Serving the community since 1970

Wasco's Shirley Huffman celebrates a century

Wasconian Shirley Huffman celebrated her 100th birthday on June 23, surrounded by friends and family. She has witnessed many significant milestones over the century of her life.

"The things she has noticed the most is the mode of transportation changing and how it has evolved," Daughter Cynthia Huffman said. "The way cars and airplanes have changed, and the fact that we actually made it to the moon."

Her family came from Ohio, and is one of eight children. Her grandfather worked in oil fields. She worked as a secretary for 20 years at several companies before continuing her career at the Wasco School District office. She graduated from Wasco High School in 1943.

Some of her fondest memories include helping her mom at home, being with her friends and going to the drive-ins.

Huffman married Herbert J. Huffman in 1948 and was married to him for 50 years. He was in the Army when she met him through who would become her father-in-law. Herbert was a farmer with her grandfather until he ran for constable, a court liaison for the Wasco court when it was here.

She had her first child, Priscilla, in 1950, Timothy in 1952, and Cynthia in 1955. She has five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Her early passions were reading and gardening. When she and Herbert retired, they liked to travel, including to Australia and Bali. "We took her to Peru when my daughter had a field trip through college and went on a cruise with me when my daughter graduated from college."

Shirley Huffman instilled life lessons in Cynthia and her siblings. "She was very adamant about us going to college," her daughter said. "She believed in education because she felt it would give us an affordable life, so we all did that."

"She also taught us if you're going to say something, you need to do it and follow through. There was no quitting."

Cynthia Huffman said her mother's perspective on life has influenced her and her family. "I think how my parents stayed together is important growing up. We had faith in our family and a religious belief growing up."

"Also, that our parents were always there for us. We could turn to them for help and advice with anything. They were people who would support us when we needed it, and we felt that love throughout our lives."

At her birthday party at the Wasco Woman's Club, she had family fly in from South Carolina, Virginia and Nebraska. About 80 people attended the party, and all of them enjoyed her sense of humor.

"She can still communicate easily with people, walk around and enjoy life and her friends."

Cynthia flew with her on her birthday, and the airline was very sweet, she said. "They made a big deal about her in the terminal and on the plane by singing happy birthday to her. She thought that was a big deal and a lot of fun. It was special to have strangers sing to her to celebrate her 100th birthday."

Huffman said she will be around as long as she can. "As long as she is enjoying life, she will be happy to try to reach the next 101, 102 and so on," her daughter said.

 

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