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Ronald D. Hughes


1921 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Ronald D. Hughes Obituary
Ronald D. Hughes was born in 1921, the third of seven children to Dick and Sara Pratt-Hughes. He grew up on a flood irrigated sand farm in Southeast Idaho.
As he grew, he was never interested in formal schooling and at fourteen years old chose to work as a horse wrangler rather than finish school. He loved to read, was self-taught, and had a great intellect.
He came to adulthood as World War II was looming. His patriotism led him and his lifelong friend, Mark Phillips, to join the Marines. They served three years on the Marshall and the Mariannes Islands. He was honorably discharged and returned home to marry Bonnie Robbins-Baugher. They had six children.
When their second child was stricken with whooping cough at ten days old, Ronald was given the gift of saving a life after seeing so many taken. While racing to the doctor and holding the baby in his palms, he pushed breath into her lungs with his thumbs.
He purchased the family farm, but after two years of losses and some regrets, he sold to a neighbor and followed his heart. After a stint as a Greyhound bus driver he committed himself to working for historical ranches: Miller Lux in Oregon, Moffit & Dangburg in Nevada, Gleed Bros in Montana and others throughout the interior West. When he heard of a new landscape, he found a riding job and explored it with his family in tow.
His spiritual comfort was in the natural world and he taught his children to respect and revere it. His greatest love was horses and he devoted his life to working with and training them, taking courses through the years to improve his ability. He could make a wild horse his friend and partner within a couple of hours.
He lived by the "Golden Rule." Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. He often came home telling of a simple "good deed for the day." He may have picked up a hitchhiker and bought him a meal, changed a flat tire for a stranger or mended a neighbor's fence.
He and Bonnie had a tempestuous relationship and welcomed a divorce. He later married Barbara Steffler Ramey and considered this union one of his best life choices. They finished raising his youngest three children.
Ronald and Barbara transported an old house from Blackfoot on to a country acreage and remodeled it in to a comfortable and inviting home. Barbara shared the joy and peace of hearth, home and family, and Ronald settled in to enjoy what they had created together.
His youngest daughter, Kate, gave him his first computer when he was in his 70's and it became his window to the world. In his 90's he often shared stories he had found on Youtube.
He was grateful to live in America and championed its freedoms. He was honored to speak on the floor of the senate in favor of wolf reintroduction. He wrote many letters to the editors of our local papers and to his state and national representatives. He felt all citizens should respect our freedoms and practice them through involvement in government.
He was hard working, always embraced new learning and never let grass grow under his feet.
He is survived by his children: Chuck (Carol) Hughes, Charlotte (Rich) Reid, James (Kim) Hughes, Ron (Bonnie) Hughes, Patrick Hughes, Kate Hughes, eight grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by six siblings, his wives, Bonnie and Barbara, and two granddaughters, Danielle Hughes Wyziski and Shannon Hughes Clark. 
A memorial service to be celebrated in June, further plans will be announced later.
Published in The Morning News on Mar. 11, 2017
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