Celebration of life April 13 for former deputy fire chief Thomas Huddleston
March 31, 2012 · Updated 8:30 AM
POULSBO -- A celebration of life is scheduled for April 13, 2 p.m., at Northpoint Church for Thomas J. Huddleston, retired deputy chief of the Poulsbo Fire Department.
Huddleston died March 22 after a long illness. He was 69.
Huddleston was born in Ashland, Ky., on March 5, 1943 and grew up in Lexington. After graduating from Lafayette High School, he joined the Air Force and honorably served his country both stateside and with a tour in Vietnam.
At the age of 25, he joined the Las Vegas Fire Department where he spent the next nine years working his way through the ranks with a definitive interest in fire prevention. His experience included managing and leading the bomb search and disposal squad for all of Clark County, including Las Vegas.
In 1977, Huddleston was appointed Nevada state fire marshal; with his leadership and mastery of the written word, the first statewide fire and building codes were written, adopted, implemented and enforced. He also wrote the bill draft for the Nevada Retrofit Law subsequent to the MGM and Hilton Hotel fires. In addition to his responsibilities as state fire marshal, Huddleston served on the Western Fire Chiefs Association Uniform Fire Code Committee as a member and chairman, providing testimony concerning fire prevention and the Uniform Fire Code process before state and local officials as well as the U.S. Congress.
After serving 10 years as Nevada state fire marshal, Huddleston accepted a position as the fire marshal for the City of Corona, Calif., from where he retired “the first time” in 1993. According to the Poulsbo Fire Department, he joined the local department in 1994 as fire marshal and was promoted to deputy chief in 2005. It was from Poulsbo Fire Department that Chief Huddleston retired for the last time in 2010, where he is still sorely missed.
He is survived by his devoted wife, Wendy; son, Shawn Huddleston; and daughter, Jennifer Sommer (Megan and Madison).
Northpoint Church is located at 1779 NE Hostmark St., in Poulsbo. An online memorial can be seen at www.poulsbomortuary.com.
In lieu of flowers, donations preferred to the COPD Foundation, www.copdfoundation.org.