Billy Thomas Hughes

Photo of Billy Thomas Hughes
Billy Thomas Hughes, born July 23, 1929, passed peacefully on May 11, 2022. Born in Rogers, Ark., to Paul J. & Mary E. (Edwards) Hughes. He was predeceased by his wife, Ruth N. (Bullock) Hughes, son, Samuel Thomas Hughes, his parents, and sister, Mary Jean (Hughes) Ard. Tom attended school in Rogers through the eighth grade when his family moved to Eureka Springs in 1943. Tom was warmly welcomed into the Freshman class at Eureka Springs High School. Many of his high school classmates remained life-long friends. He was a member of the DeMolay International to the age of 21 at which time he became a member of the Masonic Lodge. He enjoyed roaming the Ozarks on his motorcycle with friends. His jobs included driving taxis, trucks, buses (for the Crescent Hotel) and being a "Roughneck" on a drilling rig in New Mexico. When the U.S. Navy reactivated their Reserve component during the interval between WWII and the Korean conflict, he joined in 1947. He remained a member of the USNR until his retirement in 1989 at the rank of CW04 as a member of the USNR Naval Security Group after 32 years. In April 1951, he married Ruth Nelle Bullock. They were together for sixty-eight years. In '52 and '53, he was enrolled in the Draughon School of Radio in Little Rock, AR. Upon completion, he was issued his FCC 1st Class Radiotelephone License and General Class Amateur License ultimately WA6ZYK. He was hired by the Donald Reynolds organization to assist with the construction of Arkansas' second TV station, KFSA in Fort Worth in 1953. From there, he was transferred to Reno, Nev., to assist in construction of Nevada's second TV station, KOLO. In 1960, he was hired by Kelly Broadcasting, KCRA, to assist with the construction of their new transmitter site that included a 1500' tower in the Sacramento Delta. Tom retired from KCRA in 1992. He began a consulting business which he fully retired from in 2009. Tom is survived by his daughters, Diana (Len), Elaine (Neil), Mary (Paul), six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Published May 18, 2022

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