Michael Hughes, 61

Michael Keith Hughes was born Aug. 9, 1949, in Ontario, Ore., to the family of Lyie and Dorothy (Meyers) Hughes. He joined two older sisters, Sherry and Carolyn, and later became big brother to two more sisters, Mary and Judy. Being the only son in a house full of girls led to Mike's advantage because he was always the special one. Mike passed away Nov. 8, 2010, in Fort Stockton, Texas enroute home to Lockhart, Texas where he has lived for the last 30 years of his life. Mike attended country school and graduated 8th grade in Ainsworth. He attended high school at Thomas County High School, and graduated with the class of 1967. Many life-long friendships were made at this time. Mike went on to further his education at Keamey State College, and graduated Dec. 19, 1971, with a bachelor of arts degree in education for history and political science. His student teaching was done at the Broken Bow High School. While in college Mike was very active in the Young Republican Club, and he was very interested in politics. He then organized a group in Thomas County and was the President of the club. In 1974, the club hosted the State Young Republicans Convention in North Platte. Mike held many different state offices, and then went on to be the National Committee-man. While holding this office, he attended one of the Republican National Conven-tions. Mike helped his father on the ranch north of Thedford raising registered Hereford cattle for several years, until he decided to see more of the world than the Sandhills. He moved to Lincoln and later on to Lockhart, Texas. There he established his own M&M Flag Company and traveled several thousands of miles putting up flags from east to west Texas and all the area around Shreveport, La. Along with his flag company Mike became founding member of the Central Texas Tolbert Chili Group. Mike loved the camaraderie of his chili cooking family, he loved the competitions, and he used his organizational skills to host and help with many cook-offs. Mike became an excellent cook and won so many awards that the trophy's took over his home. His proudest moment was winning the Terlingua Inter-national 1st Place Chili Championship in 2007. Mike may have lived in Texas, but his blood still ran Husker Red. He followed and supported the Nebraska Huskers and used the Husker Big Red theme for all his chili showmanship events. Mike's final accomplishment was winning 1st place showmanship at the Terlingua International Championship Nov. 5, 2010, with "BB's Big Red Chili and Beans". Mike also enjoyed following his old friends by reading the Thomas County Herald every week. Mike loved his Texas Rangers, visiting with friends, and listening to country music. Mike was an intelligent, kind, and generous man. He was a friend to everyone and always a peacemaker. He was a son to be proud of, the best brother there ever was, and a dear uncle to 17 nieces and nephews. He is preceeded in death by his parents, Lyie and Dorothy Hughes, and a niece, Jennifer Ferguson. Left behind to mourn are his four sisters and brothers-in- law, Sherry and Mark Ferguson of Billings, Mont., Carol and Dave Hardesty of Lincoln, Mary Burner of Lockhart, Texas, Judy and Sam Edelman of Central City, and Stan Burrier of Kyle, Texas; all his nieces and nephews; special friend Jennifer, and a multitude of friends. A memorial service will be held Nov. 19, 2010, at the Congregational Church in Thedford at 1 pm. Interment will be at the Ainsworth Cemetery. A memorial service was held in Texas for his Texas friends and family Nov. 14.