J.L. Huffines, Jr., 85, the leader of Huffines Auto Dealerships died Wednesday morning after a battle with prostate cancer. Huffines, Jr. worked at the dealership until two weeks ago.
Upon his father's passing, Ray Huffines said he was "blessed" calling his father "a great man" and saying that it will be tough to follow in his father's footsteps.
J.L. Huffines Jr. was a baby when his father opened the first Huffines auto dealership in Denton in 1924, and the original store front still stands on east Hickory St. in Denton. The family moved the store to Lewisville in 1927.
Huffines, Jr. followed in his father's footsteps, opening a dealership in Commerce in 1950. He returned to North Texas to continue the family business when Huffines, Sr. passed away in 1971.
To this day, Huffines auto dealerships are one of the oldest family-owned and operated dealership groups in America.
The Huffines Auto Group was co-owned by J.L Huffines, Jr. and Ray Huffines. The family owns eight Huffines dealerships in Plano, Lewisville, Denton and McKinney.
In a June 2004 article in the Lewisville Leader, Huffines, Jr. said he hoped there would be another generation to take on the family business.
"There are very few businesses that have lasted a third generation," Ray Huffines added. "The fourth would be even rarer, but it would be nice. We like the car business and have certainly have had success in the car business. We would very much like to see it continue on."
The family name lives on in other ways. In the mid-90's the Huffines family donated land off Valley Parkway to the Lewisville Independent School District. On that land J.L. Huffines Middle School opened in 1997 in memory of Huffines, Sr. who served on the school board in the 1940s.
Huffines, Jr. has six children - four sons, a stepson and a stepdaughter - as well as several grandchildren.