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Arlene Norman Huffman

Arlene Norman Huffman was the only daughter of LeEttie Hatfield and Adam "Ad" Norman.  Being the fourth of Jeff and Polly's grandchildren, she was in the older tier of their 30 grandchildren.

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Arlene, born July 19, 1927, at LeEttie and Adam's home on Blackberry Creek, was named after a character in a story that her mother read before she was born.  She was the first of Jeff and Polly's grandchildren to go to Belfry High School in Belfry, Kentucky.  She was a majorette and graduated from high school at age 16 in 1943.  During high school, she would stay with her aunt and uncle, Opal and TC Hatfield, and with Fannie and Sid Scott when the weather was too bad to return to Blackberry.  She was the first of many of Jeff and Polly's grandchildren to frequent the Top Hat, a local jukebox restaurant where the high school students would gather.

After high school, Arlene went to business school at Bowling Green, Kentucky, for a year.  She moved to Pikeville, Kentucky, and stayed with her aunt and uncle, Jeanette and Anthony Smith, while she started working for the power plant in Pikeville.  There she met a young Navy veteran, Roland Turner "RT" Huffman, born March 30, 1923.  Arlene was the quieter and more reserved of the two.  She and RT were married in a double wedding ceremony on May 4, 1946.  Arlene and RT had three children, the first of whom, Pamela Sue, was stillborn.

In her forties, Arlene was diagnosed with a hole in her heart, a birth defect.  The doctors were so astonished by the active life that she was living, they advised against any surgery.  She worked as a cashier at Life and Casualty Insurance, while RT was the general manager for Big Sandy Maytag in Pikeville.  They loved camping, fishing, and boating at the Jenny Wiley State Park where Jeff and Polly's family have gathered since 1986 for a family reunion.  They made trips to the beaches like Myrtle Beach and Daytona Beach.  In addition, they bowled, with Arlene winning trophies in several ladies leagues. RT was a woodworker and volunteer fireman.  He helped in the rescue efforts when, on February 28, 1958, a school bus carrying 48 elementary and high school students in Floyd County plunged into the Big Sandy River.  Twenty-six students and their driver died in the worst school bus accident at the time.


Arlene had a massive heart attack and died on December 27, 1985.  RT, too, had a heart attack and died on February 21, 1996.  They are buried at the Anderson Hatfield Memorial Cemetery.

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