Chief AJ John Huffer, 84 of Tuscola crossed over to be with his loving wife Corinne at 9:15 a.m., Wednesday March 30, 2022, at the Sarah Bush Care Center, Mattoon, IL.
Funeral services were held at 11:00 a.m. Monday April 4, 2022, at the Hilligoss Shrader Funeral Home, 705 South Main St, Tuscola, Il with Rev. Ralph Deal officiating. Burial followed in the Tuscola Township Cemetery.
Visitation was held from 4 to 6:00 p.m. Sunday, April 3, 2022, at the funeral home.
Chief AJ was born in Peoria Il on December 25, 1937. He was adopted by Charles and Dorothy Busey Huffer of Urbana Il.
Chief AJ attended the University of Illinois after graduating from Urbana High School in 1955. He Joined the Marine Corps after 1 semester at the U of I. During his time as a Marine in California he was a bodybuilder and a level 1 marksman. After honorable discharge he returned to the U of I where he was recruited to be a model for art students. That is where he met and fell in love with art student Corinne Shreve. They were married on July 26, 1959. They were married 62 years until Corinne’s passing on August 17, 2021.
Chief AJ is survived by his son Jason (Janice) Huffer of Waverly, OH, daughter Rebekah (Vince) Baldauf of Anchorage, Ak. Grandchildren: Benjamin Burton, Tara Huffer (Lawrence) and CoWanda Joy Huffer, Dottie (Cody) and John Baldauf, great-grandsons: Bastian Skye Burton and Noah Lawrence Moshofsky Huffer.
He was preceded in death by his wife Corinne Huffer, his father Charles C Huffer, His mother Dorothy Busey Huffer, his sister Mary Huffer Hickman, and granddaughter Stephanie Corinne Huffer.
At 80 years old through DNA testing, he was blessed to be united with his biological brother Theodore Yednock.
Chief graduated from bible college and was inspired to start a boy’s home. This brought him back to Tuscola where they purchased a large home for the boy’s home. The boy’s home eventually changed to an assisted living home, then with partners he opened We Care Nursing Home in Arcola, Il. They also opened hotel restaurants in Arcola and Mattoon. He eventually joined the Carpenters Union in Champaign Urbana. He later was a contractor and had dinner in the White House with Ronald Reagan as Minority Contractor of the Year.
Chief was a scrawny kid, he wanted to start weight training at an early age. His parents made him learn all the muscles before they allowed him to get a dumb bar set. He went on to compete in Mr. America twice in his life and numerous body building competitions. He represented Tuscola in the Super Natural Physique Classic , 2001 where he won first place master 55 and over.
Chief had an epiphany and was set on shooting a world record. Over an eight-day period in March 1987 he shot a world record of 14,060 wood blocks without a miss. This landed him on the cover of Guns magazine and launched his journey of fame in the gun world. He later developed the Chief AJ Slingbow which has been sold all over the world. His dear friend Tony Reeves now runs his “Slingbow Empire”. Chief appeared on reality TV shows, “Top Shot”, “Man vs Machine”, “Monster Hunters” and “History’s Mystery’s”. He personally got to know Roy Rodgers and had a big Cowboy Indian gun exchange in Las Vegas.
Chief AJ (Apostle John) had a love of the Lord and enjoyed preaching and bringing people to the Lord.
Chief AJ had a great love for his family. He took His wife Corinne all over the country to gun shows and National Parks. He spent time in Alaska for the birth of his grandchildren, and graduations, after counting their toes and fingers and watching graduations he would be off on Alaskan hunting adventures. He was blessed to have his granddaughter Tara and her family stay with him for the last month. He developed a beautiful bond with his 7-month-old great grandson Noah.
Chief AJ has many fans around the world, he has touched many lives. He will be missed by many. After beating cancer and living with severe neuropathy pain and losing his beloved wife Corinne he would always say “I’m ready to have supper with Jesus.” Chief AJ lived his life to the fullest, he was larger than life with his booming voice and big personality. He will forever live on in his accomplishments and deeds and his eternal life with the Lord, A-man.
Online condolences may be shared via hilligossshraderfh.com