Rock Island resident Preston Huckeby died Monday after a 31-year law enforcement career and 20 years on the Warren County Election Commission. He was 83.
“If there were more people like Preston Huckeby, the world would be a better place,” said Paul Davis, who spent nearly 30 years working with him in the local Democratic Party. “He did a lot for this county and this state as a Democrat and as a TBI man. There are not enough good things you can say about him.”
Mr. Huckeby was appointed to the Tennessee Highway Patrol on Dec. 1, 1957 to begin a storied career in law enforcement that included being honored as Officer of the Year by the McMinnville Jaycees and McMinnville Exchange Club.
Mr. Huckeby became a TBI agent on March 15, 1968 and had an office in McMinnville. He was shot in the line of duty during a gambling raid in Chattanooga in 1972. In 1980, he was named special agent-in-charge of East Tennessee, which included 49 counties and 20 agents.
Following his retirement from the TBI, Mr. Huckeby worked for City Bank and Trust for 10 years. He served on the Warren County Election Commission from 1995 to 2015 with more than 10 of those years as chairman.
“I never worked for a better guy,” said election administrator Donna Smith. “In March, it was the first election in 20 years when Preston wasn’t up here with us and it just didn’t seem right. We’re all saddened.”
Mr. Huckeby suffered health issues after being hit by a car in December 2014. That forced him to resign from the Election Commission and abandon many of his regular duties.
“He helped put up hay and was still very active up until the time of his accident,” said Davis.
Obituary information is available in the Obits section of the website and on Page 2A of the paper.