patriotic sacrifice was just the beginning. For the next uninterrupted 60 years he served hundreds of veterans and their families through the American Legion, both at Post 738 in Fairview Park, Ohio, for more than 40 years, and then in Bellville, Ohio as a color-guard for Post 535, for the past 23 years. For Jim, veterans everywhere, were his extended family.
After the Air Force, Jim moved on to the Cleveland area with cousins and friends. There, he met a beautiful southern belle from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Darlee Anderson. They courted for a year, and as one relative recently wrote, “Darlee met her knight in shining armor and we really miss her.”
Darlee and the handsome knight were married at the Lakewood United Methodist Church at 15700 Detroit Ave. on July 7, 1956.
Darlee said, “I was so hoping that we would celebrate our 60th wedding anniversary this year.”
They lived in Lakewood for a year and moved to Westlake where they had four children Darrell, Brian, Keith, and Cheryl. Jim kept the boys heavily involved in Boy Scouts, gently pushing them to reach the highest levels, including Eagle, and the children, talk fondly about years of camping, fishing, Indian Guides through the YMCA, church retreats, and a full wholesome family life. Notably, all six grandchildren speak about the same depth of enriching life enhancements due to Jim being in their lives.
One cannot write or speak about the Huey clan without including the Carson clan. The two families united through the marriage of Merle Huey and Nina Carson, the eldest of 11 children. Jim Huey and his uncles, Robert and William, who migrated to the Cleveland area after the Korean War, connected with other close-knit first cousin family, including the Smith’s, the Willman’s, the Kodger’s, and they held large local family reunions, annually, for three decades. These huge outdoor feasts were accented with horseshoes and other games and modeled after the much larger family reunions held in the valleys around Altoona, PA.
When Jim started something, he finished it and his career was nothing less than dedicated. After his Air Force service in Japan, Jim returned to take a job with Union Carbide where he worked for 37 years, retiring in 1987.
Work and the American Legion connected Jim to many years of bowling league competition. He loved to bowl, and the friendships that it brought with it. Jim often accomplished an average of over 200. When he was not working, bowling or serving veterans, Jim spent his nights and weekends with his family of four children.
Jim’s neighbor and very close friend, David Merle said, “There was nothing Jim loved more than his family. He talked nonstop about his kids and grandkids. Jim never met a stranger, I will miss him.”
Jim Huey is survived by his wife of 60 years, Darlee Anderson Huey; Darrell Huey and Carol; Brian Huey and Lisa Maresca Huey; Keith Huey and Rose; Cheryl (Huey) McClish and Doug McClish (the adopted son); grandchildren: Justin Huey and his wife Beth; Kristen and her soon-to-be husband, Shelby; Lindsey McClish, Levi McClish and expectant wife Chastity (James was thrilled with the news), Logan McClish, and Lucas McClish.
James is survived by one brother, David Allen Huey, living in North Carolina, and one of those Carson uncles, Billy, who is more like a brother, living in Cleveland. Then there is a long list including but not limited to Elaine Hollo (adopted daughter), Marie (McClish) and Greg Hall, and their children Vivian and Carter; Sandy Smith (daughter of Obie and Kitty), many other cousins and friends throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania and the entire country.
Jim Huey is predeceased by a long history of Carsons and Huey’, his parents, mentioned earlier, and his brothers Homer Huey (1977 – Dallas Texas), and Donald George Huey (2011 – Winston Salem); his sister, Blanche Huey (circa 1974).
Will he be missed? One son said, “I can hear him right now answering the phone, "Yellow," followed by something humorous, positive, or upbeat, right up until his last breath. I’ll miss that.” There are a lot of Huey’s, McClish’s, other family and friends that will miss that, and so much more.
Jim died on Palm Sunday which commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in each of the four canonical Gospels. Jim’s faith was important to him and to his wife Darlee who notes that everyone in the immediate family has come to know Jesus as their personal Savior. Their pastor said that this is an amazing testimony to the power of prayer, and a Patriarch who lead by example.
This Palm Sunday, we know you took the lightning tractor ride straight to heaven, Dad. It is a good day for all of those that are there to greet you, and a day of tremendous loss for all of us here. I cannot imagine a world without you in it. Dad was a Dad that did not tell us how to live. Dad lived, and let us watch him live right.
A funeral service will be held in Jim’s memory on Saturday March 26, 2016 at 11 a.m. with an hour prior of calling at the Bellville Butler Chapel Snyder Funeral Home. Pastor Micah Pelkey will officiate and burial will follow in Little Washington Cemetery with American Legion Post # 535 of Bellville performing military honors.
Contributions in his memory to the Bellville American Legion Post #535 may be made at the funeral home.
Snyder Funeral Homes is honored to serve Jims’s family and encourage you to share a fond memory or message of condolence to them at SnyderFuneralHomes.com.