Local Obituaries

Gene Huff, Kentucky legislator, pastor and radio station owner, dies at 82

Gene Huff, who served more than 26 years in the state legislature, died early Thursday in London. He was 82.

Mr. Huff had pulmonary fibrosis, a condition that causes scarring in the lungs, and had been on oxygen the last year, said his oldest daughter, Arlene Zawko. He died at Saint Joseph-London Hospital.

Mr. Huff, who also pastored First Pentecostal Church in London for more than 25 years, served two terms in the state House of Representatives before he was elected in 1971 to the state Senate, where he spent more than 22 years.

He retired in June 1994, the same day the tower went up for WYGE, a 50,000-watt Christian radio station he owned with his wife, Ethel Dayberry Huff, said Zawko, who worked at the station.

Mr. Huff was a staunch fiscal and social conservative, opposing abortion, the Kentucky lottery, expanded gambling and higher taxes.

Zawko said Mr. Huff opposed then-Gov. Louie Nunn, the first Republican governor in more than 20 years, when Nunn pushed an increase in the state sales tax in the late 1960s.

Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell honored Mr. Huff in a Senate floor speech last month, saying the people of his district "could not have asked for a more dedicated, loyal, or hardworking senator."

Mr. Huff also played a key role in rallying support for completion of the Saint Joseph-London Hospital, McConnell said.

He is survived by his wife of nearly 60 years. The couple had five children, 19 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren, with more on the way, Zawko said.

"We know he's with the Lord, and we're happy," she said.

Zawko said visitation for her father would be Monday at First Pentecostal Church in London, probably from 5 to 10 p.m, with the funeral at the church on Tuesday.

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