Jefferson Hughes Jr.

Published 3:09 pm Friday, June 30, 2017

Former Crown Zellerbach executive Jefferson Davis Hughes Jr., also known as “Jeff” or “J.D.,” died on Thursday, June 29. He died peacefully at home in the arms of Betty, his loving wife of 67 years.

He was born on April 10, 1924. He was a native of Hammond, and he was the great-great-grandson of Peter Hammond, founder of the city. He was a long-time resident of Bogalusa, and resided previously in Hammond, Poplarville, Miss., DeRidder, and Denham Springs. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II aboard the U.S.S. LCI 442(G), participating in the invasion of Okinawa and the liberation of the Philippines.

A graduate of Hammond High School, he attended Southeastern Louisiana University before WWII and received a degree in forestry after the war from Louisiana State University.

Hughes worked for 51 years for Gaylord Container Corporation and its successor companies Crown Zellerbach, Cavenham, Hanson, and Weyerhaeuser. He retired in 1986 from Crown Zellerbach as Manager of Environmental Services and Association Affairs, served as a consultant for Cavenham and Hanson, and retired again in 2000 as Manager of Government Affairs for Weyerhaeuser.

While employed by Crown Zellerbach, he was chosen to travel to Brazil to evaluate the possibility of starting an operation in that country. He was also chosen by the Secretary of the Army to serve on a three-member Blue Ribbon Panel to advise the Army on management of its national resources at military and civilian installations. He was called as an expert witness in many civil cases and testified before Congress many times on forestry matters. He was frequently called on by the forestry community for his vast knowledge and experience, as comfortable talking to loggers and tree farmers as he was to executives and members of Congress.

In 1967, Hughes was named “Outstanding Alumnus of the Year” by the LSU School of Forestry. He was a former president of the Louisiana Forestry Association and a charter member and first president of the Tangipahoa Forestry Association. He was a member of the Washington Parish Forestry Association and the Mississippi Forestry Association. He was a Fellow of the Society of American Foresters and served on its National Council, serving also as chairman of its Gulf States Section, receiving its Distinguished Service Award. In 1977 he received the President’s Award from the Southern Forest Institute.

In 2010, Hughes was the first non-academic elected to the Louisiana State University School of Renewable Natural Resources Hall of Fame. In 2016 he was named Outstanding Alumnus of the Year by the LSU College of Agriculture.

Hughes gave to his community. In Poplarville, he was president of the Jaycees and an Explorer Scout leader. He was president of the Rotary Club in DeRidder and Denham Springs, and was a member in Bogalusa. In Denham Springs he coached the little league baseball “Rebels” to an undefeated championship season, and in 1967 was named “Citizen of the Year.”

Hughes was a member of the American Legion, Rural Community Development Committee of Washington Parish, and served as chairman of the Washington Parish United Way. He was an avid hunter, fisherman, golfer, and Master Gardener. He was a past president of the Pearl River Field Trial Association and long time president of the Bay Tree Hunting Club. He owned and managed a tree farm, was a student of history, and a voracious reader.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Lorraine Elizabeth (Betty) Schertz Hughes; his three children, Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Jefferson D. Hughes III and his wife Lisa, Barbara Hughes Favre, Paul S. Hughes and his wife Anne, and Dr. Charles Nassauer, who has become a member of the family; his granddaughters, Lorraine (Raine) Favre Peppo and her husband Johnny, Eleanor (Ellie) Hughes, and Alyssa Wilson; great-granddaughter, Jocelyn Peppo; and special friend and employee Benny Murphy. Also, two brothers Charles Hughes and his wife Marie and Howard Sanders Hughes and his wife Vicki; one sister-in-law Agnes (Zita) Morel, one brother-in-law Lawrence Illingworth, and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Jeff D. Hughes and Catherine Beyer Hughes; a sister Catherine Illingworth; parents-in-law Paul and Alphonsine B. Schertz; a sister-in-law Marcelle Schertz and a brother-in-law Tom Morel. Special thanks to wonderful caretakers Chantal Ladner and Nakiea Thomas. The family also wishes to thank the staff of Camellia Home Health and Hospice.

In lieu of flowers please consider donations to the Louisiana Forestry Foundation, P.O. Box 5067, Alexandria, LA, 71307, or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Judge Place, Memphis, TN, 38105.

Services will be held at Poole-Ritchie Funeral Home in Bogalusa. Visitation will be Sunday, July 2, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and continuing on Monday, July 3, at 1 p.m., with service to follow at 2 p.m. Interment will follow at Ponemah Cemetery.