Gary Dwight Huffman was born on May 6, in Roanoke, Virginia. He graduated from Northside High School in 1982 and attended Virginia Western Community College and Radford University to pursue a degree in Business Administration. He is a graduate of the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland and holds accreditation from the Professional Career Development Institute of Atlanta, Georgia.
In July 1986, he began his career with the Roanoke County Fire and Rescue Department, where he worked his way through the ranks and served in the position of Fire Marshal for ten years prior to his retirement on June 1, 2014. During his Fire Services career, he attended the Law Enforcement Academy through the Virginia Department of Fire Programs and served two terms as President of the Virginia Fire Prevention Association.
Brother Huffman was raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason on June 21, 1999, in Vinton Lodge No. 204, where he served as its Worshipful Master in 2015. He is also a member of Boone Lodge No. 247. He was Grand Purveyor in 2011, Grand Tiler in 2015, and Administrative Assistant to the Grand Master in 2018, and was elected to the Office of Grand Junior Deacon in 2018. He is the Grand Representative to the Grand Lodge of Queensland, Australia, near Virginia.
Brother Huffman is a member of the Valley of Roanoke, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite and holds membership in the Scottish Rite Research Society. He is a member of DC Shanks Royal Arch Chapter No. 31, Bayard Commandery No. 15, Knights Templar, and Kazim Shrine Center, where he has served as Unit Captain and Secretary-Treasurer in the Provost Guard Unit. He served as Chief of the South Atlantic Shrine Association for Provost Guard Units. He served as Unit Captain in the Mystic Pirates and holds membership in the Roanoke Valley, Clifton Forge, Giles County and Lynchburg Shrine Clubs. In addition, he holds honorary membership in the Acca, Oasis, Sudan, Khedive, Omar, and Hejaz Shrine Centers. He serves on the Greenville, South Carolina Shriner’s Hospital Board of Governors and is the Chairman of the Building and Equipment committee.
In his professional life, he held membership on the Code Development Committee of the International Fire Chief’s Association and twice received the Governor’s Award for Fire Service Excellence. In addition, the Roanoke County Fire and Rescue Department twice recognized him with the “Firefighter of the Year Award.” Other commendations and awards were the Fire Safety Commendation Award from the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution and a Fire Service Award from the local Jaycees Chapter.
Brother Huffman is married to the former Paula Ann Compton and together they have two children; a daughter, Jordon Nicole Huffman, who is a graduate of Roanoke College and teaches in the Roanoke City School System, and a son, Mason Cole Huffman, who attends Northside High School and is very active in the Roanoke Valley DeMolay Chapter, where he holds the position of the Western Region Master Councilor.