Elmer Gustavus Hughes, 102, of Chapel Hill, NC died July 29, 2023 in Chapel Hill. He was born on Palm Sunday, March 20, 1921 in Tyaskin, Maryland. He was the first born of Elmer G. and Sarah Louise Anderson Hughes. He spent he first eighteen years of his life growing up carefree and happy, enjoying the simple pleasures provided by a wealth of farmland, woods, the beautiful and prolific Nanticoke River and a community of hard working, wonderful people. He was educated through seventh grade in the one-room school in Tyaskin and then four years at Nanticoke High School Class of 1938.
Elmer was preceded in death by his parents, his twin brothers, Jack Allen Hughes and Gene Sheldon Hughes, and his wife of 72 years, Kathleen Fitzgerald Hughes who passed away at the age of eighty-eight on April 12, 2019. On September 27, 1939, Elmer enlisted as a private in the US Army Air Corps. He served in WWII, Korean Conflict and Vietnam. He retired from the US Air Force in 1976 in the grade of Major.
During a break in military service, Elmer attended State Teachers College in Salisbury, Maryland, where ha met and married the love of his life Kathleen Fitzgerald. They both later attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Kathleen became a public-school teacher and Elmer became a Real Estate Broker. Elmer loved life, his country, and the military. He also loved people and loved singing to them in his wonderful crooner’s voice with a memory that is unbelievable.
Elmer is survived by his three sons, Major Elmer Franklin Hughes and his wife, Julie of Sanford, NC, Dr. Patrick Sheldon Hughes of Raleigh, NC an Jeffrey Fitzgerald Hughes and his wife, Nicole of Lantana, FL, granddaughter Lolana Joleen Hughes, and her mom, Debra and a host of nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was a life member of several military associations including The American Legion, The VFW, The Society of The Strategic Air Command, The 40th Bomb Group Association, The Reserve Officer’s Association and the University of North Carolina Alimni Association.
A military memorial service celebrating his life will be held at the American Legion, Post 6, Chapel Hill on Wednesday, August 9th at 1800 hours (6:00PM). There will be a funeral service on Friday, August 11, 2023 at 1:00PM following visitation with family and friends starting at 12:00PM at Asbury United Methodist Church in Harrington, DE. Following the service there will be a reception with light refreshments in the fellowship hall, after which a Military graveside memorial service will be held in Hollywood Cemetery. Arrangements will be handled by Melvin Funeral Services, Harrington, Delaware.
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