Carroll W. Hughes 1935 - 2023
Carroll Weaver Hughes, 87, known as “Doc” to friends and family, died quietly on October 2, 2023 with his devoted wife of 61 years, Betty, at his side.
Doc was born in Nettleton, Mississippi on November 5, 1935, to Homer E. Hughes and Juanita Weaver Hughes.
Many of his happiest memories were from his days at West Point High School, Class of 1953. He was a drummer in the band, lettered in football and baseball, and sang in a quartet. He remained in contact with some high school friends until his death.
In 1955, he enlisted in the Army and afterward served in the Army Reserves and Army National Guard. His service totaled roughly six years, but he was as proud of his tenure as if he had been in the military for life. He was particularly honored to be a parachutist with the 11th Airborne Division while stationed in Germany. That experience deeply influenced his life, as evidenced by his traditional morning greeting “Guten Morgen!,” his beer stein collection, having grandkids call him “Opa,” and his love of German Shepherd dogs (RIP Schatzi & Bruno).
Doc took an interest in nuclear power, working with his brother and father at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss. He eventually became a Professional Engineer and helped build nuclear reactors and refineries as a quality control inspector for C.F. Braun, Brown & Root, and KB&R. His work took him all over the United States and abroad. Some of his favorite overseas assignments were in Kuwait, Belgium, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Though he loved living in many different locations, he chose to make Hendersonville, Tennessee his home. He discovered it in the late 70s when he was assigned to TVA’s Hartsville Nuclear Plant project. He always maintained a home here and eventually returned to retire.
Despite moving every couple of years, Doc and Betty had numerous close friends, and the parties they had were legendary… and well documented. His bookshelves are laden with photo albums celebrating a life well-lived and thoroughly enjoyed.
His friends and family remember him as someone with an impressive intellect and memory who also enjoyed being the entertainer. He frequently made people laugh with his silly expressions, sarcastic wit—and occasionally—double entendres and ribald comments.
Doc was known for his deep, booming voice that could alternately terrify or reassure you. Often one would get advance notice as he cleared his throat before speaking. Other times his victims would jump out of their skin when it took them by surprise—a reaction that seemed to delight him.
He is preceded in death by his parents, his brother Harold V. Hughes, and his sons David A. Hughes and James "Tiger" Ming. He is survived by his wife Betty J. Hughes and sister-in-law, Clera Hollingsworth Hughes. He leaves behind three children—Mary "Missy" Hughes of Beaverton, Oregon, Donna Hughes Smith of Hendersonville, and Darrell Hughes (Kerry) of Brisbane, Australia; 10 grandchildren—Mary Saponaro, Laura Repass, Jenny Cox, Dara Hughes Sierra, Elisabeth "Lissa" Hughes, Paul N. Hughes, Emily C. Hughes, David B. Hughes, Johnny Hughes, and Caitlin Hughes, as well as six great-grandchildren. He will also be missed by many cousins and close friends (including Jack Daniels).
A graveside military service where his ashes will be interred is planned for Friday, November 3, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at Mississippi Veterans Cemetery in Newton.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations made to Imminent Danger German Shepherd Rescue (www.idgsr.org) of Greeneville, TN.