Beloved rugby coach, judge dies

JONESBORO, Ark. – Few could light up a room with such a genuine demeanor like Curt Huckaby and many felt sincere loss Tuesday as news spread of his death.

Huckaby was known to many as a judge in Craighead County District Court, along with Judge Keith Blackmon. However, he was also an Arkansas State University rugby program coach for 14-years, founding the program. Huckaby’s lasting impact on the rugby program was memorialized in May with the renaming of the rugby field to Huckaby Rugby Field.

District Court Clerk Joe Monroe, who worked closely with Huckaby for years, said it was a passion with no known limits.

“There’s no telling how much he spent out of his pocket to get it going and keep it running,” Monroe said. “He just was that way.”

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Huckaby. Source: A-State

He was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, several years ago but Huckaby’s main goal, he told an NEA Report staff member months back, was to finish out his term.

With great strain and determination, Huckaby made it to the year his successor was elected.

“He was fair and considerate,” Monroe said. “He was always worrying about violating somebody’s constitutional rights. He smiled as much as he did anything on the bench. He tried to make people at ease in front of him.”

While fondly remembering the judge, Monroe joked Diary Queen’s stock would likely take a hit from the loss of Huckaby.

“He loved going by Dairy Queen and getting a grilled cheese and a frosty,” Monroe said. “He would do that and bring lunch for me and Judge Blackman everyday.”

Second Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington said he knew Huckaby dating back to 1999. He said Huckaby was a deputy prosecutor and did conflict cases across all six counties in the district and seemed to love it.

“He was always such an aggressive but friendly lawyer and always willing to share his thoughts and offer advice and guidance, which was great,” Ellington said.

Ellington remembered Huckaby fondly and believed everyone will remember him just as warmly.

“I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like Curt Huckaby,” Ellington said.

A celebration of Huckaby’s life will be held at Emerson’s Funeral Home Friday, July 1. Speakers will be reminiscing fond memories

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Source: A-State

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