Obituaries: 03-04-21

Robert Huddleston, Sr.

Robert O. Huddleston, Sr., of Maumee, passed away at Hospice of Northwest Ohio on Friday, February 26. 

Born in Toledo on December 22, 1933 to Robert and Stella Huddleston, he was a longtime resident of Maumee and the Browning Masonic Center in Waterville. Bob was a 1952 graduate of DeVilbiss High School, where he lettered in wrestling. He met his future wife, Ruthie, when they were both working at Jeep, where he was a draftsman. One day he went to chew out the person who messed up one of his drawings for a new Jeep model, and it happened to be Ruthie, who cried. He married Ruthie Huddleston (nee Farrell) on December 19, 1958, in Toledo, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

She preceded him in death on May 27, 2007. Together they raised five children: Bob (Susan), of Bay City, Mich., Tari (George) Arnold, of Swanton; Nancy (deceased, 1984), James (Ann), of Sylvania; and Amber (Steve) Kroggel, of Bowling Green. They owned a wonderful home on Parkway South in Maumee and were blessed with many great neighbors. Bob had nine grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandson. He was also fond of – and a father-figure to — Patsy (Peg Dauer) Farrell, of Bowling Green. Bob was also predeceased by his sister and her husband, Nita and Gene Fuller; and his brother and sister-in-law, Bruce and Ann Huddleston.

The U.S. Navy called Bob to serve during the Korean War on the destroyer USS O’Brien, DD 725. He was proudly a “snipe,” working below decks as a boiler tender. After service, Bob returned to Jeep and worked there until his retirement in 1986. He progressed from working on the line into the engineering department. He was a self-taught draftsman, one of the last big-board drawers in the auto industry. One claim to fame he had while at Jeep was playing a pivotal role in the design and development of the classic Jeep postal vehicle. “A piece of crap,” he would jokingly say, but he also knew it did its job for decades. 

Bob was an active outdoorsman. Whether bow hunting deer near Houghton Lake, Mich., in the fall, or fishing during the walleye run along the Maumee River or as a first mate on a boat in Lake Erie, he enjoyed nature. He was instrumental in the development of the archery facilities at Adams Conservation Club and spent many years as secretary of the club. He enjoyed watching boxing, woodworking, taking long walks along the river and an occasional beer or two.

A special thanks goes out to Jim and his wife Ann for the extra time, love and care it took to help Bob through his later years. Also deeply appreciated are the efforts and professionalism shown by the staffs at the Browning Masonic Community and Northwest Ohio Hospice.

Family and friends were received on March 2 at the Maison-Dardenne-Walker Funeral Home in Maumee, followed by burial in Ottawa Hills Memorial Gardens. Memorial donations maybe directed to the Browning Masonic Community or Hospice of Northwest Ohio. 

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