ForeverMissed
Stories
Shared by Ruby Demouchet on July 20, 2020
  • I was sorry to hear of Colonel Hughes’ passing from my daughter Shemika who is a friend of his lovely daughters Kathryn and Carol. I remember years ago in Ankara, Turkey Col Hughes was the speaker at a high school graduation. I was hanging on to every word. It was the most meaningful one I had ever heard. Later I desired a copy of it and he was gracious enough to give me one. Sometime later I preached a sermon and the next day at a gathering he singled me out and told me he enjoyed my talk on yesterday. It meant so much coming from such an eloquent speaker. All of you have my deepest condolences and I am sorry it has taken me so long to share. May God keep you all in comfort and peace!

Preston Hughes: A Man of Action

Shared by Larry Isakson on June 20, 2020
Preston didn’t waste much time when taking action after making a decision.One afternoon in the midst of a card game we showed Preston a brochure of an interesting sea adventure.He looked at it briefly and said, “let’s do it.”He immediately called and made reservations, without a second thought.We resumed the game and a few weeks later were on a small yacht cruise of Slovenia and the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia.One of our most enjoyable journeys with Ann and Preston.

 

Shared by Rodney Kaminska on June 5, 2020
Dear Ann and family
       I was so sorry (no shocked) to read of Preston's passing.  My most sincere condolences to the family.  I had got to know Preston at the Holyoak family reunions and I loved to chat with him.  I will miss him at the family reunions very much.

Mr. Hughes

Shared by Eric Sculthorpe on June 1, 2020
Simply put, I was blessed to know Mr. Hughes and to have experienced many wonderful things as a result.  Descending upon the Hughes home in Kosciusko for the Natchez Trace Festival 5K/10K race with Jon, friends from State and his sisters.  Being awakened early Saturday morning with marching music, heading to the town square for the race, returning to the house for a massive breakfast prepared by Mrs. Hughes, spending the afternoon at the festival and then the wonderful evening conversations.  

Mr. Hughes and Jon invited me to drive out west to Utah (and pick up Carol along the way in MO).  The first night in a hotel I awkwardly went up to Mr. Hughes and asked what was the best way for me to pay for my share of the hotel rooms along the way.  He quickly and kindly said there was no need for that...he would take care of our hotel rooms and I could just take care of my meals.  The trip was my first time west of the Mississippi river and I got to see and experience so much of the country and create lasting memories visiting Mesa Verde in CO, hiking and camping in the Narrows, experiencing Cedar City and Utah family.  He opened up that trip to me...brought me...a goober college kid...into that car for those many long hours driving, just as he welcomed me into the Hughes home in Kosciusko. 

Early in my first job (at the MDEQ) I had to give a presentation one evening to elected officials and the public in Attala County.  I was prepared but a little nervous.  Mr. Hughes came to listen and seeing in audience put me at ease.  He then spoke with me afterwards and complimented me on the humor I incorporated into the talk...much more important that any facts presented was that I had made him laugh. 

There was a trip to Turkey with Mr. and Mrs. Hughes later on, including time spent on a Blue Cruise along the Turkish coast.  So many wonderful memories... 

As I think back, the following things come to mind in regards to time with Mr. Hughes: quality, deep conversation, faith, humor, music, pistachios, service, curiosity, questions, stories, exercises/physical activity, heart, thoughtfulness, State football and basketball, experiences, literature, Ole Miss football and basketball (unfortunately ;) ), exploration and just "good". 

I am grateful for the time I had with Mr. Hughes...and the time I have spent with Mrs. Hughes, Jon, Kathryn and Carol.  You are all awesome, simple as that.  My prayers are with you all and may you be lifted up and comforted however it is that you need.

Dad - from Carol

Shared by Carol Hill on May 30, 2020
My father was a studier of great men. His many bookshelves are lined with books about important military figures, presidents and world leaders. He dedicated a large portion of his life to studying and writing about Ataturk, the beloved founding father of modern-day Turkey. And yet, I feel that few of those men have probably been called dear friend or brother by as many people as my father has been this week. It is moving how many lives his sincere personal interest and attention has touched. What a privilege to be raised by a man who had such a capacity for loving others and finding the time to truly “see” and acknowledge the significant moments in our lives. As my sister wrote, I also have a chest of letters that Dad wrote to me throughout my life—encouraging, counseling, and acknowledging important personal events. As busy as his days were—he loved to be busy!—he dedicated an amazing amount of time to letters, phone calls and travels to be with each of us.

