Walter Earl Huff

April 6, 1936 ~ June 17, 2024

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Beloved son, husband, father, uncle and friend, Walter “Earl” Huff, drew his final breath with his family by his side and left this earthly world on June 17th, 2024, to join our savior Jesus Christ and other friends and family who have preceded him to Heaven.

Services honoring the life of Walter Earl Huff, age 88, will be held at 3:00 P.M., Sunday, June 23, 2024, at First Methodist Church on Loop Road in Monroe, LA. Rev. Dr. Brian Mercer will officiate. Visitation will be held from 2:00 P.M. until time of service. Graveside services will be held at 3:00 P.M., Monday, June 24, 2024, at Oxford Memorial Cemetery in Oxford Mississippi with Rev. Fish Robinson officiating.

Earl was diagnosed with terminal cancer in late April of this year. Despite his physical condition, during his final six weeks, in every interaction with friends, caregivers and family members, he was upbeat, joked and told stories. Earl assured everyone that he had been blessed with a great life, family, and experiences. He was courageous and determined to beat the odds, but when the inevitable news came, he bravely accepted his situation and let everyone know he was prepared to go. He always accepted God’s will and searched for the good that can come from all circumstances. Throughout Earl’s life, he has always said he was truly blessed by the Man Upstairs.

Earl was so appreciative for the skill, commitment and kindness of his physicians, Dr. Chuck Morgan, Dr. Harold Bayonne, Dr. Nathan Bryan, Dr. Scott Barron, his Caring Hands Hospice support team and Creska Medical.

Earl was born in Winnsboro, LA in 1936. He spent his childhood there and graduated from Winnsboro High Schools a three-sport athlete and earned a football scholarship to The University of Mississippi. His athletic ability allowed him to be the first person in the Huff family to go to college.

While attending Ole Miss, Earl met the love of his life and wife of 59 years, Sharon, at the Ole Miss student union the first day she was on campus. Earl was co-captain of the Ole Miss Freshman football team, a letterman, and member of the 1956 Cotton Bowl Championship team. Earl joined the Navy ROTC program and earned his commission as a second Lieutenant. In 1958, he graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and went onto become a Navy pilot, flying the submarine bomber P2V-7 and participated in the Cuban Missile Crisis, tracking and driving off Russian Submarines.

In late 1958, Earl and Sharon were married in New Orleans and were initially stationed in Pensacola, FL. Earl and Sharon had four children, Bill, Cheryl, Brian, and Julie. After flying for the Navy, Earl focused on a career in the petroleum industry as a distributor. In 1968, he earned his PhD in Economics from Florida State.

In 1970, the family moved to Houston, TX where Earl became a staff economist with Exxon. In 1974, Earl left Exxon to become a professor of Economics at Columbus College in Columbus, GA. In 1976, they moved to Monroe, LA to be close to his parents and become CEO and owner of Louisiana Beverages, Inc., the exclusive Pepsi Cola bottler in NE Louisiana.

After selling Louisiana Beverages in 1980, Earl was a professor at NLU (now ULM), as well as, Delta Community College. Earl rounded out his professional career as a leading oil industry tax consultant for the Internal Revenue Service and lead several major initiatives for the U.S. government to recover unpaid taxes that were owed by some of the largest international firms in the world.

Earl loved watching his children and grandchildren play sports and participate in numerous athletic, dance and musical performances. He supported all of their various personal and business ventures. 

In 2016, Shay was diagnosed with brain cancer. After a valiant 18-month battle, Shay succumbed to the disease in 2017. From the first day of the diagnosis until the end, Earl did everything in his power to try to save her and help in her cancer fight.

Following Shay’s death, Earl’s sadness and loneliness eased when he met Sherry Phelps, a widow and member of the St. Paul’s United Methodist Church choir. They married in 2020, and enjoyed four amazing years together, traveling, and singing in the church choir and enjoying retirement together. Throughout his cancer fight and until his final day, Earl said he was the luckiest man in the world to have had two beautiful, loving and caring wives.

In 2022, at 86, in his final attempt to give back to the citizens of Louisiana, Earl decided to follow a lifelong “bucket list” goal and run for Louisiana’s 5th District U.S. Congressional Office. His unique platform as a conservative Democrat, together with his honesty, integrity, education and complete understanding of the issues and tireless campaigning – he was able to earn over 25,000 votes.

Throughout his life, Earl demonstrated his faith in God by putting others ahead of himself, giving his time, advice and resources to anyone in need. He would challenge everyone to do their best, set and achieve goals, treat others with kindness and assure them that we are all equal in God’s eyes.

Earl was preceded in death by his first wife Sharon; his parents, Walter and Annie; and older sister, Virginia. He is survived by his wife Sherry Huff; son, Bill Huff and his wife Linn, their children, Hannah, Brandon, Elizabeth (husband Jerry) Manning and Earl’s two great-grandchildren, Everleigh and Edison; daughter, Cheryl Montgomery and her husband, Roy Platter, and her children, Dalton and Lyndle; son, Dr. Brian Huff, and his sons, Austin and Jake; daughter, Julie Lamker and her husband, Darrell, and their daughters, Lauren and Kara (husband Mark Hedstrom); sister Terri Sharp; many loving nieces and nephews; and Sherry’s family, daughter, Kimberly (husband Barry) Walsh and her daughter, Lauren Hartt; daughter, Alison DeRouen and her children, Sara, Zack and Olivia; mother, Bonnie Bensberg; and brother, Mark (wife Gail) Wilson. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Earl’s memory to First Methodist Church Monroe, 3900 Loop Road, Monroe, LA 71201.


Monday, June 24, 2024 3:00PM – 12:00AM

Oxford Memorial Cemetery
16th Street
Oxford, MS 38655

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