Basketball, Business Executive
Ron Hughes was born in 1932 in Toledo, Ohio to Delos “Doc” and Helen Hughes. They moved to Carthage when Ron was 13 years old, and he started playing basketball in the 7th grade. While playing for Carthage High School in 1950, he broke the school basketball scoring record, and was named to the All Big 8 Conference cage squad. Ron was also captain of the high school football team, president of his class and recipient of the Citizenship Award. He received a full four year scholarship to play basketball for Sparky Stalcup at the University of Missouri. Ron lettered in 1953 and 1954, playing “with outstanding players Bill Stauffer, Bob Reiter, and Norm Stewart in a great era of Mizzou basketball”, according to the MU Athletic Department.
While attending the University, he was a member of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, served as rush chairman and was selected the sweetheart of Delta Gamma Sorority. Ron enrolled in Reserve Officers Training Corps and after graduation joined The United States Air Force as a Second Lieutenant. He became a jet pilot for the Strategic Air Command and made the select crew.
Ron met Kathleen McLean, from Monett, Missouri while at Mizzou and married her in 1953. They became the proud parents of two children, Steve and Linda.
After serving three years in the Air Force, Ron entered the executive management training program with Hilton Hotels in Chicago, Illinois. He worked his way up through the front office division and became director of Hilton Reservation Service. He then transferred to the hotel management division and became General Manager of the Shamrock Hilton in Houston, TX and The Palmer House in Chicago. Later he worked for The Hilton International Division and opened hotels in Australia, Ireland, Monte Carlo, London and Hong Kong. In 1995, after 37 years with Hilton Hotels, Ron retired as a Senior Vice President. Throughout his career he served on bank boards and was chairman of many different committees in the hotel convention association and travel industry.
After retirement, Ron and Kathleen moved to Dallas, Texas to be closer to their children and grandchildren. He become an avid golfer and enjoyed his retirement years. He was devoted to his wife and children and was so proud of his family. Sadly he developed heart problems and passed away too early at age 68.
Ron always referred to Carthage as a wonderful place to live and spoke fondly of his many happy memories.
He was proud of his hometown and always looked forward to returning to Carthage for class reunions and to visit family and friends.