Ronald Carter Hughes, 74, the eldest of three children, born Jan. 18, 1944, to his loving parents Carter and Evelyn Hughes, passed to eternity May 12, 2018 surrounded by his family.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, parents and younger brother, Gary.
He is survived by his wife Kay, "daughter" Monika Little and husband Chris, granddaughter Kay Riley, grandsons Eric Castaneda and Kevin Riley, great granddaughter Jasmine Castaneda, sister Gail Repp and husband Garry, nephew Steven Repp and wife Shelly, and a large extended family and friends. He will be missed by all.
Ron was born and raised in Bakersfield, Calif., and graduated from Bakersfield High School in 1962, where he played both basketball and football.
He attended Bakersfield College prior to serving in the army from 1967 to 1969, and after an honorable discharge he continued his education at Pierce College. Ron worked for Occidental Petroleum, “Oxy,” for 32 years during which time he was transferred to Texas. They called Sealy home for the next 25 years.
Ron and his wife Kay enjoyed many years of traveling together throughout Mexico, U.K. and Europe. He liked boating on the lake and relaxing at the property in North Texas and mowing on the tractor. He was always up for a good road trip adventure or a good beef taco.
Monika became a full time part of Ron and Kay’s life when she was just two years old. She may have been a granddaughter, but to Ron, she was raised as and considered a daughter. He was an amazing role model and father. I know Monika loved him as deeply as a daughter and has suffered his loss as deeply as all of us. There are so many wonderful memories about Ron she hardly knew where to start but the one she will always cherish is the one of her wedding in Cabo. Mexico was a place of so many happy family memories and Monika and Chris decided it was the perfect place for them to marry.
After his retirement from Oxy, Ron and his wife Kay remained in Sealy, until their recent move to Austin in order to be closer to their "daughter,” Monika.
He was always up to speed on news and technology and could talk your ear off on just about any subject including his favorite sports including, football.
Ron was a kind man with a great sense of humor. He was ALWAYS smiling with a great attitude, even during his sick days towards the end. He liked nothing more than making family and friends laugh at his jokes and antics.
One of his favorite jokes – one long ago day we were all out in the yard and a hummingbird flew in and started flying around each of us looking for flowers and nectar. Ron said, “You know they don’t have feet, don’t you?” We said, “Well, that’s just silly. Of course, they have feet.” He said, No, really, they don’t. Have you ever seen them? I had to admit, I had never seen hummingbird feet. He assured us that was because they didn’t have any. Now mind you there was a yard full of people who did NOT spring forward and say, come on Ron, of course they have feet. They said NOTHING! The conversation went on. Into the night. Now as hard as this might be to believe, over the next few months, Ron totally convinced me Hummingbirds did not have feet. How did they sleep at night? By balancing on branches. How did they nest and feed their young, they used their little wings to stay airborne while feeding their young and balanced in the nest while sheltering them? Did I ever see a picture of their little feet? No. Because they didn’t have feet. Why didn’t God give them feet? Because they didn’t need them and feet would only give drag on their ability to fly.
Finally, I wanted to share with you one of the highlights from one of the best trips Ron and Kay had RVing with his mom and dad through Europe in a travel trailer. Both he and his mom were sitting outside at night by the campfire when they became entranced by fireflies. They watched them for hours. The fireflies darted about, spreading their light, shifting and turning in so many ways. Neither of them had seen fireflies before so the memory of that moment and the beauty of God’s creation in something of simple as a firefly was so special to Ron.
Now they have eternity to consider the beauty God has created in heaven. While we cannot even imagine that beauty, perhaps we can look forward to seeing Ron and all the other loved ones we who have gone on before us.
Just think, if we can see the beauty of fireflies and roses and newborn babies, how awesome must heaven be?
Services were held June 1 at 2 p.m. at Greenlawn in Bakersfield, Calif., with a military gun salute and honors.