Danny “Dan” Gene Jeffers
DAN JEFFERS, 89, a native and longtime resident of Huntington, passed into the presence of his Lord and Savior at home on Wednesday afternoon, January 9, 2019, with his loving wife of 28 years, Daphne “Dede” Jeffers, by his side. Born in Huntington on October 18, 1929, Dan was the son of the late Claude Maxon “Max” Jeffers Sr. of Huntington and Ruth Maxwell Jeffers of Barboursville. His father, Max, was a barber, and later along with Ruth owned and ran the Spot and Arcade Bowling Alleys and Max Jeffers Pro Shop in the ’50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. Born during the onset of the Great Depression, Dan was shaped by his parents’ strong work ethic and careful stewardship of the money and gifts their life had been blessed with in difficult times. In addition to his parents, Dan was preceded in death by a brother, Max Jr., in 2014, as well as a host of aunts and uncles, Calvin, Stanton “Tink,” Johnny, Lucille and Erma (Jeffers) and Fred (Maxwell), all longtime Huntington and Barboursville residents that played significant roles throughout his life. He was a graduate of Huntington East High School and attended Marshall University. During high school, Dan worked as one of the original carhops at Stewart’s Root Beer stand on 5th Avenue, a Huntington institution that still proudly stands today. Shortly after his high school graduation in 1947, Dan enlisted in the Air Force, serving during the Korean War for four years, working as an aircraft electrician. During his time in the service, he received specialized training at Parks Air College in Saint Louis and was eventually stationed at Travis Air Force Base in the Napa, California, area, where he progressed to the rank of Staff Sergeant. After his discharge from the Air Force, Dan returned to Huntington and joined in the family bowling business for a short time. Considered to be among one of the top bowlers in the Tri-State area at that time, Dan employed his significant bowling skills and intense concentration to win a number of local and regional tournaments, recording three (3) perfect games in his short but illustrious bowling career. Dan eventually began his work career as a pharmaceutical sales representative, working for over 20 years for companies like the National Drug Company, Abbott, and Warner Chilcott. In this capacity, Dan traveled throughout West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky, meeting with doctors to discuss and share the applications of the pharmaceutical products he represented. Immediately prior to his retirement in 1988, Dan worked as the regional corporate accounts director for Avis Rental Car. In this capacity, he was responsible for providing fleets of cars to large companies and organizing car sales throughout West Virginia and the Gulf Coast of Florida. Beyond his passions of bowling and pharmaceutical sales, Dan was an avid reader and routinely went to the Cabell County library each morning to review many daily newspapers, as well as the latest biographies and books on World War II history. Always insistent in keeping himself in top physical condition, Dan was a member of the YMCA for 52 years, where he remained faithful to his afternoon workout sessions at the May Building right up until the time of his passing. Though his workout was slowed in recent years due to an aortic dissection and knee problems, he never wavered from his daily trek to the “Y.” It was there that he was able to maintain his fitness goals as well as enjoy the company of his many friends that he made there over a half of a century of faithful dedication to the YMCA. The family wishes to thank Dan’s friends and staff at the Cabell County Library and YMCA May Building for providing such a welcome oasis for him for much of his life. Throughout his life, Dan also thoroughly enjoyed automobiles, particularly his prized 20-plus-year-old black Mercedes with only 65,000 miles that only on rare occasion left the garage when there was no threat of rain in the forecast. In his retirement, Dan purchased many cars from auto auctions, ultimately making any repairs and conducting extensive detailing before reselling them. Dan was also a longtime member of the First Presbyterian Church in Huntington, having served over the years as a member and leader of the Quest classes and as an usher in the balcony of the church. He once jokingly explained that he volunteered for the usher’s job simply as a way to help supplement his fixed income during his retirement. This claim was obviously untrue, yet resonated with some of us, as well as tended to keep the church Elders and Deacons at the church on high alert during his shift. During his life, he also volunteered with Big Brothers and Big Sisters, as well as at the Crisis Center in Huntington. Above all, Dan was a very kind and generous man who loved the Lord and enjoyed spending time with his wife, family and friends. Those left to preserve his memory are his cherished wife of 28 years, Daphne “Dede,” his son, Mark Jeffers and his wife Debby of Colleyville, Texas, and his stepchildren, Carri, Jackie, Janet, Laura and Marshall. He also leaves behind seven (7) grandchildren, Jessica, Joshua, Jacob, Rebecca, Suzy, Jack and Luke. Also surviving Dan is his sister-in-law, Helen Jeffers and her son Bruce and his wife Sue of Springhill, Tenn., and a cousin, Bob Maxwell of Barboursville. Dan also is survived by one great-grandson, Benjamin Jeffers Green, age one, whom he had the opportunity to hold a few months prior to his death. A celebration of Dan’s life is planned for later this year. In lieu of flowers, friends and family are asked to consider making a memorial or donation to the Huntington YMCA in Dan’s name. You are also encouraged to go on a brisk walk or jog around the trail at Ritter Park in his honor, a place that he cherished deeply. Nothing would please him more. Condolences may be made to the family at www.regerfh.com.