He was born April 24, 1944, in St. Charles, Mo., to John H. and Edith Hughes. Larry was the third of four children and the only boy.
Throughout his childhood, the family moved around a lot and he never lived far from railroad tracks, as his father moved up the ranks at the MKT (KATY) Railroad. They moved to Parsons before his fifth-grade year. Parsons would prove pivotal in Larry’s life for many reasons, but most significantly would be his love of athletics and Susan Johnson. When he wasn’t involved in some sort of mischief, Larry excelled at golf, basketball and football. In his senior year of 1962, he was honored by playing in the All-American game at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
He attended Washburn University in Topeka and graduated with a B.B.A. in 1966 and his J.D. from Washburn law school in 1969. Larry learned the value of hard work at an early age. He worked all of his life from an early paper route to working his way through college on the late shift at the Goodyear Tire plant. Fresh out of law school, Larry worked for a few firms in Topeka, but struck out on his own for the better part of the next 25 years. Ever the entrepreneur, he was involved in a varied group of other enterprises ranging from a rock crushing operation to a Coors distributorship in Burlington, Iowa.
He married the love of his life, Susan E. Johnson, on Jan. 25, 1964, in Parsons. They had their romantic first date attending a pancake feed with her father as grade schoolers. From those humble beginnings, the next 56 years would be filled with laughter and tears, but mostly family. They welcomed their first child, John H. II, in 1964 and followed with Jeffrey Harold in 1970. The boys would be the center of his universe, at least until his granddaughters started showing up. The boys were active in all sorts of sports, and Larry and Susie were never far behind. It usually consisted of Larry as the coach and Susie as the No. 1 fan. In later years, he enjoyed golfing with Susie, attending granddaughters’ events and travelling with the family.
Larry leaves behind his loving wife of 46 years, Susan (Johnson) Hughes; a son, John Hughes and his wife, Stephanie, of Topeka; and a son, Jeff H. Hughes of Topeka. He also had three granddaughters he adored: Taylor Hughes, Talisa Hughes and Tateum Hughes of Topeka.
He was preceded in death by his father, John H.; and a sister, Saundra Lenati. Survivors include his mother, Edith Hughes of Gladstone, Mo.; his mother-in-law, Dorris Johnson of Topeka; a sister, Debbie Hughes of Gladstone, Mo.; a sister, Patricia Knarr and her husband, Bill, of Austin, Texas; and a brother-in-law, H. Kemper Johnson of New York, N.Y.
The service will be at 3 p.m. Friday at Kevin Brennan Family Funeral Home, 2801 SW Urish Road, Topeka 66614. Mr. Hughes was cremated. Private inurnment will be at a later date.
Memorials are suggested to Cotton-O’Neil Heart Center, sent in care of the funeral home.
Online condolences may be sent to www.kevinbrennanfamily.com.