NSTA Hall of Famer Donald Huffman died at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minn., on Oct. 24 after a battle with lung cancer. He was 80 years old.
Huffman was born Dec. 29, 1931, in Red Wing, Minn., according to his obituary. He graduated from Red Wing High School in 1949; and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, serving in Okinawa, Japan, during the Korean War as a radio operator.
After serving in the military, he worked for the Minnesota State Patrol as a radio dispatcher before driving a school bus and working in the office. In 1968, he became a co-manager of Rochester School Bus Service and RSB Coaches. Eventually he became the sole owner of the school bus contractor. In 1992, he sold Rochester School Bus Service to Laidlaw Transit, now First Student. He sold RSB Coaches to Minnesota Coaches in Hastings, Minn., after retiring in 2005.
A longtime member of the National School Transportation Association, Hoffman served as treasurer for more than 10 years and computerized the association's financial records. He went on to serve a two-year term as NSTA president. In July 1996, at the NSTA National Convention in Minneapolis, he was inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame.
"The entire NSTA family is deeply saddened by the passing of Don Hoffman," NSTA Executive Director Ronna Weber told STN. "He was a leader in the industry and worked tirelessly for our efforts for many years."
In addition, Hoffman was a longtime board member of the Minnesota School Bus Operators Association. In 2009, he received the MSBOA Lifetime Achievement Award.
Survivors include his wife, Margaret, of 58 years; his children William Hoffman of Rochester, Daniel Hoffman of Little Rock, Ark., Deborah Hoffman of Rochester and Jennifer Hoffman of Rochester; his eight grandchildren, one of whom preceded him in death, and one great-grandchild. He is also survived by two brothers, Kenneth Hoffman of Lake City and Wayne Hoffman of Portland, Ore.
Condolences can be expressed online at Macken Funeral Home.