New Sweden -Alma Ann Huddleston 89, died peacefully in the comfort of her home January 20, 2019. Born in Shawnee, Oklahoma on August 25, 1929, she was the oldest daughter of Edgar T. and Pauline (Boyett) Ellis. She is survived by her brother Tom Ellis of Okeene, OK, her daughter Carolyn Huddleston of New Sweden, two sons, Doug Huddleston and his wife Kathy of Lee’s Summit, MO, and David Huddleston and wife Raquel of Larned, KS, six grandchildren Chris Maple and his wife Wendy of Mapleton, David Maple and his wife Kimberly of Lutz, FL, Elizabeth Maple of Jackson, NH, Jeff Buford of Kansas City, MO , Adam Buford of Independence, MO, Kiara Kummer and her husband Boone of Vernal, UT , and ten great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her parents, her beloved husband, Howard Orville Huddleston, and her sister, Jane (Ellis) Keene. She was a pillar of deep and unconditional love to her family and is deeply loved and appreciated by them in return. Alma was inspired by life and all its possibilities and had a natural instinct for seeing and inspiring these qualities in others. She was a gifted pianist as a child and joyfully pursued her love of creating music and beauty throughout her life. After graduating from Claremore High School, she pursued her love of music and performing at Cottey College (a PEO sponsored school). There she encountered a voice teacher who she always said transformed her life. She pursued her new love of vocal performance at Oklahoma City University where she received a Bachelor of Music Degree and a request to audition for the Met (which she declined as she had other plans). On July 1, 1950, she married Howard Orville Huddleston, a fellow musician and lover of life. Together, they created an inspired life where they shared their love of music, learning, and adventure. They were deeply committed to serving the communities in which they lived. Together they had three children, to whom they passed on their ability to greet each day with gratitude and excitement for what could be learned and explored. It was important in their family to share equally in the responsibilities and privileges of family life. Their home was full of music, laughter, joy and spontaneity. Together, they held and modeled many core beliefs about equality and inclusion and standing in your own truth and leading from the heart. Alma had a special gift for being fully present when and listening deeply to anyone who approached her for assistance. This presence she shared was very helpful in working through your thoughts and feelings and finding what your own heart was saying. And she always balanced that generosity with her quick wit and brilliant mind. They freely gave these gifts to their children and grandchildren who they loved dearly. To support her career as a teacher, Alma continued her education. She completed her teaching certificate at Fort Hays State University (1958), received a Masters Degree in English Literature from Kansas State University (1969), and throughout her life, she pursued her education through summer courses at a number of Universities. She taught Music, English, and Drama and loved directing and organizing concerts, plays, and other student events. Throughout her life, many students maintained contact with her because she had a gift at inspiring others to reach for their highest potential. After retiring from teaching, Alma and Orville embarked on a new dream and moved to a small farm in New Sweden to pursue a simpler life. To support this dream, Alma taught Adult Education courses in Caribou and worked for twenty years as a supervisor and manager at Burrelle’s in Presque Isle. She was widowed at age 58, and continued to nurture the flame of their love until the day she died. After retiring from Burrelle’s, she shared her music skills with her church family at the New Sweden Covenant Church and the larger community well into her 80’s. She also used her skills as a fine seamstress and knitter to gift many lucky recipients with items of great beauty and love.
Please join our family in celebrating this life well lived. Friends may visit with the family Thursday, January 31, 2019 at the Mockler Funeral Home, 24 Reservoir Street, Caribou, from 12pm until time of services which will be held at 1pm from the chapel of the funeral home with Pastor Ellen Cleaves officiating. In lieu of memorial donations or flowers, we invite you to do something inspirational for yourself or others to honor her legacy. Take time to really listen to a piece of music you love, buy a good book and read it, take time to listen intently to someone else and give them that spark of believing in them. Let’s pay this legacy forward.