Willie Eugene “Gene” Huddleston, 88, of Woodland, GA stepped through Heavens Gates on Monday, April 17, 2023 surrounded by his loving family while living at Savannah Grand in Columbus, GA.
Funeral Services will be held at 2:00 pm (EST) on Wednesday, April 19, 2023 at Woodland Baptist Church, Woodland, GA according to Vance Brooks Funeral Home, Phenix City, AL. Interment will follow in Woodland City Cemetery. The family will receive friends Wednesday afternoon from 1:00 until 2:00 pm, one hour prior to the service, at the church.
Mr. Huddleston was born June 28, 1934 in Fayetteville, GA, son of the late Willie Claude Huddleston and Mary Inez Adams Huddleston. He was a long-time active member and Deacon of Woodland Baptist Church, where he enjoyed worshiping and fellowshipping with family and friends. Gene was a U. S. Army veteran proudly serving our Country. He was an entrepreneur, who willingly and lovingly gave back to the community. He was a fair and honest man and was often found doing good deeds for others. He was a mentor to several in the small town of Woodland and would often hire young people who wanted to work. He would teach them and guide them in his trade as well as instilling life skills in them.
Gene was a mechanic by trade, beginning his career at the age of 10 years old working for Mr. Roy Starling at his shop. In 1964 he took over and it became Huddleston’s Garages, Inc. Gene would go to the shop in the mornings to open it prior to school and when his school day ended, he would return to the shop to work. He was no stranger to hard work as he also worked at B & H Cleaners as a dry-cleaning deliverer when working to purchase the shop. As a mechanic, Gene also worked at Callaway Mills in Manchester, where he had a shop and could repair anything broken in the Mill. During his employment years, he also drove a truck for Woodland Furniture Manufacturing and Georgia Cushion & Wrapper Companies.
Upon his retirement from his business, he drove a school bus for Waverly Hall Christian Academy. Gene was a founding member and former Chairman of the Board for Woodland Academy.
Gene loved working in his gardens and riding his Kubota tractor. He flourished as a gardener and had multiple plots of land where he planted and harvested vegetables during the growing seasons to feed not only his family, but friends as well. He was also a volunteer firefighter for the City of Woodland.
When asked about any of his children or grandchildren, he was always ready to tell how proud he was and what they had accomplished. We will remember him as a man who was favored and loved by all who met him and came to know him. He has set his family on a solid foundation, and we are grateful for this.
Mr. Huddleston was preceded in death by his parents, Willie and Mary Huddleston; a brother and sister-in-law, Jessie Claude Huddleston and Sarah Ruth; sister-in-law, Lois Huddleston; several other family members.
Survivors include his wife of 66 years, Vivian Cosby Huddleston; three children, Michael Eugene Huddleston (Sheila Denise), Linda Michele Huddleston Savage (Kennith H.) and Jason Henry Huddleston (Ellen Anne); brother, Tommy Bee Huddleston; brother-in-law, Clinton (Susie) Cosby; six grandchildren, Joshua Kennith Savage, Stephanie Marie Howard (Taylor), Heather Michele Savage, Hannah Lauren Huddleston, Thomas Cage Huddleston and Cole Eugene Huddleston; two great-grandchildren, Hudson Michael Howard and Jaxson Taylor Howard; several nieces, nephews and friends.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Woodland Baptist Church, Post Office Box 306, Woodland, GA 31836.
The family would like to thank Savannah Grand and the caring staff, all of whom he came to know and love, as well as, Columbus Hospice for the care offered to him and the family.