I loved to hear Dad tell stories; some of my favorite memories from our time in Kosciusko were Sunday lunches at the dinner table with Dad and Mama Kate (his mother)—listening to them tell stories of family and days gone by. (Mom made the best Sunday dinners, and always set the table beautifully. There were often several guests, and occasionally more than she allowed Dad to invite :) His stories of his early years at West Point were also especially entertaining, and there were some great ones from the years in Turkey when he had to escort and pacify visiting generals and important diplomatic figures. Ever the affiliator, he always worked so hard to make everyone feel important and at ease. I found these guidelines written in the cover of his West Point “Bugle Notes” (the handbook plebes were made to carry with them at all times): 1) Be sure everyone knows everyone else. 2) Introduce juniors to seniors. 3) Speak clearly. 4) Start a conversation. 5) Shake hands with a gentleman; but only with a lady if she offers. 6) Take a junior to a senior. 7) When in doubt, ask if two people have met. 8) Be extremely wary of self-introductions to ladies. 9) Remind an old former acquaintance at where you knew each other. I saw Dad practice these guidelines on a daily basis; he was the best conversationalist. I will miss having him to talk to about politics, investments, religion, culture; his opinions and insights just mattered more to me than most. But as I look back through the photos we have all posted this past week, I realize just how much we have all absorbed and been shaped by him, and so he is with us still. Again, thank you to all who have posted memories and tributes; these stories will be cherished.

My Dad

Shared by Kathryn Boogaard on May 27, 2020
My Dad

There are so many things I love about my dad. Looking back over his life and thinking about all of his qualities, the one that keeps coming to mind is “intentionality.” He was intentional in his parenting, carefully disciplining us or encouraging us as he saw fit, not wanting either to go undone. He was intentional in all his relationships, both with people in his present location and with those who lived far off. Maybe this was a result of his being an only child. He was a faithful correspondent. During our years in Turkey I remember Dad having us sing Christmas carols and tell about our Christmas gifts so he could record it on a cassette tape to send to his parents. Since leaving home I have received dozens of thoughtful, heartfelt letters. Keepers, all of them. My children regularly received letters, photos, and clippings of Sunday comics from their grandpa.

When we’ve stayed at my parents’ house Dad was intentional with his time with his grandchildren; taking them to parks, getting down on the carpet to read stories or set up train tracks with them, and using breakfast time to read a favorite poem or Bible passage. It’s as if he didn’t want to waste a single opportunity to enjoy his grandchildren or to pass on some bit of wisdom to them. And he succeeded. None of our time together was wasted, it was all precious, full of wonderful memories and deep impressions. He was intentional and he loved people. He is like the “Good Samaritan” in Jesus' story, and the man who lived in “The House by the Side of the Road”, a favorite poem of Dad’s by Sam Walter Foss. I love you, Dad.

Pistachios

Shared by Michelle Hughes on May 26, 2020
There are many things I think of when I think about Preston:  Sitting on our front porch, sitting on our back porch, walking in Utah, walking in Montana, walking in the Outerbanks, walking in Norfolk, walking in Ridgefield, CT, reading books to the boys while they sat on his lap, singing together during Christmas, Thanksgiving, and every single time we got together.. but the one object that ties every one of those memories together are Pistachios.  Preston loved his pistachios.  On his last visit here to Norfolk, he sat on the bar in our kitchen and would eat handfuls at a time.  I never knew it was possible for someone to eat so many pistachios in one setting, and I had to do a medical search to make sure it was not harmful.  There is no overdosing Pistachios, just like there was no overdosing of his love, his patience, and his welcome arms.
I came into this family thinking and feeling as if I was an outsider.. Preston never ever made me feel that way.  It was almost 9 years to this day when I met Preston, Ann, Carol and Scott in Norfolk, VA for the first time at Jonathan's wetting down ceremony.  Preston and Ann immediately made me feel as part of the family.  We spoke about everything and anything - we had the commonality that he raised his children overseas, as I grew up overseas because my father's job at IBM; music, philosophy, children, and health insurance.  Never once did he make me feel as if I should not be with Jonathan, and instead, he constantly told me how grateful he was that Jonathan and I met and married.  I constantly thanked him for raising such a wonderful and amazing son, and he thanked me for making Jonathan happy.
I regret not having more time to share more songs, more trips, more games and more stories.  But I am so grateful for the moments we have had together.
So, besides pistachios, I will remember Preston as a person who embodied a quote by Fred Rogers:

