David Joseph Huss passed away peacefully at home on May 24, 2022, at the age of 83. His life will be celebrated at a gathering on June 4th from 2 to 5 pm at the Pine Grove Banquet Hall located at 4293 N. US Highway 35 in La Porte, IN.
Dave was born in December 1938 in Hammond, IN to Armand and Cyrilla Huss, the youngest of six children. He was spoiled by his older sisters and nicknamed “Elephant Boy” by his brother Hugh. Throughout his life, Dave enjoyed entertaining others with stories about his family and upbringing which eventually led him to compile the stories, along with extensive genealogical research, into a detailed book of family history which he shared with family and friends.
Dave attended Bishop Noll High School and continued learning and teaching himself whatever he found interesting. His learning was driven by his curiosity - when something was broken, he learned to fix it, when he encountered something unusual, he sought to educate himself so he could contribute to the conversation. Always seeking to connect with others, he was the editor of a family newsletter, The Retraction, which documented dubiously sourced, but thoroughly entertaining, stories of the extended family and network of friends he developed.
Raised in a musical household, music was an integral part of Dave’s life. He played several instruments, composed and arranged music, and was an avid listener of multiple genres. His favorite musical venue was jamming to classic rock in the garage with family and friends.
Dave worked a variety of jobs until he found his calling at Bethlehem Steel in Burns Harbor in 1970. He worked and studied hard to become a millwright. He was proud of his work and was always seeking innovative ways to improve equipment and processes. He was proud of his fellow millwrights as well and enjoyed the fun and camaraderie of the crew. Dave retired from the mill after 32 years, 11 months and many elaborate practical jokes.
Dave loved and cared deeply for his wife and family, and generously gave of his time to all. A role model to many, Dave strived to enrich the lives of all those he encountered.
In 2006, Dave was interviewed for an oral history project at Indiana University Northwest. The following are answers to interview questions, in his own words.
“My continuing search for knowledge started about 1957, the year after I graduated from high school. It was then I realized I didn’t know anything and started reading and learning. I am still learning every day.”
If you could change one thing, what would you change? “One tenet I adhere to is I would not want to change a thing because I might not have met my wife if circumstances were different and she has made me extremely happy since we met in 1993 and married in 1994.”
“Yes, I did a lot of horsing around and played a ton of practical jokes (at the mill), but I did a lot of very hard and dangerous work under severe weather and job environment conditions.”
“I tell everyone who will listen the importance of being informed and active. We are all citizens of one world. We all need to work together for justice and health for all people of the world.”
Dave is survived by his wife of 28 years Marilyn; daughters, Carol Ehrick, Cathy Huss (Jackie), Jane Hammond (Mike), Gretchen Larsen (Erik), Elizabeth Meehan (Tom), Jeanne McDonald (Chris); and sons, Dave Huss (Cara), Dan Huss (Laurie), Chris Huss (Lori), Tom Huss (Carla), Jerry Bell (Sunshine), Paul Huss, and Joshua Huss (Amanda). Thirty-two grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren call him Grandpa Elephant. He was preceded in death by his parents, Armand and Cyrilla Huss; sisters, Carol, Barbara, and Rita; and brothers, Richard and Hugh.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Salvation Army, 3240 Monroe Street, La Porte, IN 46350; St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital--Memorial Processing, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38106-9959; or a food bank of your choice.
Condolences may be shared online at www.cutlercares.com.