Posted: Wed 10:18 AM, Apr 25, 2012
December 16, 1948 - April 11, 2012
Stephen William Hughes, at age 63 and no longer encumbered by his earthly body, is flying once more. Steve filed his final flight plan and officially departed from this life to the next on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 after being grounded for several years following crippling strokes and subsequently, a massive stroke sustained on Holy Thursday, April 5th, 2012
A memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 28, 2012 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located at 2500 Barak Lane in Bryan. All who knew Steve and who would like to celebrate his life are invited to attend. Steve's ashes will be inurned at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, during a private ceremony to take place June 22, 2012.
He is survived by his devoted wife of 21 short years, Walsiejean "Jean" Hughes; and his six children, Kristen Lorene Hughes, Adam Timroth Hughes, Melissa Gayle Stricklin, and Barrett Thomas Hughes, all of Austin, Natalie Nicole Hughes of Provo, Utah, and Kyle Alexander Hughes of Bryan. Also surviving is his granddaughter, Kristen Katherine Stricklin, of Austin; his brother, Michael Blalock Hughes, of Santa Fe, New Mexico; aunt, Ola Mae Garvey, of Crockett; and a myriad of cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Steve, the younger of two boys, was born on December 16, 1948 to Desiree and Jay Hughes in San Antonio, Texas. Steve graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in San Antonio, Texas in 1967, and then attended Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Technology in 1971. While attending Texas A&M, he was a member of the Corps of Cadets and served as the Commanding Officer of "A" Battery and Squat Platoon Leader in the Ross Volunteers. He made lifelong friends while in the Corps, often attending once-per-year gatherings to reminisce of days gone by. Steve was on active duty in the Army through 1980 when he then entered the Army Reserves, and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. Steve also went back to school later in life, and obtained a Master of Engineering degree in 2005 from Texas A&M University. This was a huge milestone for him as he completed his Master's degree even though he had undergone complicated brain surgery while attending school.
Steve was an avid Boy Scouter and enjoyed camping, being on Eagle Scout committees, and thrilling the local scouts with his impersonation of Baden Powell each year. He was an aviator most of his life, flying helicopters for the Army and for Petroleum Helicopters, Inc. (PHi), and small planes as long as he was able. Steve loved musicals and could repeat the songs from a production after only seeing it one time. Steve was an accomplished poet and penned many poems during his short life. Steve was fascinated with engines, rebuilding old cars, and wood working as well. Steve was forced to learn to be frugal and turned it into a game, quickly differentiating between wants and needs - his favorite 'store' was the roadside curb, where he picked up pieces of discarded furniture and restored them to pristine condition. Steve followed in his family's traditions and loved to teach. In his later years he taught Military Science and Engineering Design Graphics at A&M, as well as ESL and GED subjects at the Adult Learning Center in Bryan. He was enamored by foreign languages - picking them up quickly - and was just as happy to teach ESL as he was to learn phrases in his students' native languages. He was dedicated to his students at A&M as well as his students at the Adult Learning Center in Bryan.
Steve loved to tell jokes and his favorite joke was 'the peanut joke'. "Did you hear about the two peanuts on the subway? One was assaulted!" Get it? "A Salted!" He loved to make children laugh by challenging them to "Don't smile!" as he contorted his face into stares after which even the most serious of children could not repress laughter. Steve felt it was important to laugh every day and he continued to make people laugh his entire life.
Steve was devoted to his Heavenly Father, his wife, and six children. From him, his family learned it was safe to say, "I love you.", "I was wrong." and "I'm sorry." They learned about "natural phenomena" and to "always leave a place better than you found it" by picking up scraps of trash whithersoever they went in their daily lives. He even taught his family to recycle, before it was "popular".
Steve was eager to discuss the Gospel at any given moment and incorporated teaching about our Father in Heaven into every aspect of his daily life by being a stalwart example of a true Christian - a follower of Christ in deed and word. Steve was a willing provider of service to young and old alike.
Steve loved music. In his latter years his speech was impeded due to multiple strokes, so he communicated his thoughts and emotions by singing lines from songs such as "I'm walking the floor over you" and "Daddy sang bass, Momma sang tenor". He was known throughout the Burleson St. Joseph Manor nursing home in Caldwell, where he resided for his last few years, for singing, making others laugh, cheering "Yee haw!" and dancing with his wife in their wheelchairs on many Friday afternoons.
He is already deeply missed by many but the knowledge and understanding that he is no longer in pain or frustrated by his body's limitations here on earth is comforting. His wife looks forward to continuing to be his Eternal Companion in the hereafter and his family is grateful for the knowledge that families can be together forever.
Steve will be inurned at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations made to the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets Association (CCA) for the Ross Volunteer Association (RVA) in the memory of Steve Hughes, '71