Huffstutler Remembered for his time at CVCC
PHENIX CITY, AL— Chattahoochee Valley Community College (CVCC) is more than an educational institution for the Huffstutler family. It’s home, the place where the Late Dr. Rickey Huffstutler left his mark, not just on the College itself, but the entire community. That’s why his wife, Susan, and daughters, Amanda and Marie, say they will always be connected to the College.
“I think what that boils down to, is that CVCC was such a part of his life until it was really a part of all of our lives,” said Susan.
“CVCC is who we are,” said Marie. “It wasn’t just that he worked there. CVCC accepted all of my dad, that included us. That was the best part.”
Marie and her sister, Amanda, have fond memories of spending time with their dad at the College. Whether they helped shred papers some evenings while he was working late, or they cheered on the sidelines at basketball games with the CVCC cheerleaders while sporting custom made uniforms, the Huffstutler girls literally grew up at CVCC.
Dr. Huffstutler served CVCC for more than 17 years in the roles of Dean of Administrative and Financial Services, Dean of Instruction, and Director of Extended Day and Community Service Programs. He was instrumental in helping develop programs, including Practical Nursing, Radio/Television Production and Broadcast Technology, Word Processing, Childcare and Development, Banking and Finance Technology, and more.
“His motivation was seeing other people succeed, seeing other people happy, knowing that he gave what he could, even if it was just a conversation or an ear to listen,” said Amanda. “Daddy would help many people with their financial aid, making sure they understood the process. He would be there for them through their frustrations.”
“Rickey and his brother were the first generation in their family to graduate from college,” said Susan. “He graduated from the community college system and always said that if it had not been for the community college, he and his brother would not have gone off to Auburn and gotten their degrees. So, he just always felt like he was giving back.”
Dr. Huffstutler passed away in 2014. The family says although their Rickey is gone, they are constantly reminded of the impact he made on the lives of others. It’s not unusual for any of them to be stopped by someone while out in the community and told about how Dr. Huffstutler helped that person in some way.
“We hear story after story from former students all the time,” said Susan. “Just the other day I saw a former student who is an officer with the Sheriff’s Department, and he said, ‘You know, if it wasn’t for your husband, I would have never made it.’ It’s really amazing the number of lives he touched.”
Dr. Huffstutler’s passion for education also lives on in the lives of his daughters. Both of them graduated from CVCC before earning their master degrees. They are now educators. Marie is teaching Business at Jordan High, and Amanda has returned to her father’s beloved College system teaching biology at CVCC since 2008.
Even with all of their father’s accomplishments, what they remember most about him, was his love for his family.
“He was 100% a family man. He did love his job, but family always came first,” said Amanda.
“He helped me out tremendously when I had my daughter, Teraa Beth, taking her to preschool every morning, taking her on picnics. She still remembers that,” said Marie.
Huffstutler is one of three honorees who were inducted in the CVCC’s Foundation Hall of Fame. The event was held at the National Infantry Museum in Columbus, Georgia. The Huffstutler women proudly accepted the Distinguished Service Award in his memory, and say it’s bitter sweet. When asked how they think he would respond to all the attention, the answer began in all seriousness but ended in hysterical laughter.
“He would be very modest and say that ‘I didn’t do anything that other people wouldn’t have done,’ but really he did,” said Susan.
Then Marie laughed and said, “What he would say is… ‘Oh heck! I guess I’ll just straighten up and put a smile on my face. Now, what tie do you want me to wear Susan?’”
Dr. Huffstutler was honored along with retired CVCC Head Basketball Coach Richard Mahone, who received the Distinguished Athlete award, and Chance Corbett, Russell County Commissioner and Auburn University Emergency Manager, who was recognized for Distinguished Alumnus. The Hall of Fame event included a silent auction, dinner, and entertainment. For more information about the Chattahoochee Valley Community College Foundation, contact David Fletcher at 334-291-4938.