Mike Huddleston, Jr.

mike huddleston, jr.

Michael M. Huddleston, Jr.


Born May 27, 1924

Died July 23, 2015


Michael M. Huddleston Jr. was born at home in Denver on May 27, 1924. His parents, Mike Sr. and Naomi (Pat), owned a bar on South Pearl Street.  They had four children, Mike, Patricia, Mary and Jean.  He was raised on Kalamath Street in West Denver and attended St. Joseph Elementary through seventh grade.  He then went to St. Frances for eighth and ninth grade.  He attended West High School for a short time before transferring to South High School where he graduated.  He was very active in sports throughout school and participated in football, basketball and baseball at South.  He was nominated All City and All State in football.  He was also second team All City in basketball.  When he was younger he knocked out his front teeth in a playground accident.  His dentist would not allow him to play football without using a faceguard on his helmet which was not common in those days.  The newspaper articles started calling him, “The man in the iron mask.” 

Mike met his future wife Betty at South High. After graduation Mike enlisted in the Navy in April 1943.  Before leaving for boot camp he and Betty drove up to Wyoming and eloped.  She did not tell her parents until Mike was discharged from the Navy in December 1945. While in the Navy he was a radar man and worked with pilots doing landings at night and in poor weather conditions.   

Mike had a scholarship to attend Ohio State University and play football but Betty was more interested in starting a family and did not want to move from Denver.  He enrolled in Denver University where he played football and took classes to become a secondary school teacher.  Upon graduation he was hired by Denver Public Schools in 1956 and was a counselor, taught social studies and driver education at West High School.  At West he coached football, wrestling and baseball.  During this time he also continued his education at DU and earned a Masters in Educational Administration.  He transferred to South High School in 1970 as the vice principal.  This was special to him since he had graduated from there.  In 1975 he was the acting principal at South and returned to his normal duties the following year.  The school district asked him to transfer to Lincoln High School in 1982. He retired in 1986. 

Mike and Betty raised three sons: Michael (Kathy), Patrick (Pam) and Kevin (Linda). They had 5 grandchildren; Kelly Huddleston, Lauren Huddleston, Patrick Huddleston, Tina Craft, and Zackary Huddleston and two great grandchildren.  Mike went on to become a teacher: both Pat and Kevin became carpenters.  Pat is now a supervisor at a large door manufacturing plant in Denver.  Kevin is a project supervisor for a construction company in Seattle, Washington.  The love of Mike’s life, Betty, preceded him in death in March 2001.  Mike and Betty built a cabin in Pine, Colorado where the family spent the summers and many weekends.  It was a wonderful place for three active boys. Mike was very service oriented throughout his life.  He was active with the American Legion and for a time was the Commander of the Cummings-Prather Post #193.  He drove disabled veterans to doctor appointments.  For years he published the VFW’s monthly newsletter.  He led the Honor Guard at the Verle Huffman Post 9644 and was also its Commander for two years.  He was involved with honoring hundreds of veterans at Fort Logan National Cemetery. 

In May of 1999 Mike was inducted into the Denver Public Schools Coaching Hall of Fame. 

In his eighties Mike was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which was difficult for such an active man.  He fought it until his final day. 

He was a wonderful father, husband and grandfather.

Happy Trails, Big Mike!


Graveside services will be held at Fort Logan National Cemetery (STAGING AREA C) on Thursday, August 13th at 11:15 a.m. Immediately following the service please join the family for a reception at the Broken Tee Restaurant at the Englewood Golf Course, 2101 W. Oxford Avenue, Englewood, Colorado.



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Memories Timeline


  1. Dear Mike and Kathy, We wish you and your family the happiness of warm memories of an amazing man.

  2. Dear Huddleston family,

    Your father was a kind and gentle man who lived an extraordinary life. I always looked forward to visiting with Mike.

    I am sorry for your loss and hope all of those wonderful memories of your father help you through this time.

    Joani Coyne

  3. Dear Huddlestons – Your dad was such a delight. He was charming and gracious, a man's man and a kind gentleman. I will miss him.

  4. Dear Grandpa,

    I am so proud to have had such a wonderful grandfather. Kinzley tells me that you are George Washington on the one dollar bill after our visit in May.

    You never judged me when I made past mistakes and I love you more than anything for that. You never forgot me or my family even though I was far away. You will be truly missed and will forever have a special place in my heart. Tell grandma hello for us all up there in heaven. Love you always,

    Tina Craft and Family

  5. Mike and Kathy,

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.  I have to admit, Mike was my "favorite", never a day would go by without a smile and and a kind encouraging word.  I am sure that you are so proud of him, just as he was of all of you.  Godspeed Mike!!

  6. Such a boon to have gotten to know Mike the past couple of years.  All of you were such source of love and support for him, it was inspiring to watch! I hope you'll stick your noses in here at the Meridian on at least one  more Friday

  7. Mike we will certainly miss you.  We always looked forward to our VFW meetings and South Hi meetings. It was always a pleasure to discuss the old days whenever we got together.

  8. On behalf of our VFW Post 9644. Please accept our deepest condolences on the loss of our loved one. We will miss you Mike, as we have since you left us to move on. We will forever remember all you contributed to our Post family. Your accomplishments will always be remembered and know you go along way in friendships. God Bless You.

  9. you have my sympathy he was my coach at west high school in 1963 very good teacher taught me lot. i now live in Indianapolis.  rest in peace

  10. Mike and Kathy and The Huddleston family,  So sorry for your loss.  So hard to see our parents leave, but he will always be with you.  Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you.. Bill & Debi Drinkwine

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