- [S142] Newspaper Article, The News Herald (Lenoir City, TN), 25 May 2001.
Ray Manning obituary
- [S4] Knoxville News-Sentinel (Tennessee), 25 Mar 2009.
Deborah "Kaye" Huffstetler Jones obituary
- [S27] The Daily Times, http://www.thedailytimes.com/, (Blount County, Tennessee), 9 Jun 2013.
Get up and go: Huffstetler, 80, keeps walking, logging miles on greenway
By Melanie Tucker | (email@example.com)
Burl Huffstetler’s log book sums it up nicely — the soon-to-be 81-year-old has walked over 2,000 miles in just over two years.
Most of them have been logged on the greenway trails that connect Maryville and Alcoa. He walks when it’s raining, when it’s hot and muggy, when there’s a definite nip in the air. And he just keeps moving on.
Huffstetler, who resides in the Meadowbrook Community in Maryville, had open heart surgery back in April of 2011. He underwent a triple bypass, but that was no excuse to not exercise. Daughter Anne Raines said a few days after he was released from the hospital, he was walking the neighborhood.
Miles and miles
“I could barely keep up with him,” Raines said. “From that point on, he just wanted to go.”
It had been Huffstetler’s goal to complete 2,000 miles in two years, but he said it took him an extra month. He kept a journal the whole time and continues to do so.
He usually parks near the Blount County Health Department and starts on his journey, which most days takes him all the way to Springbrook Pool in Alcoa. He said he walks in the early morning on many days. Then after a brief rest, he might come back later in the day to do it all over again.
“The most I have ever done is 40 miles in one week,” Huffstetler explained. “This is a good place to come. The city keeps it clean, and it’s well lit.”
On his various outings, Huffstetler has seen deer, muskrats, opossums, a gray fox, herons, snakes and plenty of squirrels. He has been known to take a break and dip his feet into the cool water. He said he sees the same people over and over again as he treks along. “I’ve met a lot of people, young and old,” he said.
Huffstetler was diagnosed with diabetes a few years ago. He said there are days when he feels like he can walk 15 miles; on others, it’s hard to even get started. He does it anyway.
This active senior said he set the goal of walking 2,000 miles just to challenge himself. Everybody ought to set some kind of goal just to see if they can do it, he believes. It can really build you up.
Not giving up
There have been other obstacles over the years besides having open heart surgery and being diagnosed with diabetes. Many years ago, Huffstetler suffered from grand mal seizures and had to leave his job with Levi Strauss in Knoxville. Fortunately, the seizures ended. He had knee replacement surgery a few years ago.
Raines said her dad stayed with her to recover after that surgery. “I had neighbors calling me and telling me, ‘Your father is outside going up and down your stairs.’ He was also walking up and down the road.”
That’s the best way to get your knee back in shape, Huffstetler said.
Today, he is cared for by Raines, who lives close by. Huffstetler’s wife Geraldine passed away in 1984. His youngest daughter died from a brain tumor at the age of 42.
Hearing loss is something else Huffstetler has been dealing with. He said he’s come to learn that growing old is a challenge in itself. “You can’t do things like you used to and you can’t remember things.”
Raines said her father is inspiring to her and others. She coordinates a Weight Watchers program and tells participants, “If my dad can get out and do it, I know you can.”
Now that he’s reached his goal of 2,000 walking miles, Huffstetler said he might slow down a little, but he continues to keep his journal. He’s got a nice rain jacket for those kinds of days. And after all of these outings, he’s discovered the perfect walking temperature is about 40 degrees.
Side by side
Physical activity has been part of Huffstetler’s life since he was a boy. He said he played baseball and slow pitch softball until he was in his 40s. His twin brother, Bart, played semi-pro baseball in North Carolina.
It seems life has never been truly easy for this native Blount County man. He almost died shortly after birth and weighed only three pounds. His mother, who was only 21, died when he was just five days old.
Because of all of his hardships, he tries all the harder and is grateful for what he has, especially his daughter. “She doesn’t know how much she means to me,” he said.
Raines said she got worried when she found out her dad was going to need open heart surgery. She had already lost a sister and their mother. “I am thankful for him every day,” she said.
So Raines walks with her dad when she can and encourages him to keep it up. She sometimes has to be a little bossy, but Huffstetler doesn’t mind.
“Sometimes I need bossing around,” he said.
- [S112] Census, 1940.
Name: Burl Huffstettler
Titles and Terms:
Event Type: Census
Event Date: 1940
Event Place: Civil District 7, Blount, Tennessee, United States
Marital Status: Single
Race (Original): White
Relationship to Head of Household (Original): Son
Relationship to Head of Household: Son
Birth Year (Estimated): 1933
Last Place of Residence: Blount, Tennessee
Family Number: 242
Sheet Number and Letter: 15A
Line Number: 10
Affiliate Publication Number: T627
Affiliate Film Number: 3874
Digital Folder Number: 005461280
Image Number: 00210
Household Gender Age Birthplace
Head Herman Huffstettler M 31 Tennessee
Wife Pearl Huffstettler F 30 Tennessee
Daughter Mary Ruth Huffstettler F 10 Tennessee
Daughter Katheleen Huffstettler F 8 Tennessee
Son Bart Huffstettler M 7 Tennessee
Son Burl Huffstettler M 7 Tennessee
Son Herman Huffstettler M 5 Tennessee
Daughter Lois May Huffstettler F 1 Tennessee
- [S58] Marriage Certificate.
Name: Herman Huffstetler
Titles and Terms:
Event Type: Marriage
Event Date: 27 Oct 1928
Event Place: Blount, Tennessee, United States
Birth Year (Estimated):
Father's Titles and Terms:
Mother's Titles and Terms:
Spouse's Name: Myrtle Best
Spouse's Titles and Terms:
Spouse's Birth Year (Estimated):
Spouse's Father's Name:
Spouse's Father's Titles and Terms:
Spouse's Mother's Name:
Spouse's Mother's Titles and Terms:
Reference ID: BK 23 PG 232 IM 0123
GS Film number: 2073701
Digital Folder Number: 004646468
Image Number: 00128