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David Robert Huehner Ph.D., 77, of West Bend WI, was born on March 21, 1940 in Chicago, IL.
He was the eldest child of Robert F. Huehner and Margaret Withrow Huehner. His early education was in Chicago and Corpus Christie, TX schools. His father's job required the family to move to England for two years in the early 1950's where he attended the American School of London. This move provided the family the opportunity to travel in the UK and on the Continent.
After the family returned to the U.S. they again lived in Illinois and later the greater New York City area. He graduated from Ardsley High School in Ardsley, NY in 1958. He then entered the U.S. Coast Guard and served a total of seven years, two active and five Reserve. He was honorably discharged in 1965.
David returned to the Midwest for his university years, graduating with three degrees from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign: a B.A. in 1964, an M.A. in 1966 and a Ph.D. in 1972, all in history. Particularly in his graduate years, David focused on American intellectual history, and his dissertation, “Reform and the Pre-Civil War American College,” was strongly influenced by his years as both a teaching assistant and a research assistant for Winton P. Solberg, who at the time was writing the official history of the University of Illinois. Like many other students in the late 1960s and early 1970s, he debated the conclusions of the Warren Commission Report on the assassination of President Kennedy (1964), the Kerner Commission Report on Civil Disorders (1968) and took part in protests against United States policy in Vietnam. He also found time to work on various British cars, owned by himself and other students, play guitar, attend concerts, and play on the History Department's baseball team.
In 1972 he accepted a job in the History Dept. of the University of Wisconsin-Washington County in West Bend. He taught popular courses in American history. His Civil War and film courses were especially well liked. He served as chair for the History Dept. for ten years. He retired as Professor Emeritus in 2006. In addition to a heavy teaching load, Dr. Huehner continued to be an active researcher, publishing articles and presenting papers. His service to the profession was significant. He was a member of the Social Science History Association and the American Historical Association. His many students over the years at Washington County, whether they graduated with an Associate Degree, or continued for a Bachelor's Degree or beyond, testified to his enthusiasm, encouragement, and eagerness to help them appreciate local history, of their town, farming community and family. He also continued to play basketball, and served as a coach for the soccer team and the women's basketball team.
During summer breaks, David would often pursue research, but also enjoyed working on his English cars and spending time in Camden, ME with his parents. These trips included David's wife Sandra (Nordin) of West Bend whom he married in 1979, and later, their son Jonathan Withrow Huehner, born in 1989. Many days were spent sailing on the waters of Penobscot Bay, and of course, having lunch on the boat.
David passed away peacefully on February 12, 2018. He was preceded in death by his parents, parents-in-law Art and Faye Nordin, his brother Rodger, and brothers-in-law Peter and Paul Nordin. He is also preceded by his dogs, Irish and Gordon Setters, Chulainn and Neac.
He is survived by his wife Sandra, his son Jonathan and his brother Garrett (Mary Ellen) of NY. Further survived by niece Mariah (Chris) of CA and nephew Colin (Beverly) of NY and their children Olivia Rose and Luke Robert. Also survived by sisters-in-law Donna (Albert) Singer of NY and Nancy Bushar of WI, and cousins Helen Taylor of CA and Marg Keswick of KY and their families. Also, long-time friend and fellow Ph.D. in history from the University of Illinois, Christine Holden of ME, who contributed much to this record of David's life. His little dog, Jack, misses him.
A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Contributions in David's name can be forwarded to either: The University of Illinois Foundation LAS Annual Fund for History at Urbana-Champaign, IL, or the Washington County Campus Foundation at the University of Wisconsin-Washington County (UWWC), West Bend, WI.
The Myrhum Patten Miller & Kietzer Funeral Homes have been entrusted with David’s arrangements. Additional information and guest book may be found at www.myrhum-patten.com.