"As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has- or ever will have- something inside that is unique to all time.  It's our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression."

Preston always managed to make each of us feel special and unique.
May you live in all of us, and may we make you proud.

Dad

Shared by Jonathan Hughes on May 24, 2020
When I was in the 9th grade, I thought I would impress Dad by telling a
ribald joke that I had recently heard. Instead of chuckling at the punchline, Dad fixed me in his gaze and in a calm, measured manner rebuked me with this apocryphal tale: “General Robert E. Lee was once at a party conversing with some men. One man looked around the room and said, ‘Seeing as there are no ladies present I believe I can tell this story.’ General Lee interrupted him saying, ‘No ladies perhaps, but a gentleman.’” It was the last time I ever tried using such humor around Dad. 

That was Dad, a southern gentleman all his life. I never met a person so true to his moral beliefs. I never once heard my father swear or say anything indecorous. He set high standards that I’m afraid I’ll be failing to live up to all my life. Dad was a wonderful role model as a father, and I will emulate him as best I can. 

Thank you for visiting this memorial and for sharing your thoughts with our family. It means so much to hear from you 

The Firebird

Shared by David Self on May 24, 2020
Ann,
We are so sorry to hear that Preston  passed.  Your family was our favorite family the whole time we taught school in Anara.  Both you and Preston were always involved in school and base activities no matter what we asked you to do.  You were strong with your beliefs and you were positive models for everyone.  That being said you both were incredibly down to earth and willing to share life experiences with us all.  The kids were always a joy to work with in the classroom.  I can only remember one thing that Preston perhaps got wrong,  and that was he thought selling your Firebird was the best thing to do.
Good thing you really liked him.  Much love to you all during this time.
Dave and Carol

Best Friend

Shared by Gwynn Vaughan on May 24, 2020
Preston was one of my very best friends. We met  at West Point and attended numerous Bible Studies and retreats together. I visited his home in Kosciusko after my graduation in 1964. George Wallace was Governor. We spent a week together. Although we didn’t get together  frequently, I will always consider him one of my best friends because we shared a common faith in Jesus together.

Albay Preston, friend and mentor

Shared by Calvin Carlsen on May 24, 2020
Albay (Turkish for Colonel) Preston was both a friend and mentor.  When I was a young captain serving my first tour as an Army Foreign Area Officer (FAO)  in Turkey, there was Albay Preston working at the Turkish General staff.  All the Turkish FAOs looked up to Albay Preston, he was the epitome of what every Turkish FAO wanted to be, an outstanding officer, husband, father, Turkish FAO, soldier, statesman, and friend. While I was in Turkey he organized all the young FAOs, getting them together to provide guidance and so we cold learn from each other.  As a Turkish FAO there was none better, he had his own office inside Turkish General Staff and many a Turkish Senior officer would ask for his advice.  During Operation Provide Comfort when the US helped to repatriate 500,000 Kurdish refuges back to their home in Northern Iraq, Preston Hughes was there helping.  I saw him in action, I've seen Turkish General officers lean over in a meeting and in Turkish ask Albay Preston for the correct Turkish word to use in a conversation, I've seen a US helicopter land without all the prior coordination, but once they learned Albay Preston was on board there was no problem.  He was known from one end of the country to other.  We stayed friends and I was honored when he and Ann were able to attend my wedding in 1994 with Christine. He was always there to offer a friendly word of advice and or encouragement, he will always be remembered and missed.  Thoughts and prayers to the whole Hughes family, Love, Calvin and Christine

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