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Story Last modified at 1:27 p.m. on Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mark Allen Hufford


Mark Allen Hufford

Sept. 19, 1970 – Jan. 26, 2011

Mark Allen Hufford, 40, died Jan. 26, 2011, in his home peacefully from natural causes.

Mark was born Sept. 19, 1970, to Gary and Joan Hufford in Washington, D.C. In 1977, his family moved to Eagle River, where they have lived ever since. Hufford graduated from Chugiak High School in 1989. In October of 1995, Hufford faced a tragic accident that left him paraplegic and in a wheelchair. Although he had this tragedy, Hufford was determined and received a Bachelors Degree of Human Services from University of Alaska Anchorage in 2000. He worked for the Division of Vocational Rehab for six years where he helped people in the community overcome their disabilities.

Hufford loved hand cycling and competed in the Sadler's Alaska Challenge seven times from 1999 to 2007. He won the Speedy Sourdough Award for fastest Alaskan at least two times. Hand cycling is what he lived for. He could often be seen training on the bike trails between Anchorage and Eagle River, always with a huge smile on his face.

Hufford loved working out. If you didn't see him on his bike then you would see him at The Alaska Club. He was a member for many years, and he loved the people he met who shared the same interest. Hufford also loved Alaska and always found great pleasure in being outdoors. Some of his favorite pastimes were camping, fishing, and car rides with family and friends to take in the beauty of nature.

Hufford was loved by the community and everyone whose life he touched. He was an inspiration and a hero to many. His determination and strong will made him overcome all of the obstacles that he faced, and with each and every one he had a smile on his face. There was no "mountain" too high for him to climb. Hufford's smile will be missed by all.

Mark is survived by his father, Gary Hufford; his mother, Joan Hufford; his sister, Teresa Knowles; his sister, Jennifer Rogers; and his niece, Makayla Hufford, all of Eagle River. He is also survived by his extended family in Oregon.

A celebration of life will be held at St. Andrews Cathedral at 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 5, with a reception to follow. The family requests in lieu of flowers that a donation in Mark Hufford's name be made to Challenge Alaska.

This article published in The Alaska Star on Thursday, February 3, 2011.