Vester Thomas Hughes Jr.

May 24, 1928January 29, 2017

Vester T. Hughes, Jr., 88, went Home on Sunday morning, January 29, 2017.

Vester was born in San Angelo, Texas on May 24, 1928 to Vester T. Hughes and Mary Ellen Tisdale Hughes and grew up in Mertzon, Texas. His parents instilled in him the love of God and family. His father modeled for him than one’s life’s work is much more that a means to support yourself and family, but, instead, a vehicle to help others better their lives. This great quality was passed to Vester and in turn by Vester to all those he encountered during his lifetime. He demonstrated to those around him the importance of honesty, kindness, and deep faith.

Vester graduated valedictorian of his class at Kentucky Military Institute and went on to begin his undergraduate work at Baylor University. He transferred to Rice University at the encouragement of a Baylor professor at the end of his freshman year. Upon completion of his degree with distinction at Rice in 1949, he entered Harvard Law School, graduating cum laude in 1952. He said that he was fascinated by all the different kinds of people he met there, maybe because he grew up in such a small town, knowing so few. After receiving his law degree, Vester served as a law clerk for United States Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark. At that time, he counted it a disappointment that he was unable to serve his full term because he was drafted into service during the Cold War. He chose to enter the army, reported to the Pentagon and served overseas as an officer in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the United States Army stationed in Paris, France. His disappointment turned to blessing as he saw the opportunities afforded to serve his country, to see parts of the world he had not seen and to meet many people who would become life-long friends. This experience was a life lesson that he passed on to many he encountered.

Upon completion of his service to our country, he chose to return to the profession for which he trained. He began the practice of law under the tutelage of Paul Jackson of the law firm Jackson Walker. He was most proud of the firm that he helped build, Hughes and Luce. Until his death, he was a partner of K&L Gates. He was a brilliant tax attorney influencing many aspects of federal taxation; arguing cases before the United States Supreme Court; successfully lobbying Congress on several occasions to amend federal tax laws; and throughout his career was frequently called upon by staff members of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Congress for his view on tax policy and pending legislation. Many will remember his remarkable legal career, his sound judgement, his love of West Texas and family; but, everyone who knew Vester will remember his gentle spirit, generosity, faith and steadfast love.

Vester was a man after God’s heart. He lived out the command to love God and thy neighbor, which to Vester meant everyone. With his sparkling, full-of-life, joy, and compassion, and his genuine smile that softened the hardest of hearts, he showed the same respect to everyone, from the valet and busboy to the CEO and Chairman of the Board. He treated all the same.

Vester kept friends and retained clients for life. His profession was his life’s calling. He was rarely seen not wearing a coat and tie, and he was never without his trademark glasses. He did not age, often commenting that he grew old early and therefore did not change.

The world is a lesser place today without Vester Hughes, but we know his is enjoying quite the celebration with his King, his family and all of the friends who went before him.

Vester was an active member of Park Cities Baptist Church since 1955. He was a 33° Scottish Rite Mason.

He is preceded in death by his parents, his sister and brother-in-law, Elizabeth and Frank Pool, and his nephew, Frank M. Pool.

He is survived by his two nieces, Mary Ellen Hartje and Martha Jean Elder, his niece-in-law, Valrie Pool, and numerous great nieces, a great nephew and a host of friends.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, February 6th at Park Cities Baptist Church. Memorials may be made to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children or the charity of your choice.


  • Memorial Service Monday, February 6, 2017

Vester Thomas Hughes Jr.

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Frank & Virgie Feight

June 12, 2017

Thanks for everything you did in your life We know that your up there watching and making decisions for us .

Jody Mow

February 6, 2017

Vester was a long time friend and associate of my late husband, Bob Mow, and to our entire family. He never failed to ask about all of our children, and was revered as a great lawyer and leader. He will be greatly missed by all. Isaiah 57:1-2 The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart: devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. 2Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death. Many blessings, Jody Mow

Janice Law

February 6, 2017

I was honored that Vester spoke to me at a bar reception encouraging me to run for a statewide judicial office. A classy Gentleman of the Old School.

Barbara Moore

February 6, 2017

You will be greatly missed by many. I enjoyed being your first Dallas secretary at Jackson Walker and will never forget you.

Don Jansen

February 6, 2017

Vester was a highly honored tax lawyer. He helped many of us over the years. I am proud to count him as a friend as well as a colleague.

Don Jansen

February 6, 2017

I am deeply sorry for your family's loss. May your hearts find comfort in God's beautiful promises for the future. John 6:40

February 3, 2017

Vester was much respected and a gracious individual who had many friends both in the legal community and the Dallas community at large.
J Richard McMillan

Gene Colley

February 2, 2017

Vester was a long time family friend. He was truly treasured by the Colley family.

Rita Kirk

February 2, 2017

As you may know, Vester served on our Cary M Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility Advisory Board for over 20 years. He had such a keen mind as well as a deep interest in ethics. We will miss him.