ATWOOD — Years ago, some had the perception retirement meant multiple rounds of golfing or having much more time to relax. While those in retirement no longer work at full-time jobs, they stay quite busy, if not busier, than when in the workforce.
Bill Huffer retired in 2005 from ABC Industries in Winona Lake. By his own choice he remains active 11 years later.
He grew up along SR 15 on the north side of Warsaw in a home where O’Reilly Auto Parts is now located. A 1958 graduate of Warsaw High School, Huffer went on to earn a degree from the Indiana University School of Business in 1963. After college, he went to work for Sears in New Castle, Ind., in the management training program for about two and a half years. Then he came back to Warsaw to work for his father, Morton Huffer, at Huffer Foundry with his three brothers Bob, Max and Ed.
Huffer Foundry went out of business in 1968. At that time, Huffer landed a job at ABC Industries. He worked there for 37 years before retiring as sales manager. “I went underground 197 times,” he said, referring to part of his job of selling products to mining companies all over the United States, as well as some foreign countries.
In 1961, Huffer had married to Pat Mulcahy and they raised four sons. Pat passed away in 1989 and then in 1994 Huffer married Carol Hartman. They moved to the east side of Hoffman Lake in the Atwood area in 1997, where they have lived since. Carol also retired in 2005, having been the executive officer of the Builders Association.
Since 2005, Bill has kept busy much of the time. He drives the Amish to medical appointments and makes a monthly trip to Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis, as well as a hospital in Fort Wayne. He is a member of and past president of the Atwood Lions Club, which he actually joined in 2001 (Carol is also in the Lions Club).
Huffer has been a member of Elks Lodge 802 in Warsaw for 50 years. He is presently the chaplain for Elks and also helps with concessions during bingo nights.
For the past six years, he has been a tour guide at the Old Jail Museum of the Kosciusko County Historical Society in Warsaw. “I enjoy history very much,” he said, noting he learned a lot about local history from Jack Anglin. “I shadowed (as a tour guide) with Jack Anglin,” he said.
Bill and Carol had been members of Warsaw Community Church. “About two years ago we went to their satellite church, Plymouth Community Church, when they started it and attend there now,” he said, adding they helped with the church’s booth at the Blueberry Festival in Plymouth this year. They also helped organize bell ringing during the Christmas season for the Salvation Army and will do it again this year.
And, on top of all his other volunteer activities, Bill is also the director of the Atwood Community Building and Carol is the treasurer.
Add keeping up with what the children and grandchildren are doing and it is easy to see the past 11 years have kept the plate full for both Bill and Carol. But that is OK with Bill. “I want to stay active,” he said.