James Hughes, of Dalton, GA, passed away on Saturday, July 4, 2015, after an extended illness.
James was born in Macon, GA, to John Dee Pinson and Laura Pauline Mott Hughes. He was the youngest of eight children and the identical twin of John Dee Hughes. He is preceded in death by his parents, his six sisters and his oldest son, James Pinson Hughes, Jr.
Survivors include: His devoted wife of 59 years, Jo Wright Hughes, sons and daughters-in-law, James and Anne Hughes of Cornelia, GA, Jerry and Dedra Hughes of Valdosta, GA, Joel and Karo Hughes of Dalton, GA, and Jeff and Joan Hughes of Dalton, GA. Also survived by nine grandchildren, Elizabeth Hughes, Amanda Swearengin, Kati Ray, Laura-Michael Hughes, Matt Hughes, Mikki Denson, Madeline Hughes, Harrison Hughes, Lauren Hughes, and four great-grandchildren, Sebastian Swearengin, Abigail Swearengin, McKenzie Ray and Wade Denson.
James attended Lanier High School in Macon, Ga. and Mercer University in Macon, where he played basketball and baseball.
After graduation from college, he served in the Army for 23 years, which included two tours of duty in Vietnam. In Vietnam, he was a helicopter gunship pilot and a Calvary Troop Commander. He amassed 2100 hours of combat, rose to the rank of major and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Award with two Oak Leaf Clusters, 41 Air Medals and the Purple Heart.
Upon retirement from the Army, James received a call into Christian ministry. For 18 years, he served United Methodist Churches in Albany, Perkins, Baxley and Arlington. After retiring from the South Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church, he moved to Dalton and served the First United Methodist Church of Dalton as a part-time Minister of Pastoral Care.
Funeral services were held Wednesday, July 8 at the First United Methodist Church of Dalton with Dr Robin Lindsey officiating. Interment was held at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to Dalton First United Methodist Church at 500 S. Thorton St., Dalton, GA 30720 or the NW GA Fellowship of Christian Athletes at P.O. Box 2414, Dalton, GA 30722.
Words of comfort may be sent to the family at www.lovefuneralhomega.com