David Thomas Hughes


MAROA — David Thomas Hughes, born on December 2, 1924, passed away on April 12, 2024, was born in Moweaqua, Ill. to John and Marie (Welton) Hughes.

As a small child, he moved with his family to a farm near Maroa, where he attended his schooling, riding his pony into town for school each day, carrying his lunch, pork chop or beef sandwich, hoping occasionally to trade it for a “good old bologna sandwich” from a town buddy.

He liked to tell us how his pony waited for him to ride back home, where chores awaited him. Stories of his childhood were fascinating for this family to listen to in his old age.  His mother had to rescue him from up on the windmill after his two older brothers enticed him up abd then ran off. The anecdotes of his childhood were entertaining, and he was a great storyteller.

Before joining the U.S. Marines,  he married Norma Larson, now deceased. They had a daughter Tonia (Fran) Thoms, of Florida. She survives, as well as her two sons J.D. (Pam) Thoms, Winter Haven, Fla., and LaManse (Katrina) Thoms, Maroa, and their families.

Dave became a proud Marine at age 17. He served in WWII with the Second Marine Division, and was injured on Tarawa (Gilbert Island). He was shot on November 22, 1943, and  hospitalized until October 25, 1944, when he completed his active tour of duty for which he received the Purple Heart.

Soon after arriving home from the war, he worked as a plumber and heating contractor, and after earning his licenses a few years later, became owner of his own business,  Hughes Plumbing, Heating & A/C in 1944. He came to be respected by many of his peers in the business as someone who could answer many of their problems. He was proud of serving many families through four and five generations.

Though failing eyesight because of glaucoma and retinal problems, he continued for many years helping his peers through difficult situations. David Hughes had a work ethic unrivaled. Everyone who met him was touched in some way.  He was honored as parade Grand Marshall July 4, 2018.

In 1981, he met and married his soulmate, Elaine Davis. Her children embraced their new dad (granddad) as their own and love grew from there. All of us will mourn his loss and hold all our memories dear to our hearts; Cathy (Peter) Ellis, Houston, Texas, Connie (Mark) Clawson, Washington, Ill., Dawn Monroe, Pekin, Ill., John (Shayla) Clawson, Worden, Ill., Braxton Weber, Houston, Texas, Dustin Hassler, Maroa, Ill., Blake, Julia, Ariana, Clawson, Cody and Riley Sue, Maroa, and one sister, Jeanette (Pete) Cameron, of Springfield.

Preceding Dave in death were two brothers, Jack and Bob and two sisters June and Betty, as well as, nieces and nephews. His only son Scott Hassler also preceded him in death.

A celebration of life for Dave Hughes is scheduled for Saturday April 27, 2024, at Mason Lodge Maroa, at 9:30 a.m.

Condolences and memories may be shared with the family in care of Graceland Fairlawn Funeral Homes at www.gracelandfairlawn.com.