He was born May 7, 1943, in St. Louis, Mo., to Oliver Richard “O.R.” and Helen Louise (Hull) Huff. On July 14, 1967, he married Patricia Rose Howell; the couple celebrated their 51st anniversary in 2018. While in Kirksville, Mo., Dick graduated in 1965 from Truman State University and went on to earn his medical degree in 1970 from the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine at A.T. Still University, where he also completed a post-graduate year teaching as a neuroanatomy and neurology fellow. He completed his training as an intern at Muskegon General Hospital in Muskegon, Mich.
Dick grew up in Kirksville and lived for a time with his maternal grandparents, Ted and Nellie Hull, until his father, a soldier stationed in the Philippines during World War II, and his mother, a leader on the ration board in St. Louis, Mo., completed their war service. While a student at Kirksville Public Schools, Dick served as a captain of the school crossing guards, was awarded the Willam H. Danforth “I Dare You” award for leadership and service, and served as Student Council president.
Dick loved his role as a physician, helping patients find health and optimal function. He was an enthusiastic and devoted leader of the osteopathic community in Western Michigan during his 49-year tenure as a physician from 1970 to the present. He was also an innovator in manipulative practice and over the years developed techniques that will be collected in a soon-to-be-published book. During his time as a physician, he was an emergency room doctor for six years, was in private practice for over 30 years, and was the Western Michigan Regional Medical Director for the Office of Healthcare at the Michigan Department of Corrections, overseeing health care for 4,500 prisoners during his tenure of more than 25 years.
In November 2016, the Osteopathic Foundation of West Michigan announced a gift to the Richard G. and Patricia R. Huff Children’s Support Fund, a donor-advised fund of the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation. The gift was made in honor of Dick and his nearly 50-year career as a master practitioner and teacher of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine. Throughout his career, he treated thousands of West Michigan patients and trained many osteopathic residents who now treat patients nationwide. His leadership was instrumental in forming the Mercy Health Physician Partners Manipulative Medicine Clinic, which serves a dual purpose of treating patients and advancing the Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Residency Program at Mercy Hospital in Muskegon.
When he wasn’t helping patients, Dick enjoyed playing golf and socializing with friends at the Spring Lake Country Club; pursued a lifelong interest in commodity trading; read avidly espionage and crime fiction; studied continuously medical and osteopathic literature; enjoyed listening to music; and appreciated great wines and memorable meals. Over the past decade, Dick and Pat also found time to vacation during the winter months in Bonita Springs, Fla., where they enjoyed the love and support of many dear friends.
Dick especially cherished and took great pride in his family. He is survived by his wife, Pat Huff, of Spring Lake; son, Brett Richard Huff (Katheryn Althoff Huff), and grandchildren, Carter Burke Huff and Vivian Hughes Huff, all of Little Rock, Ark. Dick was preceded in death by his parents, O.R. and Helen Huff; and parents-in-law, Billie Burke and Wava Lea Howell.
According to Dick’s wishes, his immediate family will gather shortly to celebrate his life. A public community celebration of his life will be planned in the spring of 2019 at the Spring Lake Country Club. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a memorial contribution in honor of Dr. Huff are encouraged to support the Richard G. and Patricia R. Huff Children’s Support Fund, which supports a variety of children’s initiatives in local schools. Contributions may be directed to the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation, with a notation in the memo to the Richard G. and Patricia R. Huff Children’s Support Fund. Please share memories with the family at their online guest book at www.systemafh.com.