Hope Wilson Huffman of San Angelo, died Monday, March 29, 2010, at her home, surrounded by family and friends, after a courageous battle with cancer. Graveside service were held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, April 3, at Fairmount Cemetery with the Reverend Bill Proctor officiating. Arrangements are by Johnson's Funeral Home.
Hope was born February 5, 1961, in San Angelo, to Duncan C. O. Wilson, Jr., and Patricia Hope Wilson. She was very proud to be a 7th generation Texan and traced her roots back to Stephen F. Austin’s “Old 300” on one side and early German settlers who founded Gruene, Texas, on the other.
Hope graduated from Central High School in 1979. She graduated with a BS in Speech from the University of Texas. She was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority. Pursuing her interests in politics after graduation, she first worked for U.S. Senator John Tower, then for Ronald Reagan’s ‘84 presidential reelection campaign. After he won, she moved to the Department of Agriculture as a political appointee. Later she worked for Karl Rove’s political consulting firm in Austin. She was also appointed as a director to the Upper Colorado River Authority in 1998.
On November 14, 1987, she married James Huffman of Brady. She said, “The greatest joy in her life was marrying Jamie”. They had many great times together. He followed her on many of her wild ideas and tempered her on others.
Her daughters, Grace and Virginia, were the light of her life, and she took them on many of her adventures. Along with being the mother to Grace and Virginia, she was also “Aunt or Mama Hope” to many neighborhood children who brought joy, and sometimes mischief, into her life.
Hope loved living in her Santa Rita neighborhood, and all of the lifelong friends she had made in San Angelo. She was known for her boisterous laugh and lively sense of humor, which could fill a room. As one of her neighbors phrased it, “Hope is one of the people that makes San Angelo a special place to live.”
Hope was a member of the First Presbyterian Church and enjoyed volunteering with local organizations, such as the Tom Green County Humane Society, San Angelo Symphony, and the West Texas Rehab. She said, “Politics and volunteering were great times in my life. I learned so much and was so proud to be a part of it all.” Hope was adamant about passing her love of volunteer work and politics on to her daughters.
Hope loved the outdoors; she was an avid naturalist and land conservationist. She was proudto still be operating the Coralina Ranch that had been in her family since 1885. She took pleasure in being able to identify the plants growing on the ranch. She and Jamie worked hard implementing methods of brush control and developing an improved deer herd. She also carried on her father’s enthusiasm, continuing to care for his beloved pecan orchard.
She also loved traveling, especially when her trips involved hunting. Among her favorites were safaris in Africa, New Zealand and Alaska. Hope believed her superior shooting ability was due to attending Camp Waldemar in her youth, where she became an expert markswoman.
She is survived by her husband, James Gordon Huffman, Jr., and daughters Grace Wilson Huffman and Virginia Lynn Huffman. She is also survived by her brother Cam, his wife Lydia, and their two sons Nick and Max of New York City; cousins Janet Andrews and husband, Joe, of Sonora; Cora McGowan and husband Wally, of San Angelo; Cadesman Pope and wife Carol, also of Sonora; and 8 nephews and nieces; mother-in-law, Kathleen Porter of Rochelle; sister-in-law, Elise Ross, husband Amos, of Fort Worth, and their daughters, Kathleen and Amber.
Pallbearers were Guy Choate, Larry Finklea, Bobby Frank, Joey Henderson, Robert Meyer, Victor Probandt, Lee Puckitt, Tom Ridgway, Andy Smith, Mark Thieman, and Mark Woods. Honorary pallbearers were Wendy Barrows, Val Frank, Lezlye Henderson, Mary McDonald, Louellen Meyer, Trish Probandt, Sandy Puckitt, Bryce Thieman, Carolyn Quillen, Janet Ridgway, Angela Williams, and Susan Woods.
The family requests that memorial gifts be made to West Texas Rehabilitation Center, Tom Green County Humane Society or a favorite charity.