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William "Toby" Hughes Jr. '58 February 1, 2021 11:05 AM updated: February 1, 2021 11:18 AM

William Floyd Hughes Jr.
APRIL 22, 1936 – JANUARY 18, 2021

William F. “Toby” Hughes Jr. (USAF Retired) of Cibolo, Texas, passed away on Monday, January 18, 2021, at Lavaca Medical Center in Hallettsville, TX. He entered this life on April 22, 1936 in Corpus Christi, Texas to William F. “Toby” Hughes Sr. and Lillie B. Billingsley.

Toby married the love of his life, Sheryl Elizabeth Thomas, on September 30, 1961. Together they raised their three sons George, Kenneth, and John. He graduated from New London High School, New London, Texas in 1954, received an undergraduate degree in 1958 from Texas A&M University at College Station and a Master’s degree from Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama.

Toby proudly served in the United States Air Force for twenty-one years. He was awarded the Silver Star for his service as an Air-Craft Commander of an F-4C aircraft near Bo Tuc, Republic of Vietnam on December 20, 1967. The citation read in part: “Captain Hughes flew in support of ground forces under heavy hostile attack. Despite extreme hazards imposed by darkness, intense and accurate hostile ground fire and the close proximity of an exploding ammunition storage area, the Captain delivered his ordnance with outstanding accuracy, thereby saving many lives.” He also received the Distinguished Flying Cross, as well as many other service recognitions while deployed in Vietnam. His sons, Kenneth and John, continued the tradition of answering the call to duty by serving in the United States Navy. After his military retirement, he continued serving his country as a military contractor with Tactical Logistics, where he developed simulator programs for fighter pilots.

Toby’s many talents and passions were extensive, and he was an avid New York Yankees fan. He watched with his devoted wife every chance they got. His majestic voice and love of music were showcased in many of his endeavors. He appeared on Austin City Limits (where he played guitar with Kris Kristofferson). He recorded and sang of his experiences in the Vietnam War in “Fast and Low” (Vietnam Remembered…Songs of the Air War Down South). He was a DJ at the San Antonio country music station Y100 in the 1990s. He enjoyed being a sports announcer at multiple venues that included his son, George’s Supercross races and his son, John’s high school football games. Toby was also an avid admirer of his son Kenneth’s artistic talents. He was revered for his way with words, and often wrote poems and love songs to his beloved wife, Sherry. He wrote of his military adventures in an unpublished memoir, called “What the Captain Means: A Song of the In-country Air War,” which complements the songs of “Fast and Low” compact disc.

Those that preceded him in death are his parents William F. “Toby” Sr. and Lillie Hughes.

His dear loved ones left to cherish his memories are his wife of 59 years Sheryl Hughes and his children; George Hughes and daughter-in-law Lupita Lopez de Hughes; Kenneth Hughes, and daughter-in-law Raheela Somoroo; John Hughes and daughter-in-law Christina Hughes; siblings, brother, Joe Hughes (Sue), Montgomery, TX, and sister, Mary Beth Fitzgerald, Tyler, TX; seven grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and several nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held at Colonial Funeral Home, Universal City, Texas,on Tuesday, February 9, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.; services will follow at 11:00 a.m. Toby will then be laid to rest with full military honors at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery, San Antonio, Texas.

To honor his memory, donations may be made to the “London Ex-Students Reunion and Memorial Association Scholarship Fund” in memory of Toby. (PO Box 173, New London, TX 75682; 903-895-4602).

Other remembrances may also be sent to Colonial Funeral Home, 625 Kitty Hawk Road, Universal City, Texas 78148, www.colonialuniversal.com.

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