Fmr. well known State Senator, Pastor dies at age 82

By: Paige Quiggins Email
By: Paige Quiggins Email

A longtime state senator, legislator, pastor, radio station owner and great-grandfather died on Dec. 8, 2011 after a long battle with a lung disease.

Eastern Kentucky mourned the loss of Rev. Gene Huff who died at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in London. At one time, Huff was an overseas minister, public school teacher and school administrator. Those who knew him said his character was displayed both in and outside of working for the people of Kentucky.

“There has not been a lot of people like gene huff in our community that has had an impact on so many people,” said David Westerfield.

The Laurel County Judge Executive said Huff was a mentor to him and he considered him a very close friend. Those who knew him said he left behind a wonderful legacy.

“He was really an instrumental member of our community very much a spiritual leader in our community but also was a good member of the state senate, very well respected,” said Sen. Tom Jensen of London.

Huff was elected to the state House of Representatives in 1967 and then won a state senate seat in 1971, which he held until 1994. That same year, he fulfilled his dream of starting a Christian radio station, WYGE. He was recently honored on the senate floor by U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell. That is the highest civilian honor an individual can receive from the senate.

Huff also pastored the First Pentecostal Church in London for more than 25 years.

“He has done so much for the community, not just Laurel County but even abroad,” said Westerfield.

Jensen said that he even smuggled bibles into communist countries before that was even allowed. They said his faith was his life.

“He always lived by his conscience when he was in the senate, he voted his conscience and he is going to be really missed,” said Jensen.

“He guided me in a lot of ways and he was such an icon in this community I cannot think of someone in Laurel County who has done more for our community than Gene Huff,” said Westerfield.

The visitation for Huff will be Monday night at First Pentecostal Church in London. The funeral will be Tuesday at 1 p.m. also at the church.

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