Thorpe Asbury ‘Bubber’ Huntington

Published 6:00 am Monday, December 14, 2009

Thorpe Asbury ‘Bubber’ Huntington Jr., 77, of Hazlehurst,quietly passed away on Friday, Dec. 11, 2009, at home with his wifeand children by his side. Visitation will be 5 until 8 p.m. Sundayat Stringer Family Funeral Home in Hazlehurst.

Services will be 11 a.m. Monday at First Presbyterian Church inHazlehurst.

Mr. Huntington was born in Hazlehurst on Oct. 4, 1932, to thelate Thorpe A. and Frances H. Huntington. He was a lifelongresident of Copiah County, having lived at various times inHazlehurst, Crystal Springs and the Martinsville community, wherehe resided at Dixie Gardens at the time of his passing.

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He graduated with honors from Hazlehurst High School. Hebelonged to the 4-H Club and the Boy Scouts of America, in which heattained the rank of Eagle Scout. In high school, he letteredseveral years in football at left guard, and baseball at shortstop.The American Legion Baseball team on which he played, coached bythe late Marshall Nesbit Jr., went to the state playoffs. Heattended the University of Southern Mississippi, Copiah-LincolnCommunity College, and Mississippi State University, where hegraduated with a degree in business administration.

Mr. Huntington began his career in Crystal Springs by working atthe Crystal Springs Lumber Company, which his father had once ownedand his aunt, the late Nell C. Huntington, then owned. After herdeath, he moved back to Hazlehurst and opened Huntington Lumber& Supply Company on the south end of Extension Street. After afew years, he moved the company to a new building at 124 WestWhitworth St., where it is still operated by his sons.

He served for 37 years on the Board of Directors of the CopiahBank. He operated a cattle business at Dixie Gardens, havingstarted with a small herd while he was still a teenager. DixieGardens is a landmark on Interstate 55 south of Hazlehurst known tomany by its red barn with a rainbow painted on its side. He hadother land and timber interests, but he considered himself firstand foremost a builder. He learned building as a teenager when heworked as a carpenter under Bror and Helmut Carlson, two highlyregarded craftsmen who had immigrated from Scandinavia.

During his business career, he supervised the building ofhundreds of houses and developed a number of subdivisions. As ageneral contractor, he supervised numerous projects in CopiahCounty, including a large addition to the Pine Crest Guest Home, a1970s renovation to the Copiah County Courthouse, an addition tothe Covington Memorial Library, the construction of five branchbanks and a renovation to the main branch for Copiah Bank andprojects for the Copiah County Schools and local churches. As adeveloper, he was most proud of his work along the Highway 28commercial corridor in Hazlehurst. For the pure joy of swinging ahammer, he personally built a large gazebo beside his home at DixieGardens.

A lifelong sportsman, Mr. Huntington loved fishing; huntingquail, deer, and, especially, turkey; and raising his much belovedbird dogs. An excellent tennis player with a distinctive serve, hewas a fierce competitor on the court. He was especially proud ofhis children and grandchildren and encouraged them to excel intheir academic and other endeavors.

Mr. Huntington was a lifelong member of the First PresbyterianChurch of Hazlehurst. He is survived by his wife, RenateHuntington; three children, David T. Huntington and wife, Kim, ofHazlehurst, Jenny H. Branston and husband, John, of Memphis, Tenn.,and John W. Huntington, of Jackson; their mother, Janice S.Huntington of Madison, and four grandchildren. He also leaves asister, Mary Frances McKey, of Clinton; a brother, William H.Huntington, of Memphis; three nieces; a nephew; and a number ofcousins on his mother’s side, the Hamiltons of Wesson.

He was preceded in death by his second wife, Karen Dubose, ofGeorgetown. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the FirstPresbyterian Church of Hazlehurst or the Alzheimer’s Association,225 North Michigan Avenue, Floor 17, Chicago, IL 60601.