Donald Eugene Huntley

Posted 5/10/24

Donald Eugene Huntley, 86, passed away peacefully with his family by his side on Wednesday, May 8, 2024 at his home in Chana, Illinois. 

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Donald Eugene Huntley


CHANA — Donald Eugene Huntley, 86, passed away peacefully with his family by his side on Wednesday, May 8, 2024 at his home in Chana, Illinois.  Don was born on June 4, 1937 to Roland and Grace “Peggy” (Strang) Huntley in Rochelle, IL.  He attended country schools through eighth grade and then attended Ashton High School, graduating in 1955.  While in high school, he loved playing six man football and basketball, and baseball after school with his friends.  Don proudly served with the United States Army from January of 1956 to October of 1964.  On September 8, 1957, he married Norma Henert at the Reynolds United Methodist Church in Ashton, IL.

Don was involved with his church and community.  While at the Reynolds Church, he served as the Sunday School Superintendent and then in 1965 became a member of the Chana United Methodist Church where he served on various committees. He was the Supervisor of Pine Rock Township from 1978 - 2013, board member of the Ogle County Board for ten years, Little League coach when his son, Kim, played baseball, and a member of the Rochelle Moose Lodge since 1967.  During the Chana Centennial in 1971, Don won his most unique award for the person who most looked like Abraham Lincoln.

Starting with his father, Roland, and continuing with his son, Kim, Don spent his entire life farming in Pine Rock Township.  Even after retiring from Huntley Farms Partnership in 2000, he continued to assist Kim with the same enthusiasm.  He loved every minute of farming and having the opportunity to farm with his son was the icing on the cake for him.

Don and Norma did an extensive amount of traveling, covering most states, the Panama Canal, Canada and the Caribbean.  In 1982, they became “snow birds” spending time in Florida during the winter months. He loved spending time with his children and grandchildren on summer “cousin” trips, birthday celebrations, Christmas and sporting events.  One truly memorable trip Don made was on his 70th birthday with his daughters, Gina and Jill, for a week-long, 500 mile bicycle tour through Illinois.  He laughingly said next time he wanted to bond with his girls, he would take them on a fishing trip.  But as we know, time fades the memory and on his 80th birthday he and his girls embarked on another bicycle trip to the Quad Cities and back to Byron, IL for a 300 mile trip.  When he wasn’t traveling, his favorite pastime was reading.

Don is survived by his wife of 66 years, Norma of Chana, IL; his children, the joys of his life: Kim (Becky) Huntley of Chana, IL, Gina (Phil) Pedraza of Chana, IL and Jill (Joe) Schwartz of Rochelle, IL; proud grandpa of Daniel (Allison) Huntley, Dr. Geoffrey (Kaylie) Huntley, Trent Butler, Ali (Dave) Rossi, Gabe Pedraza, Ben (Shanda) Schwartz and Katie (Cameron) Travis; ten great grandchildren: James and Andrew Huntley, Emmett and Rowan Huntley, Nash Butler, Crew and Finn Rossi, Blakely and Beckett Schwartz and Cooper Travis; and brother, Dallas “Lant” Huntley of Oregon, IL.

In addition to his parents, Don is preceded in death by his two sisters: Margene Rager and Dellouise Greenfield and two grandchildren: Weston and Channing Butler.

The memorial visitation will be from 4:00 - 6:00 P.M., Friday, May 17, 2024 at the Unger-Horner Funeral Home, 400 N. 6th St., Rochelle.  The memorial service will be held at 10:00 A.M., Saturday, May 18, 2024 at Chana United Methodist Church, 606 N. Main Street, Chana, IL with Pastor Dave Rogula officiating.  Burial will follow at Trinity Memory Gardens in Rochelle.  Memorials may be made in Don’s memory to Serenity Hospice and Home or Chana United Methodist Church.  Visit to sign the online guest book.