Algin James Hughes
August 11, 1920 – April 13, 2019
Colonel Algin James Hughes, Field Artillery, U.S. Army, retired. Born at Tuttle, Oklahoma, August 11, 1920. Died at Colorado Springs, CO, April 13, 2019, age 98 years. His parents were Grant McEwen Hughes of Kentucky and Frances Johnston Hughes of Ohio. Both preceded him in death. His wife, Elaine Hughes, and his older daughter, Julie Hartley of Inverness, Florida, also preceded him in death. He is survived by three children: James (Sharon) Hughes of Lebanon, PA, Charles (Susan) Hughes of Worms, Germany and Debra (Ken Asp) Derrington of Colorado Springs. He is also survived by eight grandchildren and thirteen great grandchildren.
Al Hughes was greatly loved by his family and those who had the privilege to get to know him. He was a wise mentor to his children and a selfless and dedicated support to his wife Elaine of 71 years. In the course of his long life, he was an enormous fount of information, anecdotes and fascinating military history. Al was a gentleman, he was gracious and he was always interested in others: left in a room of strangers, Al would emerge knowing where everybody was from, what they did or had done for a living - and he would never forget any detail. To the end he charmed and captivated. He was an inspiration to his family and many, many others. Upon the death of his beloved Elaine, he moved to Summit Glen, which he soon embraced as his home and his family. In this loving and supportive environment he never ceased to amaze fellow residents with his prodigious memory and his capacity for warmth and friendship. Al will be sorely missed.
Al was a professional military officer, attending the University of Oklahoma before entering the US Military Academy at West Point in 1939. After graduating in January 1943, he served in combat as a forward artillery observer and firing battery commander in General George Patton's 3rd Army in the drive from the Normandy beachhead into France and Germany.
During Al’s long and illustrious military career, he served in numerous command and staff assignments at all levels in the US, Germany, Japan and Korea. He was a graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, KS, the Armed Forces Staff at Norfolk, VA and the Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, PA. Al served in faculty positions at the Field Artillery School, at the US Army War College, and at West Point, where he was the Commanding Officer, Second Regiment of Cadets and later, Deputy Commandant of Cadets. Al also served in the Intelligence Division of the Army General Staff in Washington, DC, and in the United Nations Staff in the Far East, where, in the early 1960s, he was head of their Foreign Liaison and Protocol Sections. During the Cold War, in addition to his Field Artillery Brigade Command and his position as Deputy Commander of VII Corps Artillery, Al commanded one of the largest US installations in West Germany at Bamberg.
At the time of his retirement in 1970, he was serving as Secretary of the General Staff at the Senior US Army Headquarters in Europe at Heidelberg, Germany. His many decorations include the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Bronze Star Medal awarded at Metz France in 1944, the European Theater Medal with four Campaign Stars, and the Army of Occupation Medal.
During his retirement from the Army, Al remained active in several retired military and other organizations. He served as President of the El Paso, TX, Chapter of the Retired Officers’ Association, remaining its Legislative Chairman for several years. Al also served as Chapter, Department, and Region Commander of the Military Order of the World Wars. He was a member of the first Cavalry Division Association, the US Horse Cavalry Association, the Field Artillery Association, several West Point Societies in Texas and Colorado, and the Sons of the American Revolution. He was a twelve-year Red Cross volunteer at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center at Fort Bliss, TX, a volunteer with Public Television, helped build homes for Habitat for Humanity for several years and worked with multiple volunteer organizations providing food, clothing and money for the needy in both Texas and Colorado. He was also a member of both the Methodist and Presbyterian Churches.
Al was always proud of his relationship with West Point and instilled the pride to serve in his family. When Al died, he was the oldest West Point graduate in the Colorado Springs area.
To the many kind and compassionate caregivers at Pike's Peak Hospice and Brookdale Vista Grande Assisted Living Al and his family are forever grateful.
A service will be held on Wednesday, April 17, 11:00am at Swan Law Funeral Directors, 501 N Cascade Ave, Colorado Springs.
Interment at the West Point, NY Cemetery will be in late summer.
- Grant McEwen Hughes, Father
- Johnston Hughes, Mother
- Elaine Hughes, Wife
- Julie Hartley, Daughter
- James Hughes, Son
- Sharon Hughes, Daughter-in-law
- Charles Hughes, Son
- Susan Hughes, Daughter-in-law
- Debra Derrington, Daughter
- Ken Asp, Son-in-law
- Al is also survived by eight grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren.
- Funeral Service Wednesday, April 17, 2019
- Fellowship and Refreshments Wednesday, April 17, 2019