Raymond McKinley Hughes, 86, passed peacefully into his heavenly home on November 23, 2016. He was born August 17, 1930 the first of six children to William (Bill) Hughes and Ruby (Johnson) Hughes in Dilo, Montana where he was raised on the family ranch. He was drafted into the United States Army at the age of 22 and served 2 years active duty in the Korean War. He then had an honorable release from active military service and transferred to the Army Reserve to complete 8 years’ service.
His family was so very proud of him. After the Army his love for ranching brought him to Hot Springs where he met and married the love of his life Beverly (Sell) and took over the family ranch and raised their 5 children. He was always a very hard worker in providing for his family, working two jobs, the ranch and a full time job with the United States Forest Service in Road Maintenance. He loved building roads and running heavy equipment especially the road grader. After his retirement from the Forest Service he liked to stay busy and he continued to find odd jobs which lead him and Bev to Alaska for two years which was a very memorable experience for them. He also worked for his good friend Butch who had sub contracts with the movie industry which offered some interesting experiences as well. In 1992 they sold the ranch and moved into Polson where they would be closer to some of their children and grandchildren.
He had a passion for helping others whether it was farming their land, driving bale wagons across the continent or picking up and dropping off kids on the Awana Bus at church he loved it all and it made him so happy. He loved to weld and fabricate and was great at inventing and building things with his hands. Where there was a will there was a way!
His greatest joy though was music, playing his guitar and singing, which he did his entire life at old country dance halls, family gatherings, churches, nursing homes, anywhere and everywhere he was invited, he even got to play with Roy Acuff in South Korea when he was in the Army. He talked often of his fond and happy memories of playing together in his earlier years with his younger sister Carol.
He will be remembered for always having time for a visit with a cup of coffee, a cookie and a story. He would never turn down an opportunity for a good pinochle game either. He was the Mountain Trader Hound Dog always hunting down a deal for a friend.
He is survived by Connie (Tom) Noyes, Charlotte (Jerry) Benson, Judy Erickson, Cindy (Dave) Ottun, Monty (LeAnn) Hughes, 11 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren, 1 great -great- grandchild, 3 sisters, Sylvia Anderson, Rose Lehner and Carol Ippisch and numerous relatives and friends.
Preceding him in death was his wife Beverly in 2015, his parents, William (Bill) and Ruby, one sister, Sarah Lucus, and only brother, Warren Hughes.
DAD, we will forever be missing you sitting at your table waiting to share a cup of coffee, a cookie and a visit, you always made time!
A memorial service for Raymond will be December 10, 2016 at 11:00 am at the First Baptist Church, 40401 MT-35 Polson, Montana.