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Merle Hufford Dies At 91
Release: 08/09/2000
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Aug. 9, 2000

PUYALLUP, Wash. (AP) - Merle Hufford, a former University of Washington sprinter and football star known as "Hula Hips" and later a state representative, died at 91

He died Sunday of pneumonia.

Hufford ran the 100 yards in less than 10 seconds and became a star halfback with elusive moves under coach Jimmy Phelan. He spurned a pro career in 1932.

"I have decided professional football isn't worth the time you give it," he said. "I'm a family man now, and intend to stay home and establish my position in the business world here."

Active in the Republican party, he served a term in the state House of Representatives and was nominated to run for the U.S. House in 1948 but lost to incumbent Henry Jackson, who later became a U.S. senator and ran for president.

Hufford was born in Milton-Freewater, Ore. He retired in the mid-1970s and moved to Walla Walla and then to Puyallup in 1994.

One of nine children born, Hufford is survived by son Merle Hufford Jr., daughter Carolyn Abolins, brothers Carl Hufford, Herbert Hufford and Norman Hufford, sister Violet Kinsfather, four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Services are Thursday in Milton-Freewater.

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