Charles Lee (“C.L.”) Huling of Franklin, TN completed his baptism on February 5, 2021 at the age of 87.
He was preceded in death by his wife Mary Joan “Jody” Huling, parents Charles and Velma Huling, sister Ann Julian and son-in-law Ivan Cintron. He is survived by his children Elizabeth Huling of Shelbyville, KY, Bryan Huling (Penny) of Fort Myers, FL, Jeff Huling (Alisa) of Millersville, TN, and Sarah Carol Litton (Kevin) of Franklin, TN; grandchildren Chera Wilbanks (Matt), Charlie Huling, Hannah Huling, Jonas Litton (Allie Beth), Caleb Litton and Emmeline Litton; great-grandchildren Kyndal and Averi Wilbanks; sister Charlene Oliveira; and many beloved nieces and nephews/great nieces and nephews, cousins and friends.
C.L. was born in Knoxville, TN in 1933. He was a graduate of Knoxville High where he was a scholar, ROTC Captain, head cheerleader, and athlete. In 1954 he received his B.S. in Biology from Carson Newman College, married his high school sweetheart Jody and together they began teaching careers. Shortly thereafter, having worked part-time in music ministry at Washington Pike Baptist Church during college, he answered the call to full-time music ministry and served several other Tennessee churches including South Knoxville Baptist and Central Baptist Fountain City. He was a leader in church music throughout the state as a founding member of the Tennessee Men’s Chorale and traveled to Scotland with the Tennessee Baptist Crusade. He was also a facilitator and clinician for multiple choir tours, camps and festivals and conductor of the Baptist Hospital Nurses’ Glee Club, civic nativity pageants and the annual lighting of the Christmas tree at Miller’s plaza. In 1972 he and his family relocated to middle Tennessee where he served First Baptist Church, Hendersonville. He conducted special events for his church choirs including an appearance at the 1982 World’s Fair, at Ridgecrest Baptist Assembly in North Carolina and numerous performances by the Hendersonville Community Singers. He continued pursuing his love of sports by golfing and frequently winning the church racquetball league championship. In 1986, he and Jody relocated to Louisville, KY where he obtained his master’s degree from Southern Seminary and served as minister of music at Trinity Presbyterian and First Baptist, Shelbyville, KY, and as an adjunct professor at Boyce Bible College. Following his retirement from ministry, he enjoyed a third career with Measured Progress/Advanced Systems developing fine arts educational assessments for municipal school systems in Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire and New York where he traveled often. He retired in 2002 and relished working as a volunteer Marshal for several major PGA tournaments in the Louisville area as well as serving faithfully on the music committee and as music librarian at Broadway Baptist Church. In 2015 he relocated to Franklin, TN to receive additional care from family as he had become wheelchair bound. He was a member of Franklin First United Methodist Church and enjoyed participating in choir rehearsals and Bible studies. At the time of his death, he was President of the Residents’ Council at Morningside Assisted Living and served his fellow residents by presenting monthly thematic music programs and devotionals. His family wishes to thank all of the devoted staff and caregivers at Morningside who loved him as their own, as well as his church family and bus drivers, physicians, nurse practitioners and therapists who supported him during his chronic illnesses. Throughout his entire life, if there was a job to be done, C.L. appointed himself the doer, all the while maintaining deep friendships with school chums, neighbors, work colleagues and fellow church members. He will be remembered as a determined servant, a loving father and loyal friend.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at Franklin First United Methodist Church, 120 Aldersgate Way, Franklin, TN 37069 with Reverends Carlisle Jones and Robert Gammon officiating. Links to register to attend either in person or via live stream will be shared via family social media or contact SLitton@comcast.net for more information.