Former A&M System Regent Huffines Dies

J.L. Huffines, an Aggie grad, longtime Dallas businessman and former member of the Texas A&M System board of regents, has died according to his family. He was 85.

Huffines, a member of the Aggie Class of 1944, served on the board starting in July of 2007, but stepped down from his appointed position in December of last year, citing health reasons.

A one-time president of the 12th Man Foundation, Huffines served as the special liasion to the fundraising body while on the board. He also was on the finance and buildings and physical plants committees.

Huffines died at his home in Dallas Wednesday.

Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at Sparkman Hillcrest Funeral Home in Dallas. His funeral will be held at 3 p.m. on Friday at Highland Park United Methodist Church in Dallas. Huffines will be buried at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.

“I join the other members of the Board of Regents in expressing our deep sense of loss and sadness at the passing of our great friend and colleague,” said Chairman of the Board Bill Jones in a statement. “J.L. was a pleasure to work with on the board and to know as an individual. He was devoted to doing the best for the A&M System and the people of Texas. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Sydney, and his family.”

Also commenting was Texas Governor Rick Perry, who called Huffines, "an inspiration to me as an Aggie, an American and a Texan. He devoted his life to his family, served his country in time of war and built a business that employed countless Texans over the years. Anita and I extend our sincere condolences and prayers to his wife Sydney, his family and friends. Texas is a better place for the time he spent here.”

A portion of a press release from the Texas A&M System with details on Huffines' accomplishments is below.

A native of Lewisville, Huffines served in the U.S. Army in World War II and trained troops during the Korean War, achieving the rank of first lieutenant. He received the Texas A&M University Distinguished Alumnus Award and was inducted into the Corps of Cadets Hall of Honor. He was named to the Chancellor’s 21st Century Council of Advisors and the Evans Library Capital Campaign at Texas A&M.

Chairman of the Huffines Auto Dealerships in the North Texas region, Huffines had a lengthy career in civic affairs and public leadership. A former board member of the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, he was a trustee of the Medical School Foundation Board at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and a past chairman of the Texas State Senior Colleges Board of Regents.

He received the life member award from the Salesmanship Club of Dallas, the Jack Smith Leadership Award from General Motors, Inc., and the 50 Year Dealer Award, Mark of Excellence Award and Legion of Leaders Award from Chevrolet, Inc.

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