Thomas Wendell Hughes

December 10, 1939May 14, 2019

After a long and courageous battle against Parkinson’s disease, Husband, Dad, Grandfather, Philanthropist, and Serial Entrepreneur, Thomas Wendell Hughes, 79, of Dunwoody, Georgia passed away on May 14, 2019.

Born December 10, 1939, in Tampa, Florida, he passed away peacefully in his sleep at his residence surrounded by family. The family will receive visitors at 5 PM to 7 PM, Saturday, May 18, 2019, at Sandy Springs Chapel, 136 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs, Georgia. A Service of praise and thanksgiving for his life will be held 3 PM Sunday, May 19, 2019, at Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church, 471 Mount Vernon Highway NE, Sandy Springs, Georgia.

Mr. Hughes is survived by his wife of 51 years, Barbara B. Hughes, originally of Tampa/ Saint Petersburg Florida. In December, 1967 they married and in early 1968, moved to Atlanta, Georgia. He is also survived by his sister, Mary Jane Trimble of Brandon, Florida, and brother J. Warren Hughes of Clearwater, Florida. In addition to his wife, Mr. Hughes is survived by his three children, Michael Ellis Cushing Hughes of Dunwoody, Georgia, Deborah Elizabeth Vance of Ashville, North Carolina, and Thomas William Hughes, of Norcross. He is survived by six grandchildren, Ian Michael Cushing Hughes, Connor Ellis Cushing Hughes, Meghan Elaine Vance, Helen Yvonne Vance, Elsie Samantha Louise Abbey, Jacob Arthur Hughes, and two great grandchildren, Arthur James Chickos and Christopher William Abbey.

Mr. Hughes was a lifelong advocate of education. He was a 1958 graduate of Hillsborough High School, in Tampa, Florida and was awarded an honorary membership of their Alumni Hall of Fame in 2009. Mr. Hughes graduated with duel Bachelor of Science degrees (Marketing and Finance) from Florida State University College of Business in 1961. After his college career, Mr. Hughes was commissioned and served proudly as an officer in the United States Navy. He retired as a Commander from the Naval Reserves in 1993. At the age of 68 with almost 50 years of practical business experience, Mr. Hughes returned to school and earned in 2009, a Masters of Business Administration degree from Kennesaw State University. He served on Kennesaw State Coles Business School Advisory Council both as a member and chairman. He was the Entrepreneur in Residence for the Coles College of Business. He served as a Trustee for Kennesaw State University Foundation where he was awarded the title of Trustee Emeritus. Mr. Hughes was awarded The State of Georgia Outstanding Georgia Citizen award given by then Secretary of State (now Governor), Brian P. Kemp. Mr. Hughes also served as Chair of the Board for Alliance for Children Everywhere in their ministry of rescuing abandoned and vulnerable children, and educating children through a broad range of learning institutions in Lusaka, Zambia. He served on the Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church School Committee, the predecessor of the Mount Vernon Presbyterian School Board of Trustees. The church and school are located in Sandy Springs, Georgia.

Mr. Hughes was a career Entrepreneur starting, developing and then eventually selling companies. Learning many of his entrepreneurial skills from the late Eugene Stone, founder of Stone Manufacturing in Greenville, South Carolina, he either founded or co-founded seven different companies including National Electronic Attachment, Inc, the largest dental electronic claims attachments clearing house, Medical Electronic Attachment, Inc., Electronic Claims and Funding, Inc. the largest dental electronic claims clearinghouse, and Pioneer Business Group. From 1988 to 1997, he owned Premier Systems Corporation, one of the largest dental practice management systems. In previous work, he held the positions of Audit Manager at Dan River, Inc., Daniel International, and Controller at Stone Manufacturing in Greenville, South Carolina. He also dedicated countless hours to the development of future Entrepreneurs holding investment and advisory positions with Entrepreneur Group of Georgia, a major entrepreneurial educational group and Gathering of Angels, a network of angel investors in the Atlanta metro area.

After retiring from the corporate/entrepreneurial world, Mr. Hughes used his talents to support various philanthropic efforts throughout the latter part of his life. He was a 50 year member of the Presbyterian Church and a 37 year member of Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church in Sandy Springs, Georgia. He was an ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church. He was the founder and chair of the Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church Foundation, providing grants improving the lives of children in Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church and School and also providing grants to various organizations in both Metro Atlanta and Internationally as well. In addition to serving on the Boards of many organizations including the Board of the Michael O’Neal Singers, chair of the Michael O’Neal Singers Foundation and Los Niños Primero (Kids First), a year round early educational program for underserved Latino preschoolers in Atlanta.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests any donations be sent to Los Ninos Primero, 471 Mount Vernon Highway NE, Sandy Springs Georgia 30328.


  • Visitation Saturday, May 18, 2019
  • Memorial Service Sunday, May 19, 2019


Thomas Wendell Hughes

have a memory or condolence to add?

Patty Hanna

May 17, 2019

We were so sorry to hear of Tom’s passing, but blessed to have shared in part of his amazing life. We will forever treasure times spent with “Mr. Tom” and our wonderful Georgia family. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.
Love - The Hanna’s and Aunt Ina