Many friends that knew August often called him “Gus” and his grandchildren knew him as “Poppy.”
He belonged to a farming community in Oklahoma and after serving in WW II he married the love of his life, Ruby Cockrill. They quickly started a new life together and bought a farm and built a home in Oklahoma. He found that farming was not lucrative so he turned his house and farm over to his parents and he and Ruby moved to California in 1953 in search of a better life for him and his growing family.
August worked in the logging industry for many years and owned and operated his own logging company and gas station. After the death of his business partner, he sold both of the businesses and spent several years working in the construction business in Texas.
He eventually returned to his Redway property and began working for Redwood Coast Logging Company and subsequently Randall’s Sand and Gravel until his retirement at the age of 75. Anyone that knew August knew that he never really retired, but kept on working. It was a joke amongst his family and friends, that retirement was a full-time job, for him it certainly was.
August had a gift for building, he was known as the man that did it all himself. He built many different houses, usually with only the help of his family. He built the house that he and Ruby have resided in for the last 25 years piece by piece, practically all on his own. The “big house” as all the grandkids called it was handcrafted by Poppy down to each piece of hand-milled trim and custom cabinets that he built.
He was known for his unrelenting work ethic and everlasting commitment to his family and friends. He was never afraid to take on any challenge as far as work went. He was known as the guy who could get a cement truck in any spot that no one else could or dared try. He was the guy that built a house on the side of a mountain when everyone thought it couldn’t be done and the guy with the homemade four-story scaffolding that everyone else besides his kids and grandkids were afraid of.
He could overcome any difficult situation with just a little thought and then a plan; he was very smart that way. As one of the grandkids, I would ask him, “Poppy, how are we going to do that?” and he would say, “There is always a way, you just have to find it.” There was nothing that August Huck could not do. He was truly the most talented man.
His grandchildren were his special joy. He and Ruby were devoted to the young ones of the family and provided countless hours of entertainment, babysitting and loving care to their grandchildren. For the first years of the grandchildren’s lives, four of the seven grandchildren lived across the driveway from August and Ruby on their property, and the other three that resided out of state came to visit often.
We had a great childhood growing up on the property with Poppy and Grandma. We would play outside with them from sunrise to sunset and had a special bond with our grandparents. We spent entire summers with them when school was out of session and when it was time to leave we would never want to go and would beg our parents to let us stay. We enjoyed every minute spent with him whether it was building houses, collecting river rocks and building rock walls, constructing go carts, riding the tractor without brakes or swimming at Randall’s Sand and Gravel, it was always fun with Poppy.
Many fond memories were made with Poppy. As one of Poppy’s granddaughters I remember him teaching me and taking me hunting with my twin sister, Haley. He always told us that we could do whatever we set our minds to and that hunting wasn’t just for boys.
His children and grandchildren learned many skills from Poppy, such as framing, concrete work, wiring, plumbing, roofing and much more. Any project was a family project that we all worked on together. He showed us what it meant to work hard and be a good person in the community. He helped raise his children and grandchildren into hardworking individuals that appreciate everything we have. He was truly the most devoted grandfather and father that anyone could have.
Poppy also had a love for farming so in his spare time he would often be found rototilling, planting and tending to his gardens. He raised various items such as pumpkins, squash, zucchini, okra, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, plums, kiwis, cherries, walnuts, apples, huckleberries, pears and much more. One year, for his granddaughter Haley’s wedding, he grew all the sunflowers in his gardens for her. He would share all that he harvested with friends, family and anyone that was in need.
August was preceded in death by his youngest son, David.
He is survived by his wife, Ruby, of 63 years; daughter, Kathleen Hayes; and sons, Bill Huck and Steve Huck. He has seven grandchildren, David Huck, Steven Huck, Shiloh Satterfield, Haley Pinochi , Lacey Pope, Amber Huck and Tyler Huck. He has one great-grandson, Kade Pinochi, son of August’s granddaughter, Haley Pinochi.
Funeral services were held at the Our Lady of the Redwoods Catholic Church in Garberville on Friday, April 13, with graveside burial following the service. Friends and family gathered at the Women’s Civic Club on Maple Lane immediately following the service to help celebrate a life well lived.
Arrangements were under the direction of Goble Mortuary of Fortuna.