Obituary Details

Leslie "Les" Kleber Huff Sr.

(08/08/1923 - 06/18/1962)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 06/28/1962

Huff Services Are Held Friday

The Lusk Open Bible Church was filled to overflowing as funeral services for Leslie Huff were held.

The Rev. Frank Bozart presided. Casket bearers were: Cecil Tryon, Charles Christian, David Lorenzen, Grady Criss, Frank Kuhn, James Thompson, Leo Thompson and David Poage. A quartet of Denis Culver, Harry Lyon, Dr. Richard Collins and Gerald Bardo sang "Gather at the River" and "Be Still My Soul." A duet of Patty Bozart and Jo Ann Hansen sang "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms."

Even though Masonic services were not held, inasmuch as Mr. Huff had not completed his Masonic degrees, members of Harmony Masonic Lodge attended the service in a body. Military rites were accorded at the grave.

Between the accident and the funeral many friends as well as organizations assisted the Huff family. Meals were served by Legion Auxiliary, Modern Matrons, Country Club ladies, ladies of the Open Bible Church, and friends of the family prepared the Tuesday evening meal.

Leslie Kleber Huff was born August 8, 1923 in Iowa Falls, Iowa, one of six children born to Mr. and Mrs. Kleber Leslie Huff. He was reared in Iowa Falls and attended high school in Eldora, Iowa. He served his country as a flight engineer in the Air Corps in World War II and was discharged in March, 1946. During his service years he received one year of college training. On January 10, 1946 he and Flora M. Perry were married in Boise, Idaho. Shortly after his marriage he went to an Aeronautics School in Des Moines for almost a year and then went into the light aircraft business and was employed at Edgemont for about a year before coming to Lusk. During his years at Lusk he was very active in all community affairs and was especially active in the Open Bible Church. He served as a member of the Board of Trustees of that Church for the past nine years. He was a past president of the Lusk Lions Club, a member of the American Legion and this spring took his first Masonic degree.

Surviving are his wife, Flora, his three children, Jane Ann, Leslie, Jr., and Barbara Jean, his mother, Mrs. Florence Moorehead, his sister, Mrs. Edith Walters, a brother, Clifford and his step-father, Lawrence Moorehead. He was preceded in death by two sisters, one brother, his father and a daughter, Kay Marie.

Mr. Huff was killed June 18 when his plane and another plane collided in mid-air near Glendive, Mont. Dr. Moline, one of the investigating officers, phoned Dr. Walter Reckling last week inquiring as to Mr. Huff's physical condition previous to the accident. Dr. Moline related that the investigators had not found any negligence on the part of either pilot.

The Lusk Herald
June 21, 1962
Les Huff Killed in Montana Mid-Air Plane Collision Mon.

Leslie Huff, 39, Lusk airport operator, was killed in a mid-air collision of two single engine planes just after he had taken off from the Glendive, Mont. airport at 3:00 p.m. Monday. Funeral services will be held from the Lusk Open Bible Church at 2:00 p.m. Friday.

Mr. Huff, a skilled professional pilot, was taking off in a Piper Commanche and had reached an estimated altitude of 800 feet when his plane collided with a Cessna 170 flown by Elmer Schultz, 28, of Glendive. Mr. Schultz was also killed and his aircraft burned in the air. The wreckage of both planes came to rest on an island in the Yellowstone River between Glendive and West Glendive. The propeller of one plane was embedded in the fuselage of the other.

Art Soare, operator of the Glendive Flying Service, said Huff may have been blinded by the sun. Huff was taking off west and was climbing at an angle that would have forced him to look toward the 3:00 p.m. sun. It is believed that the Schultz aircraft was entering the landing pattern.

Full details of the accident are not known. However, Civil Aeronautics Board authorities are conducting an investigation.

The Rev. Frank Bozart will preside at the Friday services. Mr. Huff was in the process of taking Masonic degrees but had not completed his work. However, out of respect Lusk Masons will attend the services in a body.

Mr. Huff was one of Lusk's promising businessmen. When he came to Lusk in 1949, it had only a framework of an airport. Mr. Huff, together with the efforts of several town administrations, built the airport into an excellent, lighted and paved runway airport with expensive hangar facilities.

In January 1959 Huff embarked on a program of conditioning and selling used aircraft. The project proved so successful that he had expanded his staff and at the time of his death was showing substantial gains. His sales figures show the rapid but solid growth of his firm, Huff Aircraft Sales. They are: 1959, 12; 1959, 38; 1960, 53; 1961, 81; and with less than half of 1962 gone, 55.

Mr. Huff was proficient in his field. He had both commercial and instructor licenses, was an authorized aircraft and engine mechanic, and had his inspector's authorization. He also had his multi-engine rating. The number of pilots that he taught to fly certainly numbered in the hundreds.

Leslie Kleber Huff was born August 8, 1923 in Iowa Falls, Ia. He was reared in Iowa Falls and attended high school in Eldora, Ia. During World War II he served as a flight engineer with the Air Corps and received one year of college training. Following his services he went into the light aircraft business and was employed at Edgemont about a year before coming to Lusk in 1949.

Mr. Huff served as a member of the board of trustees of the Lusk Open Bible church for the past 9 years. He is a past president of the Lusk Lions club and last year was zone chairman.

Besides his wife, Flora, he is survived by his son, Leslie, Jr., daughter, Barbara, all of Lusk; daughter, Jane Ann of Lander; mother, Mrs. Florence Moorehead, and sister, Mrs. Edith Walters of Aberdeen, Idaho; brother, Clifford of Vandenberg Air Force Base, Vandenberg, Calif.

A memorial fund for Mr. and Mrs. Huff's daughter, Jane Ann, who is in the Wyoming State Training School at Lander has been established. The account is in the Lusk State Bank.

Images & Attachments


Cemetery photos courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project

Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Clark, Ralph (02/27/1927 - 11/10/1980) View Record
Obituary Perry, Eugene (03/19/1929 - 11/14/2005) View Record
Obituary Huff, Leslie (04/28/1953 - 05/10/2004) View Record
Obituary Jump, Myrtle (06/19/1909 - 07/20/2003) View Record
Obituary Huff, Kay (07/10/1949 - 06/09/1951) View Record
Obituary Holm, Flora (03/01/1927 - 09/06/2019) View Record
Historical Veteran History by George Flint View Record
Historical Gibson Field at Niobrara County High School View Record
Obituary Huff, Dolores (01/30/1931 - 05/29/2023) View Record