Owen “Butch” Hughes went to his reward July 18, 2018 at aged 89. He was the son of the late Owen and Appolonia (Fermanich); and was preceded in death by his brothers Harold, Cliff, Leo, and Tom; his sisters Margaret, Florence and Lillian; his son-in-law Mike Earl; and many life-long friends especially “Pete” Peterson, “Bud” Barber, and Ruth Rucks. He is survived by his former wife of 53 years, Mary Jane (Greunke), and his sister Gertrude (Frank) Sprister as well as his children, Ed (Bobbalee) Hughes, Lynn (Tom Reitzner) Hughes, Angie (Dennis) Eppinger, Mary Sue Earl, Amy (Bob) Sanders, Chris (Tracy Romano) Hughes, and Erich (Marca) Hughes, grandchildren Margaret, Andy, Aaron, Sarah, Sam, Daphne, Marlo and great-grandchildren Tony, Patrick, Hendrick, Harrison, and Wren. He leaves behind many friends including his baseball partners Bob Ebben and Ed Gehrke.
Owen was a natural storyteller, gifted singer, bowler, baseball player, and student of the English language. He shared his love of the outdoors with his family camping throughout Wisconsin, the Upper Peninsula, and South Dakota and on annual trips to Errington’s Resort on Star Lake.
He graduated from St. Therese Catholic Grade School and from Appleton High School. He started playing baseball in grade school and, while in high school, he played for Appleton’s Legion Baseball team. He was instrumental in driving home the winning runs for the state Legion championship in 1944. He started out as a Cub’s fan until the Braves left Boston for Milwaukee. He was a season ticket holder for the Packers and could recall the days when other football franchises paid the Packers’ travel expenses for away games.
As a child, he was responsible for fetching water from the well in the backyard on Kenilworth Avenue, and his strong work ethic carried him through 45 years with Riverside Paper Company, advancing to be one of the mill’s few boiler technicians.
In his retirement, he worked part time, and maintained many birdfeeders, often used by squirrels, possums, and raccoons. He loved music and was a member of several church choirs. He sang at area nursing homes, the Thompson Center and Senior citizen clubs in the Fox Valley and was a member of the Hallelujah Gospel Choir.
He was a great neighbor and could be counted on to help in almost any circumstance. He will be missed by all who knew him.
In passing he joins his grade school friend James Williamson, who liked to remind him, “Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis”.
A Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated at 10:30 am on Monday, July 23, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 404 W. Lawrence St., Appleton, with Father James Leary OFM Cap officiating. Friends may visit at the church on Monday from 9 am until 10:15 am. Interment will take place at St. Mary Catholic Cemetery, Appleton.
Owens’s family thanks the caregivers at Brewster Village for the excellent care and friendship they provide during his last days.