Former Drew County Judge Dale Hughes dies at age 78

Dale Hughes, 78, a former Drew County Judge, passed away on Tuesday.

He attended school in Monticello and graduated from Monticello High School in 1952. He attended Monticello A & M for two years, Florida State for two years and graduated with a BGS in history from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1974. He was a retired Lt. Colonel of the U. S. Air Force, following 22 years of active service. He was commissioned through the Aviation Cadet Program in December 1956, after completing pilot training at Bainbridge AFB in Georgia and Bryan AFB in Texas.  As a combat ready F-100 fighter pilot and later as a forward air controller, he flew 296 combat missions in Southeast Asia. In addition to state side assignments, he served tours of duty in Turkey, England, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and the Panama Canal Zone.  His military decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with 11 oak leaf clusters, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Vietnamese Civic Action Honor Medal, first Class. When he returned to Monticello in 1977, he served as manager of the Monticello Pink Tomato Growers Association. 

Hughes, who served as Drew County Judge from 1987-1994, was first appointed to the position in October,1981, to complete the unexpired term of Ordie Watts, who resigned.

That appointment lasted through December 1982. Hughes was again appointed county judge in Sept. 1998, to complete the term of Garland McAnally, who also resigned. That appointment was shorter, lasting only four months.

“He was always willing to give advice,” former Drew County Judge Damon Lampkin said, “and that’s something I always appreciated. He was never the kind of person to tell me this is the way it should be but he was always asking me how it was going.”

Hughes, a veteran himself, was instrumental in the erection of the “Walls of Sacrifice” memorial on the courthouse lawn. He was recognized as having played a part during this year’s Memorial Day observance on Monday.

“I would like to take a minute to think of a man not doing real well, Mr. Dale Hughes. He was the individual that took the necessary steps to get this memorial placed at the courthouse. We all owe him thanks of gratitude for erecting this memorial so that we may honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation,” said VFW and American Legion Commander Jim Lee at Monday’s ceremony.”

“I also thought about Dale Hughes and how instrumental he was in getting the ‘Walls of War’ here,” added State Representative Sheilla Lampkin.

“Betty (Hughes’ wife) and Dale did everything together,” judge Lampkin noted. “They were both tireless workers to get the memorial Dale Hughes, 78, a former Drew County Judge, passed away on Tuesday.

He attended school in Monticello and graduated from Monticello High School in 1952. He attended Monticello A & M for two years, Florida State for two years and graduated with a BGS in history from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1974. He was a retired Lt. Colonel of the U. S. Air Force, following 22 years of active service. He was commissioned through the Aviation Cadet Program in December 1956, after completing pilot training at Bainbridge AFB in Georgia and Bryan AFB in Texas.  As a combat ready F-100 fighter pilot and later as a forward air controller, he flew 296 combat missions in Southeast Asia. In addition to state side assignments, he served tours of duty in Turkey, England, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and the Panama Canal Zone.  His military decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with 11 oak leaf clusters, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Vietnamese Civic Action Honor Medal, first Class. When he returned to Monticello in 1977, he served as manager of the Monticello Pink Tomato Growers Association. 

Hughes, who served as Drew County Judge from 1987-1994, was first appointed to the position in October,1981, to complete the unexpired term of Ordie Watts, who resigned.

That appointment lasted through December 1982. Hughes was again appointed county judge in Sept. 1998, to complete the term of Garland McAnally, who also resigned. That appointment was shorter, lasting only four months.

“He was always willing to give advice,” former Drew County Judge Damon Lampkin said, “and that’s something I always appreciated. He was never the kind of person to tell me this is the way it should be but he was always asking me how it was going.”

Hughes, a veteran himself, was instrumental in the erection of the “Walls of Sacrifice” memorial on the courthouse lawn. He was recognized as having played a part during this year’s Memorial Day observance on Monday.

“I would like to take a minute to think of a man not doing real well, Mr. Dale Hughes. He was the individual that took the necessary steps to get this memorial placed at the courthouse. We all owe him thanks of gratitude for erecting this memorial so that we may honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation,” said VFW and American Legion Commander Jim Lee at Monday’s ceremony.”

“I also thought about Dale Hughes and how instrumental he was in getting the ‘Walls of War’ here,” added State Representative Sheilla Lampkin.

“Betty (Hughes’ wife) and Dale did everything together,” Judge Lampkin noted. “They were both tireless workers to get the memorial



Dale Hughes

Photos: 

The Advance-Monticellonian

Mailing Address:
PO Box 486
Monticello, AR 71657

Street Address:
314 Main Street
Monticello, AR 71655

Phone: 870-367-5325
Fax: 870-367-6612

www.mymonticellonews.net

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