James "Jim" Hughes, 78, passed away on May 13, 2019 at The Bird House, a Hospice home in Johnson County, Iowa, following complications of Alzheimer's Disease.
Jim was born in Iowa City on November 1, 1940 as the second of four children to parents Cecil and Lucille (Hanley) Hughes. As a child, Jim attended a one-room country schoolhouse, worked on the family's century farm, and participated in 4-H. He was an All-State basketball player for Iowa City High School in 1959 and received a basketball scholarship to Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa where his team won three Midwest Conference Championships. After graduating from Cornell College with a bachelor's degree in Economics in 1963, Jim joined The Equitable Life Assurance Society of America where he worked until his retirement in 1998. He served in the U.S. Army National Guard and was honorably discharged in 1963. Jim earned an MBA degree from Columbia University while working for The Equitable in their New York City headquarters. Jim moved to West Des Moines in 1981 where he was a busy, single parent raising two sons while remaining active with the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce, Junior Achievement, American Red Cross, United Way, and Covenant Presbyterian Church. Jim took advantage of early retirement at the age of 58 and enjoyed two decades of golf and friends at homes in Goodyear, Arizona and Clive, Iowa.
Jim valued teamwork, charity, and education. He voluntarily repaid his scholarship to Cornell College in 2009. His body will be donated to the University of Iowa Deeded Body Program as a reflection of his values. Jim will be remembered as an upbeat, kind and honest gentleman with a genuine interest in the lives of others and as an excellent father and grandfather.
Jim married Marilyn Peterson in 1965 and the couple later divorced. Jim married Carol Roland in 2013. His surviving family includes spouse Carol Roland, son Jeffrey Hughes (Lori Christensen), grandchildren Owen and Isaac Hughes, son Russell Hughes (Lauren Hughes), grandchildren Jackson and Harper Hughes, brother Gary Hughes, sister Carolyn Smith (Jim Smith), nephews Kevin and Greg Smith (Randi Foraker), sister-in-law Karen Hughes, and nieces Emily and Amy Hughes (David VanGilder). He was preceded in death by his parents and older brother John Hughes.
A celebration of Jim's life will be held at Covenant Presbyterian Church in West Des Moines on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. with a light lunch following the service. In lieu of flowers or gifts, memorial contributions may be made to Covenant Presbyterian Church, Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa, or The Bird House (Hospice) in Iowa City.