Beloved son, husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather, Ronald J. Hughes, son of Roland and Elva (Wilcox) Hughes, age 76 of Hidden Valley Lake, CA passed away on March 10, 2011 after a long courageous battle with non-small cell lung cancer. Ron was born on March 26, 1934 in Dodgeville, WI and grew up in Ridgeway, WI where he graduated from Ridgeway School at the age of 17. Ron had a true love and appreciation for all sports. He was a star basketball and baseball player in school and in the Navy and even had a chance to try out for Chicago White Sox. He was a loyal life-long fan to his favorite NFL team the Green Bay Packers, of which he was a stockholder, and as always he was cheering them on during the road to their recent Super Bowl win. He was also a regular at Lower Lake and Middletown High School sporting events where he took joy in rooting on his granddaughter and other local young athletes and spending time with both old and new friends. Ronald enlisted in the Navy at the age of 17 and served on the USS Cascade from 1951-1954 and he was a lifetime member of the local VFW. After leaving the Navy and living in the Madison area, Ron moved to Rothschild, WI where he met his future wife Sharon. Several years later, Ron decided to follow his dreams and make the move to California. After obtaining a position as a Welder/ Sheet Metal Fabricator in Sunnyvale, he married Sharon on March 12, 1977 in Reno in the midst of a huge snowstorm. In June of 1977 the family set out on the long drive from Wisconsin to start their new family life in California. After realizing that Sunnyvale was just too busy of an area for them, the Hughes family moved to Willits, CA for a short period and then on to Rohnert Park where they lived until finding their dream waterfront home in Hidden Valley Lake in Lake County, CA in February 1989. Ron was a proud Lake County business owner. Ron's Precision Metal Fab., a manufacturer of tight tolerance sheet metal parts, supplied customers across the United States. This was a successful business that Ron operated for over 15 years until the shop was closed at his retirement in February of 2006. Ron greatly enjoyed his life in Hidden Valley Lake loving to fish, garden, visit with his many dear friends and playing 8-ball. Ron had a famous reputation since his early years in Wisconsin as a force to be reckoned with on the pool table. Ron successfully worked with the HVLA management to bring back a pool table to Mulligans Bar and started the regular Thursday night pool tournaments years ago which turned a slow night to a very successful night for the Hidden Valley Lake establishment. The pool table area in Mulligan's has now been lovingly dedicated and renamed "Ron's Place" in honor of his contributions and memory. Ron was pre-deceased by his parents, brother William Hughes, sisters Ruth Landon and Darlene Hughes and granddaughter Jaclyn Ramirez. Ron is survived by his loving wife of 34 years Sharon (Kleimola) Hughes. His children, Rhoda (Lee) Dlug of Bonners Ferry ID, Richard Hughes of Greeley CO, Roger (Daniel Russell) Hughes of Beaverton OR, Roberta (David) Hughes-Millman of Fountain Green UT, Scott Lafrancois of Rohnert Park, CA and Danielle Lafrancois of Clearlake CA. Also surviving Ron are his ten grandchildren and sisters Margaret Olson of Monroe, WI and Verna Gould of Dodgeville, WI. Ron (AKA Benny, Huey, Ronnie, The Ronster) has touched all of our lives deeply with his loving friendship, dedication and wonderful quirky sense of humor and he will be greatly missed and never forgotten by the many that loved him. We wish to thank Dr. Gregory Smith and his staff at the Martin-O'Neil Cancer Center in St. Helena, CA for the care provided to Ron and his family during the last 21/2 years and to Hospice of Lake County for the comforting guidance during these last few difficult weeks. We could not have made it through these final months without the support of our family and friends and special thanks to John Arview, Norm and Kim Carter and Dick and Millie Hammes for all they did to help us through this difficult time. Please join us in a celebration of Ron's life on what would have been his 77th birthday, Saturday March 26, 2011 at Mulligan's Bar at Hidden Valley Lake from noon to 2:00 p.m. where we can share special memories. A light luncheon will be provided. The family asks that in lieu of flowers any donations in Ron's memory be sent to Hospice Services of Lake County at 1717 S. Main Street, Lakeport CA 95453-5668.
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Published Online in the Press Democrat from Mar. 20 to Mar. 21, 2011