Donald F. Huffhines was born December 9, 1929, and died November 18, 2000. During World War II his father, J.C., worked as a government inspector for Guiberson Motors, the company holding the contract for installing motors in tanks for the U.S. Army. With his parents, Don spent time living on army bases in Texas, including a one-year assignment in Brownwood. A typical boy, he was always busy and interested in everything from bugs to flying. One of his fondest memories was when his father occasionally took him on an assignment and for a ride in an army tank. His collection of live horned frogs was a prime example of his love for the outdoors and all living creatures. Insisting they remain in a “natural environment,” his mother kept the frogs in their Victory Garden to help control and eat garden ants.
Don began working when he was nine years old on both of his grandfathers’ farms. He graduated from Richardson High School in 1947 and continued working to put himself through college. He
Whatever he did in life – work or play – he did to the fullest. Always interested in flying and model airplanes, at age nineteen he won his first trophy from the U. S. Navy for building a model airplane. As part of the prize, he and a friend flew on a military plane and spent time “camping out” in the barracks at the naval base.
In 1962, Don directed the efforts of North Texas Amateur Boat Racing Association toward the successful promotion of the first World Championship Amateur Pleasure Boat Races at Lake Lewisville (in north Texas). He designed and built his own boat that he raced for many years and used recreationally with his family and his children’s friends.
Over the next twenty years he and his team members traveled worldwide for Magnolia Oil (now Exxon Mobil). They developed and assisted in the implementation of many technological advances in oil exploration. Don was responsible for the invention of many U.S. patents held in the name of Mobil Oil.
During the last ten years of his life, before his first stroke, Don was actively involved in the Lone Star Squadron and North Dallas Radio Control Club. He was instrumental in the club’s sponsorship of an annual picnic for the Buckner Children’s Home at the flying field. Even as his health prevented him from being active and participating in many of the things he loved, he remained an avid sports fan – never missing a Dallas Cowboys football game.
Don is survived by his wife of forty-nine years, Shearer Lee Holbert (married July 10, 1951); his son Donald F. Huffhines, Jr., born July 14, 1953; and daughter, Lee Huffhines, born April 16, 1957.