Milton Rollan Hughes, age 84, passed away Tuesday, July 14, 2015, at the Lonetree Retirement Center in Meade, Kansas. He was born December 7, 1930 in Spearman, Hansford County, Texas to Afton Winfield "Bill" and Pauline (Lewis) Hughes. At an early age the family moved to Durham, Oklahoma where his parents had bought land. Milton attended the Clifford Elementary School, a country school not far from his home, but the school consolidated with Durham schools when he began the sixth grade. He graduated from Durham High School in May, 1949. He was drafted into the Army after graduation but a fall from a wooden windmill platform resulted in a serious break to his right leg, which in turn, brought a deferment until October 1952. His basic Army raining was at Ft. Bliss, El Paso, Texas. He was sure that this was the end of the earth, as he said, "Even the rocks blew". After basic training he was sent to Wiesbaden, Germany. He always felt very fortunate to be stationed there as so many of his peers had been sent to South Korea. He was discharged from the Army in September 1954.
Following his army discharge, Milton decided to take advantage of the GI Bill. He enrolled at Panhandle (OK) A&M, Goodwell, OK. He graduated in May 1958 with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. The following September he began a teaching career at Washington Elementary in Liberal, Kansas. That year the Liberal Unified School #480 had hired several young, beginning teachers. Among them was a beginning teacher at another school, Doris Charlene Randall, from Ashland. They were married two years later, August 10, 1960. To this union was born their son, Randall Milton, February 4, 1964.
After attending classes for several summers at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Weatherford, OK, Milton earned his Masters of Education Degree and became Principal at Washington Elementary in Liberal, Kansas. His entire educational career was spent with Unified School District #480 in Liberal. In addition to serving as principal at Washington, he also served as principal at two other schools, Southlawn Elementary and McDermott Elementary. Milton was a firm believer in education and was constantly encouraging and praising students. Milton retired from USD#480 in May 1993, and when Charlene retired in 1994, they moved to Ashland.
He was a member of the Ashland United Methodist Church.
Along the way Milton developed another love--the love of gardening. It was reflected in every aspect of his life. He couldn't beautify the whole world, but wherever his world was, he intended to make it a place of beauty and tranquility. His happiest moments were working in his flower beds and with his roses in particular. Of great satisfaction to him was to observe people enjoying the little garden in downtown Ashland.
Milton was actively involved in the Pioneer-Krier Museum. He loved to tell museum visitors about many of the collections, displays and artifacts. He also thoroughly enjoyed times when friends just stopped by the museum to visit. The coffee pot was always on.
Preceding Milton in death were his parents and his brother Orton. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Charlene; his son, Randall Milton and wife Kathryn; two grandchildren, Nicholas Randall and Holly Madeline; nieces, Deana Kay Hughes and Darla Jean Harris, and nephew Orton Zane Hughes.
Services were held on Saturday, July 18, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. at the Ashland United Methodist Church. Interment was at Highland Cemetery. Military honors provided by the Willard Aldridge VFW Post 7770 of Ashland. Arrangements were entrusted to the Myatt-Ashland Funeral Home. Online condolences may be offered at www.schillingfhg.com
Memorials given in Milton's name may be made to the Pioneer-Krier Museum, P.O. Box 862, Ashland, KS 67831.
Cheyenne Star, July 23, 2015