Ralph Hughes

Published 2:41 pm Friday, February 22, 2019

Ret. Lt. Col. Ralph Morgan Hughes, U.S. Air Force, passed away on Feb. 18, 2019, after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. He was surrounded by family and friends during his final days.

Ralph was born on Aug. 12, 1938, in Picayune, Miss. He graduated from Bogalusa High School in 1956. Upon graduating from LSU in 1961, he immediately joined the Air Force and was awarded a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant. Post-graduation, Ralph attended Meteorology School at the University of Texas, graduated in 1962 and was assigned to Toul-Rosieres AFB, France.

Ralph loved to bowl and in 1963 he met Mary Lou Low, a teacher on the base, who was his partner in a couples’ bowling league. It was southwest Louisiana meet southeast Louisiana. They married in 1964 in France and honeymooned in Switzerland. The Air Force life took them around the world — Texas A&M (where Ralph received a Master’s degree in Meteorology), Japan, Thailand (Ralph only), Maryland, New Mexico, Nebraska, Germany and then back home to Louisiana.

Ralph’s expertise as an USAF meteorologist was recognized with many awards throughout his career. He was proud to have received an Army Commendation Medal while serving as the Staff Weather Officer to Headquarters, V Corps, United States Army, Europe in Frankfurt, Germany.

Retiring from the AF in 1989 after 28-1/2 years, Ralph began teaching math (his love) at LaTech-Barksdale. He was a much-admired professor, often being acknowledged by former students. Ralph was always willing to tutor high school students … never wanting to be reimbursed.

Wherever the family was located, Ralph was always involved in church. At FUMC Bossier he taught Sunday School, chaired the Administrative Board, served as a Trustee, and “go-fer” for Jane Cooper. He became involved with Boy Scouts as his sons started Cub Scouts and was active in New Mexico, Nebraska, Germany and Louisiana. Ralph received the Silver Beaver Award (the highest award from Norwella Council). In 1985 serving as Troop Master, he took a group to the National Jamboree. Ralph was proud both sons, several nephews and great nephews achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. Ralph was also active in the Bossier City Lions’ Club and was a charter member of Bossier Sheriff’s Posse, serving for many years.

Ralph is preceded in death by his mother, Carlie Fornea Hughes; son, Mark Garrett Hughes; brother, Charles Ronald (Ronnie) Hughes; sisters-in-law, Wanda Low Ferguson and Charlotte Smith Low; and several nephews.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Mary Lou Low Hughes; son, David Scott Hughes (Beth); daughter, Nancy Elizabeth Hughes Jordan (Bill); granddaughters, Morgan Emerson Hughes and Merritt Elizabeth Hughes (the loves of his life); sister-in-law, Pat Hughes; cousins, Jo Ann Penton and Rose Gentry; and a plethora of in-laws, nieces/nephews, great and great-great nieces/nephews.

Honoring Ralph as pallbearers will be his nephews and close friend, Al Hanks.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials may be made to either Parkinson’s Disease Resource (LSUHS Foundation in Shreveport, 920 Pierremont Road, Suite 506, Shreveport, LA 71106) or First United Methodist Church Bossier, or Boys Scouts of America Norwella Council.

Visitation was held from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 21, at Rose-Neath Bossier. A celebration of Ralph’s life was held at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 22, at First United Methodist Church Bossier, located at 201 John Wesley Blvd. in Bossier City, and officiated by Rev. Karl Klaus and Rev. David Dietzel. Interment followed at Hill Crest Memorial Cemetery.

Special thanks to Dr. Daniel Payne and staff, Dr. Richard Zweig, STAT Home Health, Home Instead sitters (with special thanks to Tiffany (his angel) and Vanessa), Regional Hospice (Melissa) and our special neighbors and friends.