Fritz Lewis Hughes

Fritz Lewis Hughes was born July 24, 1937, to John and Rachel (Brown) Hughes.  He attended Cottrel School through 8th grade.  He began working for Chick and Darlene Simons and took a correspondence course through American School and obtained his high school diploma on May 2, 1958.
Fritz farmed and ranched in partnership with his dad and uncle, Charlie Hughes.  He married Verla Pickerd on July 11, 1960.  They had seven children and 50 years together.  He ranched, but loved farming the best.  To bring in extra income, he sheared sheep and custom combined.  Due to may years of drought, he decided to lease out his land and get a job to support his family, eventually selling the land years later.  He moved his family to Hot Springs, SD, in 1977 and worked for Kurtz Construction rebuilding the Evans Motel.  When this job ended, he changed jobs to work with Gustafsen Construction and moved to Sturgis in 1981 for a shorter commute and to be closer to family.  In 1992, he started having heart trouble and was unable to work.  He and Verla moved to Nisland and loved having the grandkids come to visit and help out with the goats and bum lambs.
     In 2006, they sold the land and moved to Box Elder.  In 2017, he moved to Sturgis.  His love of music was renewed when he met his special girlfriend, Edna Smith, who brought a smile and zing back into his life.
He began playing the piano and accordion by ear at an early age and played for many country dances, senior citizen centers, assisted living and nursing homes with groups, Men on The Town, The Country Pickers, and Old timers, for several years.
Fritz would accompany his children at talent shows and church or whenever there was a piano nearby.  He was so proud of the music CD that he and Edna made and one of his last wishes was to make one more CD.  His good friend, Terry Schiesser, made this happen and he was able to play 17 songs for the second CD and Edna finished the rest.
He was a man of numerous talents.  He did beautiful embroidery, learning from his mother.  He was always willing to help his neighbors, friends, and family.
Fritz, 82, Sturgis, died Monday, March 2, 2020, at his home after a short battle with cancer.
He is survived by his children, Melodie (Clyde) Petersen, Centralia, WA, Doreen Hughes (James Roma), Box Elder, Tim (Kathy) Hughes, Sturgis, Tom Hughes, St. Onge, John (Shauna) Hughes, Box Elder, and Marty Hughes, Whitewood; sixteen grandchildren, Jeremi Hughes, Jerid Zila, Jake Hughes, Austin Hughes, Samantha Hughes, Tanner Hughes, Kyle Hughes, Britny Koeke, Mariah Queen, Dusty Hughes, Mariah Hughes, Nicole Hughes, Teaha Hughes, Dawson Hughes, Dewey O’Dea, Amanda Kelly, and Joshua O’Dea; seven great-grandchildren, Maisie Carbullido, Chord Hughes, Lillian Hughes, Devin Hughes, Koyer Kelly, Quintin Kelly, and Harper O’Dea; and three sisters, Connie Clark, Durango, CO, Peggy Schaefer, Sturgis, and Sheila Schiesser, Billings, MT.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Verla; son, Brian; sister, Marsha; and great-granddaughter, Tynslee.
A memorial service was held on Saturday, March 7, 2020, at the First Presbyterian Church in Sturgis with Rev. Paul Henschen officiating. Committal services followed at the White Owl Cemetery.
A memorial has been established to Monument Health Hospice.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.kinkadefunerals.com.

The Pioneer Review

221 E. Oak Street
Philip, SD 57567
Telephone: (605) 859-2516
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