Robert “Bob” J. Hughes
March 13, 2018


DAVENPORT- A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial for Robert J. "Bob" Hughes, 95, will be 10:30 a.m. next Monday, March 19, 2018 at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Bettendorf.

Inurnment will take place in Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Davenport. Visitation will be held from 1:00 until 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 18 at the Halligan McCabe DeVries Funeral Home, downtown Davenport with a prayer service offered at 4:00 p.m. There will be additional visitation Monday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes.

Bob passed away Friday, March 9, 2018 at the Kahl Home, Davenport, after an injury and brief illness.

Robert "Bob" John Hughes was born April 3, 1922 in Emmetsburg, the youngest son of Bert Hughes and Kitty Foy Hughes, brothers of Thomas Hughes and Charles Hughes.

The three brothers attended school in Emmetsburg, before attending the University of Iowa and graduating from the Pharmacy School, joining their father, Bert, as Pharmacists.

While attending the University of Iowa he was Captain of the Memorial Union Dining Service. Bob initiated the Union Boy Newsletters sending letters to the Active Military members of the Iowa Union, "round robin" style, sharing much wanted news from home. Bob graduated from Iowa in 1944 as a Registered Pharmacist.

After graduating, Bob entered the U.S. Navy attending Officer Training at Northwestern in Evanston Illinois. Ninety days later he was an officer! Robert joined the AKA93 Yancey a Transport ship in Oakland, California joining the fight in the Pacific.

The Yancey was a part of the landings at Iwo Jima and Okinawa in 1945. The Yancey, an attack supply ship moved supplies, such as 16 inch shells for the Battleships, one of them being the Missouri. At the end of the war, Bob's ship, the Yancey, was part of the U.S. Fleet in Tokyo Bay at the surrender of the Japanese.

Bob was honorably discharged in June 1946, joining his brother Tom as a Sales Rep for the Upjohn Company. In 1961, Bob was offered a chance to supervise the salesman in Iowa & Illinois. Bob said yes and the family moved to Bettendorf. Bob's career with Upjohn continued until his retirement in 1987 after 38 years with the company.

While making a sales call at a doctor's office in Chicago, the doctor was unable to meet with Bob, so he asked the office Nurse, Lois Murray, to accompany him to lunch in the doctor's place. Lois accepted and this began their life long journey. Lois and Bob were married at St. Gertrude Catholic Church in Chicago on Feb. 7, 1948, on the 34th wedding anniversary of Lois parents, Edward Murray and Margaret Hogan Murray.

After a honeymoon in New Orleans for Mardi Gras they settled down to married life living in Skokie, Illinois. They quickly outgrew their apartment after four children and moved to a house in Des Plaines, IL in 1952.

Bob was devoted to his six children and their spouses, Jerry & Alice (Ward) Hughes, West Chicago, IL, Mary Ellen & Larry Smith, Cincinnati, OH, Kathy & R. Craig Kelley, Aledo, IL, Tom and Linda (Collentine) Hughes, Davenport, Dan & Cathy (Smith) Hughes, Davenport, Sally and Bill Petersen, Freeport, IL, 19 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren.

Bob was preceded in death by his loving wife, Lois Murray Hughes, who passed away on Dec. 23, 2017. He is also preceded in death by daughter Mary Ellen Hughes Smith, son-in-law R. Craig Kelley and granddaughter Kim Kelley Wolfram.

Bob's working life tells only a small part of his story. He was an active and devout Catholic. From 1961 to the present Bob and his family have been active members of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Bettendorf. He also has been a 3rd degree member of the Knights of Columbus since 1946.

In Bob's retirement years he kept himself very busy as a lay minister at Lourdes starting and nurturing several activities including the Wellness Ministry and study groups for "The Three Principles" (Sydney Banks Mind, Consciousness & Thought).

Perhaps Bob's greatest ministry and guidance was to his grandchildren and more recently to his great grandchildren. Bob wrote what he called his "Grandpa Freebies", thoughts, lessons and stories from his life and experiences. Bob sent these to the grandchildren with the full support of his own children.

Bob's long life gave him this opportunity to pass along his lessons to the next generations. One of his most cherished possessions is a book labelled "Reverse Freebies"; letters from the recipients of the Freebies, the grandchildren, telling their grandfather what the Freebies meant to them and now what they mean to their children.

If you knew Bob, an appropriate way to remember him would be with a hug to someone you love. After all, you can't be a HUGhes without a HUG!

Bob requested no flowers. Memorials can be made to: "Community Foundation Great River Bend for the Robert J & Lois M. Hughes Scholarship". This will provide funding for a scholarship for University of Iowa Pharmacy School or St. Ambrose School of Nursing, or a contribution to Assumption High School or Lourdes Catholic School.

Online condolences and remembrances may be expressed to the family by visiting Bob's obituary at


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