Kenneth Warren Huffman (1944-1973) was born in Pikeville Kentucky to the parents of William Milton and Eleanor Huffman. He was married to Sue Butcher. They had two children: Kenneth Warren Huffman II and Susan Melissa Huffman. Kenny was a graduate of Pikeville High School and Pikeville College. He was also a member of the First Baptist Church of Pikeville.
Kenny played tennis from age sixteen to the age of twenty-eight when he became terminally ill with cancer. He was a member of the Pikeville College Tennis Team and was one of Pikeville area’s best tennis players winning practically every tournament he entered. "His enthusiasm for tennis was contagious." In 1973, following his death, Pikeville College renamed their tennis courts “The Kenneth Warren Huffman Memorial Tennis Courts” in Kenny’s honor due to his influence on tennis in the area. Also, Sue, his wife, established a tennis endowment scholarship named in her husband’s honor. This scholarship has proved to be very significant to the College and to the sport of tennis.
Lastly and rewardingly, Sue started a tennis tournament in Kenny’s name that became an annual memorial tournament called the Kenneth Warren Huffman Memorial Tennis Tournament. Sue had accomplished another goal which would fund the endowment through memberships, donations and entry fees. Since 1973, The Kenneth Warren Huffman Memorial Tennis Tournament has been a success. It has now become a classic tournament and in 2010, the tournament will be called “The Kenny Huffman Tennis Classic.”
The first winner of the tournament was Lee Smith, a sixteen year old high school student from Pikeville. Lee went on to receive a full scholarship from the Kenneth Warren Huffman Memorial Tennis Tournament and became a local lawyer. In 2009, Lee was director of the tournament.
Today, as the tournament and the scholarship fund continue to exist, changes have occurred. Now, graduating seniors from high schools in the 14th and 15th Regions who meet certain criteria are eligible for consideration in receiving scholarship funds from the Kenneth Huffman Memorial Tennis Foundation.
Our Mission Statement: "The mission of the Kenneth Huffman Memorial Tennis Foundation, Inc.,… is to raise funds through its annual Kenny Huffman Tennis Classic tournament with the funds raised being utilized to promote the growth of tennis at all levels of play in East Kentucky; to provide an annual scholarship in memory of Kenny Huffman to a deserving junior player in the 14th, 15th and 16th High School Regions to assist in earning a college education, to promote health/fitness, friendship, and sportsmanship as well as a friendly family environment within our community".
It was summer of 1962 in Pikeville Kentucky when a young lady by the name Sue Butcher began playing tennis. She was thirteen, and it was rare to see a thirteen year old have such a passion for playing tennis. Her father, Paul Butcher, had always had a love for sports and was the athletic director at Pikeville College in Pikeville. It was her father’s love for sports that got her into tennis. Paul loaned her a wooden tennis racket and from that day forward Sue wouldn’t lay it down.
Her father would use her as an example while teaching his tennis classes, which was very exciting to her. Sue played many games with those students, beating most of them regularly. She loved her father so much that she wanted to be just like him. She became a coach and a P.E. teacher and graduated from the same college and university as her father.
Also in the summer of 1962, Sue met and started playing tennis with a young man named Kenneth Warren Huffman. He was seventeen and she was in heaven….this would lead to a relationship between two young people in love with tennis and in love with each other….which would end one day in a life changing event with an untimely casualty…his death. She has written a book entitled, “A Tennis Love Story”– it is touching…. “The Kenneth Warren Huffman Memorial Tennis Tournament” event, for which it is named, served as a tribute from Sue to her former husband, Kenneth Warren Huffman and to honor his memory through a sport that they loved so well….The event also served as a means to help raise money for the “Pikeville College Scholarship Fund.”