August 14, 1929 - October 5, 2016
Dan Allen Hughes, Sr., 87, eased quietly from this place while at his home surrounded by love on the morning of October 5, 2016. Dan was born August 14, 1929 in Monroe, Louisiana to Dan Greenwood and Winnie (Williams) Hughes. While in high school in Palestine, Texas, Dan worked summers on a roustabout maintenance crew on the hundreds of miles of United Gas' natural gas pipelines throughout East Texas. He earned a B.S. in Geology from Texas A&M College in 1951. After college, he served as 1st Lt. US Army artillery officer in Korea from 1951-1953, alongside his identical twin brother, Dudley J. Hughes. For their service, each was awarded a Bronze Star.
Before traveling overseas, Dan spent many off-duty hours mapping the subsurface geology of southeastern New Mexico and purchased a federal lease there in 1952 for fifty cents, later selling it to an operator for an overriding royalty. Later, the discovery well for the Saladar Oil Field was drilled on this lease, and it is still producing today. It was a sign of things to come.
Dan worked as a geologist for Union Producing Company from 1953-1962. He was self-employed as a consulting geologist from 1962-1964 until establishing the Beeville, Texas office of the partnership Hughes & Hughes with his twin brother Dudley, who operated out of Jackson, Mississippi. The company had numerous oil and gas discoveries along the U.S. Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida, as well as sizable gas condensate discoveries in Canada and Australia. In 1982, Dan opened the Dan A. Hughes Company in Beeville. The company began South American operations in 1996 operating in Colombia as HUPECOL (Hughes Petroleum Colombia) where they had many prolific discoveries. In addition, the Dan A. Hughes Company had many successful wells and large positions in the Barnett Shale in North Texas, Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas and the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas. In 2005 the company changed to a limited partnership between Dan and his son, Dan Allen, Jr. and the company continues active oil and gas exploration in the United States and foreign frontiers. To the age of 87, Dan remained very active as an exploration geologist, and it was typical to see him in the office every day overseeing the operations.
A devoted oilman and Aggie, Dan helped to establish the Berg-Hughes Center for Petroleum and Sedimentary Systems which links geoscientists and petroleum engineers at A&M in the conduct of research that furthers petroleum exploration. Dan was always willing to share his knowledge of the oil and gas business which is seen by the many of his children, grandchildren, and their spouses who are active in the industry. Always the philanthropist, Dan also endowed the Dan A. Hughes '51 Chair in Geosciences, restored Military Walk at Texas A&M, donated an oil and gas building at Coastal Bend College and contributed to the Hyperbaric Chamber at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital in Beeville and the Dan A. Hughes Family Hybrid Suite at CHRISTUS Spohn Shoreline in Corpus Christi. He is a member of the exclusive All-American Wildcatters Club and former member of The International Order of St. Hubertus. Dan is also the recipient of numerous awards as a result of his philanthropic and industry achievements including being named a Texas A&M Distinguished Alumni in 2011 and the Outstanding Explorer Award from the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, also in 2011.
He is preceded in death by his parents, his twin brother, and the mother of his three children, Juanita Jo Wentz. He is survived by his children, Dan Allen (Peggy), Keleigh Hughes Sasser (Stuart) and William Hilton (Jackie); nine grandchildren, Dan Allen "D.A.", III, William Gorden (Catherine) and Elizabeth Adaire; Milton Stuart "Miles" Sasser, Michael Ford Sasser (Christina) and Kristen Sasser Sterett (Robby); William Alexander, Philip Hilton and Nicholas Hunter; and one great-granddaughter, June Frances Sasser. He is also survived by his twin sisters Jane Christian and June Ainsworth, and their families.
Visitations will be at Galloway Funeral Home, in Beeville, Texas on Sunday, October 9, 2016 from 5pm to 7pm. A private burial will be held on October 10 where his seven grandsons will serve as pallbears. A Celebration of his Life will be held for family and friends at the Sasser Chesnutt Ranch, Private Road 4009, Beeville, with a service beginning at 11am, October 10, to be followed by lunch. In lieu of flowers, please direct donations in his memory to the Berg-Hughes Center at Texas A&M University.