John Hufferd was a loving husband, excellent father and dedicated teacher. He was a man with a sharp mind and even sharper wit and strong ethical convictions with a deep empathy for the underdog. He lived a rich life and profoundly impacted the lives of those around him.
John grew up in a single parent home, and this drove him to be the best parent he could be and give his four children, John, Kevin, Linda and Joe, what he didn't have in his life, a loving father and a two parent home. He was the eldest of four brothers, Jim, Tom and Max, whom he loved dearly and tried to help his mother raise by joining the work world at the age of 12 setting pins at a bowling alley, mowing the grass at the Catholic cemetery, being a soda jerk and pumping gas at a filling station. Through all of that he was an excellent student at the Catholic parochial elementary and junior high school in Rushville, Indiana. In high school he met his future wife, Dorcas Archer, while continuing to distinguish himself as a scholar and a leader, always on the honor roll and earning recognition as a speech and debate student. He was married in Rushville, Indiana in 1954.
At the end of his second year of college at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, he volunteered for the draft during the Korean War. Stationed in Germany, it was there on bivouac with the water division that he learned his first son was born. Soon after arriving home he chose to enroll at Ball State University, then called Ball State Teacher's College, where he began training to be a teacher and developing his skills as a new father - a good thing because he taught school for 44 years and had three more children. He graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in English and Speech and a Master's Degree in English.
After two years teaching at McKinley Junior High in Muncie, Indiana, and with his teacher's credential in hand, he took his family to California where he began teaching at Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton. Two years later he found his true happy place at Buena Park High School where he spent the rest of his teaching career.
John Hufferd was one of those people born to be a teacher. Like the proverbial postman, neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stayed this teacher from completing his appointed rounds as he saw them. If a student called for help any day or time of night, he would always go and give whatever help he could. He was a surrogate father for many of his students and many say he changed their lives. Consequently he has a great student following long after his 2001 retirement from the job that sustained him through several years of ill health. As a professional teacher he was always active in the teacher association's work. He served two terms as Fullerton Teachers' Association president and many years as their State Representative to California Teachers Association. Improving working conditions for teachers so they could better do their work with students was always his goal.
At home, among other things, John Hufferd was coach to his three boys in Little League in Yorba Linda and a proud supporter of his daughter's artistic endeavors. John filled his home and many family car trips with laughter and encyclopedic recall of history, philosophy and literature. He was steadfast and took great pleasure in providing a welcoming home for his family to gather throughout his life.
John passed away in Yorba Linda March 3rd, with his family by his side. He is survived by his wife, four children, and five grandchildren.
There will be a public viewing from 1:00 - 3:00 PM on Thursday, March 10th at the Loma Vista Mortuary at 701 East Bastanchury Road, Fullerton, CA 92835-2270, followed by a private family burial ceremony. The family and his former students are planning a public celebration of his life in two to three weeks. Those interested in attending should visit the Prayers for Mr Hufferd Facebook page.
The Hufferd family plans to make charitable contributions to some of the many worthwhile organizations and causes he championed during his life. In lieu of flowers you can send checks to John Hufferd at 4121 Denver Ave., Yorba Linda, CA 92886.