Kathleen Hughes was born on Dec. 16, 1929 to George Boyle & Orpha Belle (Smith) Stinson at their farm home northeast of Buffalo, OK. Named Evelyn Kathleen, she grew to womanhood there attending Buffalo Public Schools and graduating as valedictorian of the class of 1948. She attended one semester of college at Northwestern State College in Alva before returning home to prepare for her approaching marriage. While in high school she met a handsome young man named Verlin Hughes. When he was a senior, he was the bus driver for her route and he delighted in arriving just a little early and honking the horn so that she would have to run the last portion of their long driveway. He would open the bus door to allow her to board and was smitten by the flushed beauty. She was the only girl he ever asked out for a date and he was the only boy that she ever accepted a date with. They were married on April 24, 1949 and eagerly embarked on their life together that would span over 50 years.
The couple settled into their farm home northwest of Buffalo and Kathleen became a homemaker. She loved her life and her home. She excelled in her homemaking duties and she and Verlin did things together. Seldom was Kathleen ever seen away from the house without Verlin. They built their life together. Their union was blessed by the addition of 4 children: Joyce Verleen in 52, Steven John in 54, James Richard (Jimmy) in 56 and Lisa Jo in 65. Just as Kathleen excelled as a homemaker, she was a wonderful mother and had a special and unique relationship with each of her children. Verlin and Kathleen attended the activities in which their children participated. They had high expectations for their kids and made it known that “doing less than your best” was unacceptable behavior. They were always there – supporting their children and cheering them on to excellence. That continued when they became grandparents and they attended as many of the grandchildren’s activities as they could with the same high expectations.
Kathleen’s social life revolved around her family and her church. As a child she attended the Methodist Church with her parents. When she married Verlin, she joined him in worship at the Girard Church which later consolidated with the Assembly of God Church in Buffalo. For the past 50 years she has been a faithful member of First Baptist Church in Buffalo. Kathleen accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Savior while a child. That decision was the most important one that she ever made. She realized that she was a sinner, believed that Jesus Christ had died for her sins, accepted his amazing gift and committed her life to Him. She realized that any good deeds that she did were not to earn salvation, nor to draw attention to herself. It was her reasonable service of gratitude to her Heavenly Father. It was the desire of her heart that each member of her family accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and she prayed faithfully for that to happen.
Kathleen only took about 40 piano lessons but was willing to use her God-given talents to enhance worship as a church pianist. She also was called upon many times to minister to a grieving family by providing piano music during a funeral as well as providing wedding music for several weddings. God truly blessed her limited training and multiplied her gift in musical ability as she faithfully honored Him. She loved to sing and delighted in harmonizing with her daughters during congregational singing. Kathleen was a wonderful cook and her delicious food was served at many funeral dinners.
Holidays and birthdays were family events that always revolved around a big family dinner. Kathleen’s delicious food graced the table at these events. She was absolutely the best cook that her family knew. Her signature pie was a “Lattice-Topped Cherry Pie” which was as tasty as it was beautiful.
Kathleen loved to play games with her family after dinner. Dominoes and turkey tracks were favorites but many good games of Chinese checkers, Uno, progressive bridge, etc. were enjoyed. She was a formidable opponent and nearly always won. She loved beautiful flowers and was particularly fond of roses and azaleas.
Kathleen was a homebody who loved being at home. She and Verlin remained on the farm until the early 1990’s when they moved to their home in Buffalo. Both of them loved living in town and Kathleen wanted desperately to remain in her home for the rest of her life. Dementia is a hideous disease that robs a person of their memory, dignity, etc. continually robbing a person of more until it robs them of their life. Jim and Nancy made it possible for Kathleen to remain in her home for as long as it was safe for her to do so. In Oct. 2015, following an injurious fall, Kathleen moved to a lovely apartment at Parkview Pointe in Laverne. A few months later, when her condition deteriorated and she reached the point of requiring total care, God provided her a home at Grace Living Center in Buffalo. Her family is grateful for the quality care that she received in both places as well as from the Harper County Community Hospital.
On December 11, 2017 – five days before her 88th birthday, God mercifully released Kathleen from the bonds of dementia and gently took her to her home in heaven. The Bible states that to be absent from the body is to be present with God. Because of the decision she made to place her trust in Jesus Christ, her family has the assurance that they have not lost her, they know where she is. She is finally home for eternity in heaven – a place more beautiful and better than we can imagine, free from pain, confusion and care. Most of all, she is in the very presence of God.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Verlin Hughes; her parents, George & Orpha Stinson; Verlin’s parents, John & Leslie Hughes; her daughter-in-law, Donna Hughes; her sister-in law, Doris Thrasher; and her brothers-in law, Warren Easterwood, Norval Schonlau and Murl Thrasher.
Left to cherish her memory are her children: Joyce & Dean Montgomery of Laverne, Dr. Steven Hughes of Enid, Jim & Nancy Hughes of Buffalo and Lisa & Les Peterman of Weatherford. Also surviving are Joyce and Dean’s son, Branden & Courtney Montgomery, Jackson, Kallen and Grayson of Norman; Steve’s children: Jennifer & Adam Fowler of Henderson, NV, Steven Hughes of Ft. Smith, AR, Ashley Hughes and her sons, Mason, Carter and Aiden of Enid, Roger & Liz Hughes and Elie of Enid, and Matthew Hughes of Enid; Jim & Nancy’s children which include Johnny & Heather Hughes, J.J., Hadley, & Maggie of OKC, Jeremy & Lauri Hughes, Luke & Jeremiah of Buffalo, as well as Mandy & Travis Lake, Brianna, Madison and Hannah of Piedmont, Matthew and Carissa Hungerford, Sam, Halle, and Ellie of OKC and Megan Hungerford of The Village in OKC and Lisa & Les’s children, Dacia Peterman of Tulsa and Wyatt Peterman of Weatherford. She will be missed by her sister, Twila Schonlau of Buffalo; her sister-in-law, Lois & Carl Clark also of Buffalo; her extended family of nieces, nephews and cousins and precious friends.