Updated with services Earl Hughes, who began a grocery career in Hillsboro at the age of 15 and spent 47 years at what became known as the Great Scot grocery store on West Main Street, died Friday at Highland District Hospital. He was 77.
Hughes also served as a special deputy with both the Hillsboro Police Department and the Highland County Sheriff’s Office. As a member of the Lions Club, a 50 year member of Highland Lodge 38 F.& A.M., Valley of Cincinnati Scottish Rite and other organizations, he was one of the most familiar faces in Hillsboro, frequently helping during emergencies such as snow and ice storms, and often assisting law enforcement agencies.
Hughes, a father of four, also became a major force at Rocky Fork Lake. His wife, Sharon, said Friday that among many other lake area projects, Hughes worked with Paul “Doc” Yinger and Charlie Price to start the “Thunder in the Hills” speed boat races at the lake.
Hughes, an avid outdoorsman, began his grocery career at what was then known as Albers. The store has been known through the years as Food World, Colonial, and now Community Markets, but it was Great Scot during most of Hughes’ tenure there.
At 15, Hughes showed up at Albers looking for a job.
“They handed him a broom and said, ‘Go sweep the parking lot,’” said Sharon Hughes. He moved from bagger to stock boy to produce manager, and then spent the last 21 years of his 47-year career as the manager of Great Scot, retiring in 1998.
He was born March 16, 1936 in Hillsboro, the son of the late Rolla and Mary (Stroop) Hughes. Beside his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Gerald and Melvin Hughes; two sisters Zelma Lawson and Kate Howard.
On July 3, 1975 he was united in marriage to Sharon (Hatfield) Hughes who survives; two sons and daughter-in-law, Ronnie Wayne Hughes and son Colby of Hillsboro, Tim and Ruby Hughes of Hillsboro; two daughters and son-in-law, Tammy and Ron Gleadle of Hillsboro, Teresa and Bill Regan of Wilmington; special niece Brandy Roades; 7 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at the Thompson Funeral Home in Hillsboro. Dr. Dan Lamb will officiate with burial to follow in the Hightop Cemetery. Friends may call Tuesday from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. with Masonic Services and Scottish Rite Services at 8 p.m. at the Thompson Funeral Home.
Family requests memorials to the Highland County Society for Children and Adults.
To sign the online guest book, visit www.thompsonfuneralhomes.com.