Thomas “Tom” Hufziger, age 89, of Warsaw, Indiana passed away Sunday, July 15, 2018 at Grace Village Retirement Community in Winona Lake, Indiana. He was born on February 20, 1929 in Weehawken, New Jersey to Otto Sr and Edna (Gregg) Hufziger. He, along with his family, which also consisted of two brothers, Otto Jr and Donald, lived in Huber Heights, Dayton and eventually settling in Vandalia, Ohio.
He was a 1947 graduate of Butler High School, Vandalia, Ohio and graduated from General Motor Institute (now Ketterling University) in 1951 with a Bachelor’s of Science in the Cooperative Engineering Program as an Industrial Engineer. It was as a GMI graduate that his lifetime loyalty to GM cars was established. He faithfully served his Country during the Korean War in the U.S. Army and worked as an Intelligence Specialist from 1951 to 1956.
After leaving the service, Tom was employed by Inland Manufacturing Division of GM in 1956 where he authored an automotive rubber book which he said was great reading before bed. From there, he tried his hand as an entrepreneur and owned a tool business but eventually took a position with US Rubber’s plastic division Development Lab (later known as Uniroyal) in Mishawaka, Indiana in 1962 and then transferred to the Warsaw plant in the 1964 and becoming manager of it. From there, Tom took a director position at Zimmer USA in 1973 and with subsequent promotions finally retiring as the Vice President of Manufacturing in 1992. Other notable accomplishments include multiple awards, certifications and patents in the engineering and manufacturing fields. He served the Warsaw community by being on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and helping on community projects.
On June 15, 1963, he was united in marriage to his faithful partner, Hazel McDonald in Troy, Ohio who he adored until his passing. They enjoyed traveling together around many areas in the US as well as globally. In addition to travel, Tom was a lover of cherry pies, breakfast foods, roller coasters, fresh tomatoes, historical novels, and golf with his buddies. He enjoyed musicals of his age with “The Music Man” being his favorite. Many Sunday mornings were spent with him singing show tunes and flipping pancakes before church. In his younger days, he was licensed pilot and flew his own biplane sometimes to his beloved mother’s chagrin. He enjoyed watching college basketball and football games on TV while placing an occasional bet with family members. He relished watching and supporting his children and grandchildren in their chosen activities as well.
Survivors include his wife, Hazel, a son and two daughters – Doug Hufziger, Deborah (Chad) German, and Dalene (Brent) Binkley, all born and raised in Warsaw. In addition, there are six grandchildren Mikayla, Marissa and Miranda German and Caleb, Caden and Alana Binkley who he adored and they adored him. He was blessed to have a large extended family with numerous nephews and nieces. Dachshunds, Lucy and Rosie, will miss his lap. His parents and brothers have preceded him in death and have been waiting for him.
Tom was a devoted and, in turn, beloved son, brother, husband, father and grandfather. His great sense of humor drew people in but his compassionate heart helped many people find better lives. In honor of Tom and in lieu of flowers, please donate to a charity of your choice or to Alzheimer research as his children would like to see this disease eradicated in their lifetime.
A graveside service will be held on July 21, 2018 at 1:00 PM in Pineville Cemetery in Pineville, Kentucky with full Military Honors. McHatton-Sadler Funeral Chapel, Warsaw is entrusted with arrangements.