CARBONDALE — William Nyle “Riley Bill,” Huffman, also affectionately called “RB” by close friends and family, died March 20, 2013, in Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.
He was named after his two grandfathers, Riley Huffman and Bill Hamilton who were well-known businessmen in Carbondale.
Bill’s parents were G. Nyle Huffman and Gwendolyn Hamilton Huffman of Carbondale.
He attended Brush School from grades one through seven and University High School for eighth grade and summers during high school. He graduated from CCHS in 1943, received a Bachelor of Science from SIU in 1947, and a Master of Science in education from SIU in 1948. While at SIU working on his master’s he taught freshman physics. He taught math and physics at Rio Grand College in Ohio in 1948. Bill attended Purdue University as a Marine Officer Candidate from 1943 to 1945, and was discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps in May, 1945. He graduated from St. Louis College of Mortuary Science in 1950.
He worked at and owned Huffman Funeral Home, 210 W. Oak Street, Carbondale, until 1987. He also worked at the family-owned Hamilton Phillips 66 Service Station, 221 N. Illinois, until 1954.
Bill taught mortuary science at SIU in 1964 and 1970.
He served on the Carbondale Zoning Board of Appeals from 1965 to 2005, as exalted ruler of BPOE (Elks Club) in 1960, as president of the Illinois Funeral Directors Association in 1962, as president of the Egyptian Funeral Directors Association, and as president of Jackson County Alumni Club (SIU) in 1963. He was also, a member of the Carbondale Rotary Club.
He also served as vice president of the Carbondale Junior Chamber of Commerce (JC’s) in 1950, as president of the Unitarian Fellowship in Carbondale in 1975, and as vice chairman of the board of directors of the First Christian Church in Carbondale in 1969. Bill also served as the secretary of the board of directors of Home Federal Savings and Loan.
He married Joan Watts from Nashville, in 1948, in Ashland, Ky., and had two children, Jane Koprucki, an attorney in Carbondale, and Elizabeth Huffman, senior partner of cvpersonalstatement.com, an online editing business for physicians.
His sister, Imogene Huffman and cousins, John Riley Huffman and wife, Linda, and Amy Richardson and husband, John, all of Carbondale, survive him.
Preceding him in death were his parents, G. Nyle Huffman and Gwendoly Hamilton and son-in-law, Mark Koprucki.
Bill had five grandchildren, Elizabeth’s children, and seven going on eight great-grandchildren including:
Abdullah Bakr Abolkhair, who recently completed a fellowship in pain management in Boston and is currently serving as an anesthesiologist in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and is married to May Al-Khudhairy, a dentist and recent Harvard graduate. Abdullah and May have three children, Bakr, Mohamad and Mohanad.
Sarah Bakr Abulkhair, a former teacher who resides with her husband, Ghassan Aboalsamh, who is employed by Saudi Arabian Airlines, and their two going on three children, Anas and Balqees, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Ahmed Bakr Abulkhair, who is completing an MBA at SIU Edwardsville and who resides with his wife, Rana Hassan Allam, and their two children, Sarah (“Noosa”) and Ryan in Edwardsville.
Abdulrahman Bakr Abulkhair, who resides with his wife, Lujain Baz, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and is an owner and executive board member of Transwestern Mena. Lujain is studying clinical nutrition in Riyadh.
Mohammed Bakr Abulkhair, a recent graduate of the University of Tampa, will be pursuing a Master of Social Work (MSW) this year.
The children’s father is Bakr Abulkhair, chairman and managing partner of Deloitte and Touche Bakr Abulkhair and Company in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The highlights of Bill’s childhood include travel and fishing. The highlights of his adulthood included fishing, scuba diving, Caribbean travel and cruising. Bill has been to the Middle East approximately 10 times.
He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. today, March 22, in Huffman Harker Walker Funeral Home at 210 W. Oak St., in Carbondale. Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 23, at the funeral home, with the Rev. Everett Freeman officiating. Interment with military rites will be in Oakland Cemetery.
Memorial Donation may be made to SIU Foundation, Women’s Basketball Program, 1235 Douglas Drive, Mail Code 6805, Carbondale, IL 62901-4308.