Michael Huffman of Clayton, Ohio passed away in 2008 at Hospice of Dayton after a lengthy illness.
Michael retired from Emery Worldwide Airlines where he was employed as a pilot. He also served in the US Army for almost nine years, including two tours of duty in Vietnam. Over the course of his life he lived in Indianapolis, Indiana; Orlando, Florida; Dayton, Ohio; and Tampa, Florida. Michael enjoyed golf, sailing, jazz and playing the trumpet.
Michael was very interested in space flight. One of his uncles (Scott Boothman) was at Marshall Space Flight Center with von Braun and also worked at Cape Kennedy throughout the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs. Michael's son Matt is also an Aerospace Engineer. Moreover, Michael was a member of ASAP, the American Society of Aerospace Pilots, which was an organization whose purpose was to train pilots to fly the space shuttle commercially. This venture went out of business after the Challenger disaster, but Michael never stopped studying the cosmos and the principles of manned space flight.
He is survived by his wife Pamela; sons and daughters-in-law David and Patti Huffman of Orlando, Florida, Matthew and Wendi Huffman of Orlando, and Kristofer Huffman of Gainesville, Florida; one granddaughter Sierra; and a sister Karen of South Carolina; and many other friends.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, -- and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of -- wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .
Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew --
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
-- John Gillespie Magee, Jr