Jack David Hughes, of Cedar Hill, Texas, passed away peacefully on April 21, 2020, at the age of 74, with his wife at his side. Born to Jack Raymond and Doris Hughes in McKinney, Texas on June 30, 1945, Jack was the eldest of three children. Jack lived a life of service – to his country, to his community, to his family and to his church. The people who love him called him Jack, David, Dad or Papa.
Jack was a hard worker from a very early age, working as a newspaper carrier for the Dallas Times Herald in middle school and flipping burgers many nights at Griff’s on Buckner Blvd. before he graduated from Samuel High School in Dallas in 1964. After graduation, Jack served in the United States Marine Corps and, during his extended tour in Vietnam, he volunteered to become a diver. While serving in the First Military Police Battalion, Jack protected the critical Da Nang river bridge from a variety of attacks, making daily underwater inspections to check for explosives.
He earned numerous medals, including a Purple Heart as the result of a grenade attack in which he took shrapnel to his ear.
Upon his honorable departure from the USMC, Jack began the career he had dreamed of with the Dallas Fire Department in February of 1969. He worked in stations all over south Dallas, knew every street in town and always took the quickest route to a call location when the alarm rang. He was a living Mapsco! During his 31-year career, Jack drove ambulances and chief’s cars, but he most enjoyed driving Engine 33 (on C Shift!). He made an impact on countless other firefighters during his career and loved being the shift cook. Everyone always joked about how much he must have enjoyed his own cooking. Until his death, Jack considered Dallas firefighters his second family and took every opportunity to strike up a conversation with any retired firefighter he saw.
Throughout his life, Jack loved cars, especially the ones that went fast. From driving his own street car in dirt track races to watching countless NASCAR events at Texas Motor Speedway, Jack loved the thrill of a good race. He enjoyed camping out at every race possible with his wife, Laura, his siblings, Don and Linda, and whatever other family members and friends would come! Restoring his prized 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air was also a true passion and he had a blast driving it in community parades. In fact, “the 55” was just one of many things Jack fixed in his life. He could repair anything – from cars to appliances – and he was skilled at woodworking.
In retirement, Jack spent many great years enjoying life on the farm in Blooming Grove.
There were few things he enjoyed more than spending time with his grandkids, teaching them how to use his many tools, making things in the barn and feeding the animals. Country life suited him and Laura to a tee. They worshipped at First Baptist Church in Blooming Grove and spent countless hours making meals for the youth, putting on church events and spending time in fellowship with their friends.
Jack led a full life that was defined by his love for Christ and his love for his family. Until the end of his life on earth, he attended events to see his grandkids -- baseball/softball games, ag shows, theater performances, gymnastics meets, birthday parties, graduations – and everything in between. He made lasting memories with each of his kids and grandkids and loved to share his deep faith with them.
Jack was preceded in death by his father, Jack Raymond Hughes. He is survived by his mother and step-father, Doris and Fred Waltrip; the love of his life and wife of 31 years, Laura; brother and sister-in-law Don and Stephanie Hughes; sister and brother-in-law Linda and Jerry Pinkerton; his daughter Rhonda Hughes Edmundson with husband Ron and children Ethan, Emma and Ella; and sons Keith Hughes and children Colton and Chance; Jeff Chaffin with wife Colleen and children Garrett Cline with fiancé Callie Grace Henly, Logan Cline, Ashley Cline with great granddaughter Teagan, Maggie Chaffin and Laramie Chaffin; Chris Chaffin with wife Amanda and children Zachary Chaffin and wife Lacey with great grandson Emerson, and Hannah Chaffin with fiancé Colby Threet.
Jack’s greatest joy came in serving and helping others and worshipping Jesus Christ. He touched so many people and his beautiful smile was a reflection of his huge heart. He will be missed, until we see him again in Heaven.
A memorial service to honor Jack’s life will be planned in the coming weeks. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made in Jack’s name to Boot Campaign, a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring the lives of veterans. https://bootcampaign.org
Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, all visitations and services are limited to 10 persons.
Wayne Boze Funeral Home is following the Ellis County Judge’s and CDC Guidelines for gatherings at our facility.
It is of the upmost importance that family and guests keep these requirements in mind.