Howard John Hughes
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Howard John Hughes, 88, passed away April 3rd at Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines. Howard was born February 7, 1924 to Thomas and Verna Hughes in Norwalk, Iowa.
On November 16, 1946 Howard married the love of his life Ethel Geake of Richard, Saskatchewan, Canada and they made their home in Norwalk for 65 years.
During World War 2, Howard was a member of the 89th Infantry Division, which has been recognized as a liberating unit by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. On April 4, 1945 Howard and his fellow soldiers overran Ohrdruf, a sub camp of the Buchenwald concentration camp. Ohrdruf was the first Nazi concentration camp liberated by U.S. troops in Germany. A week later, on April 12, Generals Dwight D. Eisenhower, George S. Patton, and Omar Bradley visited Ohrdruf to see, firsthand, evidence of Nazi atrocities against concentration camp prisoners.
A life-time farmer, he was also a postmaster of the Norwalk Post Office and later a rural carrier. The family farm was recently named as an Iowa Century Farm where he and Ethel raised their four children. He was a longtime member of the Masons, Eastern Star Goodwill Chapter and American Legion in Norwalk. He was an avid I-Cub fan, a fisherman, and he and Ethel traveled extensively. As a beloved member of the community and church, he will be missed by all.
Howard is survived by His wife, Ethel, and children, Jane Walker and Tom (Cindi) Hughes of Norwalk, Sally (Dave) Hollander of Dallas, Texas and John Hughes of Laguna Niguel, California. He is also survived by grandchildren Jeff (Donna) Walker, Stephanie Schramm, Brian (Ruth) Walker, Josh Hughes, Matt and Chris Hollander and four great-grand children. He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Joanne, and brother Richard.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Norwalk Fire Dept. and Norwalk United Methodist Church.
Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Monday April 9, 2012 at the Norwalk United Methodist Church. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday April 8, 2012 at the Norwalk United Methodist Church in Norwalk.
Published in Des Moines Register on Apr. 6, 2012