William (Bill) Huddleston was called to his heavenly home on Friday, August 06, 2021 at the age of 91 to spend an eternity with his Savior. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Hazel Terrell Huddleston, who died on July 19, 2004 at the age of 70 of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) after being tenderly cared for by Bill in their home in Madisonville, Tennessee. They were married June 15, 1959 in Dekalb County, Tennessee. He is remembered by his family as being a caring, loyal, reliable servant to others, and especially to his family. He was particularly fond of and proud of his seven grandchildren who called him Daddy Bill. It was important to him that all of his grandchildren graduate from college, so he contributed a significant amount of his savings to each for this purpose. At the time of his death, six had graduated college and one was in attendance.
Born William Allen Huddleston in Hickman, Tennessee (Smith County) October 16, 1929, he was one of four children of former Carthage Mayor and Huddleston Electric Service owner Rush Hawes Huddleston who died April 10, 1989 at the age of 90 and Lurlie Lee Gwaltney Huddleston who died on November 7, 1983 at the age of 82.
He was preceded in death by his older brother, Charles Edwin Huddleston, who died at the age of 61 on November 3, 1989 and his younger brother, James Campbell Huddleston, who died at the age of 85 on September 12, 2018. Billie Allen also had a younger sister, Mary Sue Huddleston Vetter, who died on August 4, 2018 at the age of 82.
Bill attended Carthage Elementary School and Smith County High School where he lettered in football, basketball and baseball as a competitive athlete. He was also known for being an outstanding swimmer, and there are many stories of him swimming across the Cumberland River and back. After graduating high school, he volunteered for service in the United States Navy from 09/29/1948 until 09/04/1952 including a stint on the destroyer, the USS Heermann, as a physician’s assistant during the Korean War.
Upon being honorably discharged from the Navy in 1952, Bill utilized the G.I. Bill to enroll in the College of Engineering at the Tennessee Polytechnic Institute in Cookeville, Tennessee while working full time on a construction crew and at a drug store. In 1956, he graduated with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering at which time he was employed by McWhorter and Franklin Engineers of Nashville, consulting engineers for municipal and REA electric power distributors. He worked there for 3 years until 1959 when he was employed by the City of Etowah as General Manager of Etowah Utilities. He resigned from this position in January of 1971 and became the chief engineer and assistant to the General Manager of Fort Loudoun Electric Cooperative (FLEC) in Madisonville, Tennessee. He became the General Manager on December 15, 1972 until his retirement on January 6, 1995 after 24 years with FLEC.
Even as the General Manager at Etowah and Fort Loudoun, Bill still had a passion for engineering and enjoyed doing engineering work at both utilities. While at Etowah, Bill’s advocacy for utility engineers resulted in him serving on the feasibility committee responsible for establishing the Tennessee Municipal Electric Power Association’s Engineering and Operations Section which still meets biannually.
In 1989, Bill was awarded the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association’s (TVPPA) Distinguished Service Award after having been a member of the TVPPA board of directors from 1981 to 1987 and having served as its vice president. He also served as vice chairman of their software subcommittee of the research and development committee, as a charter board member of TVPPA’s subsidiary, Distributors Insurance Company, as chairman of TVPPA’s Eastern District Power Distributors Association and was active in the formation of the TVPPA Southeastern District Managers Association. Additionally, Bill served as chairman and member of the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association’s Legislative and Tax Committee and a member of its Management Advisory Committee and was a member of the board of Central Service Association (CSA). In 1994, at a luncheon held in the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Bill received the prestigious Cooperative Education Award given by the National Council of Cooperatives.
Bill enjoyed many activities including gardening, golf and spending time with his grandchildren. He was also an accomplished artist, painting scenes of nature with oils. Until he moved to be close to his daughter in 2011, Bill was an active member of his church, First United Methodist Church of Madisonville, and after moving, he enjoyed his years at First Baptist Church of Philadelphia, Tennessee.
Surviving Bill are his two children: a son Dr. Charles Terrell Huddleston (Julia Annice) of Saltillo, Mississippi and his daughter Dr. Celia Huddleston Harrison (John) of Philadelphia, Tennessee. He is also survived by his seven beloved grandchildren: Mary Lyndal Harrison of Loudon, Tennessee, Sally Anna Harrison of Jackson, Mississippi, John William Harrison of Madison, Alabama, Charles Allen Harrison and Amy Elizabeth Harrison of Philadelphia, Tennessee, Kit William Huddleston of Fort Walton Beach, Florida and Chase Thomas Huddleston of New York, New York.
The family will have a private graveside service with interment at Green Hill Cemetery in Etowah, Tennessee with Pastor Brian Courtney officiating. Contributions in memory of Mr. Huddleston may be made to the First Baptist Church, 606 Church St. Philadelphia, TN 37846. Please designate “The Community Meal”.
Arrangements by McGill Click Funeral & Cremations, 1366 Hwy 72 N, Loudon. www.mcgillclick.com