Raleigh Hughes

Obituary of Raleigh A. Hughes

Raleigh Adam Hughes, Jr passed away peacefully on February 4, 2020. Aside from three years in the Navy during World War II Raleigh lived his entire life in the St. Maries area. He was born the youngest of five siblings to Raleigh and Ida (Alber) Hughes on July 3, 1926 in the Hughes House on Main Street. He graduated from SMHS in 1944 and entered the Navy immediately upon graduation. After the war he ranched in Hells Gulch Area and in 1949 he married Ardys Bredvold, his high school sweetheart. In 1955 he built the family home, located on the original Bredvold homestead next to the golf course, where they raised a daughter, Kelsey and three boys, Jeff, Cameron, and Joel. He resided here for the next 66 years. He came from a generation known for its self-sufficiency, the Greatest Generation, and, as the youngest of five, he was independent, creative, and had an entrepreneurial spirit. He had a wonderful memory and having spent his life in St. Maries, he told many stories about the community, his friends and family. He told how he made money during the depression, when money was in short supply. He started delivering groceries in his wagon to his customers when he was six for 5 cents per delivery. His mother once paid for a bag of flour he dropped in the mud. Another venture was as a rat catcher. St. Maries offered a bounty on rats, so Bobby (as he was called as a child) rigged up a rat trap made of a bucket of water, oatmeal, and a ramp and made some good money eliminating rats on Main Street. As the youngest of five he wasn’t allowed to enter a tunnel his older brothers were burrowing under Main Street. In anger, he dropped a brick on his brother Howard’s head as he was exiting the tunnel, knocking him out. When he was nine, he and his cousin developed a scheme to tear down his uncle’s wood pile on Halloween and then hire themselves out the next day to stack it. Their grand plan went awry when Rusty Johnson, the local police, caught them and threw them in jail for a few hours. He would pick up whiskey bottles under the board walk on the river and sell them back to the moon shiners. He operated a shoeshine stand with his cousin, Tuffy, on Main and 8th when he was 11. A competitor set up shop across the street, so they took him into the alley, broke his stand and told him not to come back. At the end of prohibition Raleigh Sr had the first beer distributorship in town. Bobby sat in the back seat of his parent’s car, on top of the boxes of the first legal Bohemian beer that came to town. Once, his youth his father spanked him with a willow switch. He planted that switch and it grew into a large willow in the family yard. He bought his first car for $4.00 on credit from Slim Langley, who later repossessed it because Bobby wasn’t making payments. When he was in high school, he was a leader. He was the Student Body president when he was a senior, he gathered gas rations so they could play football games out of town, he managed his dad’s cherry orchard on Capital Hill and he enjoyed hunting with family and friends. He was always fun to listen to, and interjected conversation with humor, as those who knew him will attest. Raleigh was always mechanically minded and community oriented. In the Navy he learned diesel mechanics on Lake Michigan, then served on the USS Mazama until the war’s end, an ammunition ship in the South Pacific. Upon completion of the war he ranched 2,250 acres with his brother on his father’s farm in Hells Gulch, then became a licensed electrician. He had his own business for a short while before going to work as an electrician when St. Maries Plywood Mill was being built. Soon the mill was purchased by Potlatch Corporation. He worked his way up, retiring as the Maintenance Superintendent of the SM Complex in 1984. When he retired, he was the only person in Potlatch Corp who supervised maintenance on all systems within a mill. He would often sit up at night reading schematics, drawing designs, or solving other problems that needed attention. After retirement he enjoyed the stock market and was constantly in his shop or garden. He built a very large, stained-glass window of Martin Luther’s Coat of Arms for St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, built or refinished furniture for family and friends, and cut and chopped his fall wood supply, a favorite pastime. Their house is filled with his creations. He and Ardys maintained a circle of high school friends, traveling and enjoying one another through their retirement until the grim reaper began taking his toll. Throughout his life he was a member of The Eagles, The Elks, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, American Legion, Sheriff’s Posse, the SM School Board, and the board of the Historical Hughes House. There are so many memories, but most of all, Raleigh should be remembered for the person he was. He lived life according to his Christian belief. He worked hard and was a wonderful father. He was humble and rarely commented on his accomplishments, treated people with respect, and had a good sense of humor. Friends and family looked forward to his quick wit. He was committed to his family and friends, and though reserved, he would tear up quickly with sentiment, treated animals as friends, was grateful for all he had been given in this life, and loved Ardys, he beloved wife of 70 years. He is survived by his wife, four children, Jeff, Kelsey (Stan) Cameron (Auxi), Joel (Karen) , ten grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren and many extended family and friends. Raleigh was preceded in death by brother's Paul, Howard, Ralph and sister Mary. Memorials in his name can be made to Hospice of North Idaho or St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. Interment services will be Saturday February 29, 2020 at 11:00 am at Woodlawn Cemetery in St. Maries, ID. A Memorial Service will follow at 12:00pm at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, with a gathering of family and friends to share a meal after services at the Elks Lodge in St. Maries, ID.

Memorial Service

12:00 pm
Saturday, February 29, 2020
St. Pauls Lutheran Church
130 S. 10th Street
St. Maries, Idaho, United States

Gathering of Family & Friends

Elks Lodge
628 Main Street
St. Maries, Idaho, United States

Woodlawn Cemetery

Woodlawn Cemetery
23rd Street and hwy 5
St. Maries, Idaho, United States
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