Little Rock Funeral Home

8801 Knoedl Ct., Little Rock

Phone: 501-224-2200

Francis Massie Hughes Jr.

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Published: November 2, 2016

Francis "Massie" Hughes, Jr., 80, died Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. He was born Aug. 10, 1936, in Bremerton, Wash., to the late Francis Massie Hughes and Katherine Jane Eynon.

Massie grew up as a Navy "junior," moving from base to base. On Dec. 7, 1941, the family was living in the Navy Quarters P on Ford Island, only about a half-block away from the USS Arizona, which was attacked. Massie's father, Cdr. Hughes, a PBY squadron commander, was the first pilot in the air after the Japanese attack.

Following in his father's footsteps, Massie graduated from the Naval Academy in 1958 and assumed duty in the destroyer Navy, serving on the Camberra and the O'Hare. His next assignment was for the commissioning of the first guided missile destroyer – the USS Charles F. Adams. As he was leaving for this new duty, Massie met the woman who would become his wife of 55 years, Diane Ahnfeldt. They were married in the Navy Chapel in Washington, D.C. The ship moved homebase to Charleston, S.C., and there, Diane taught Spanish at St. Andrew's High School, while Massie sailed the Caribbean.

Leaving the Navy after his commitment, Massie moved his family to Florida and worked for the HiAcres Orange Concentrate plant in Maitland, Fla. Milwaukee was their next home, where Massie worked for the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Co. He was then promoted to plant engineer for the new Schlitz Brewery in Winston Salem, N.C., where they lived for 10 years.

In 1980, the Hughes moved to Little Rock, where Massie took a position as facilities operations manager for the new Target Distribution Center being constructed in Maumelle, AR. Massie retired from Target after 14 years and he and Diane enjoyed traveling with friends on many groups arranged by their agency, Still Cruisin'. He enjoyed his church family at Christ the King Catholic Church, where he was an usher on most Sundays and helped with the church's fundraiser, Rexfest.

In addition to his wife, Massie is survived by an older brother, Eynon Hughes of Phoenix; step-brother, Donald Lovelace of Charleston, S.C.; step-sister, Sister Helen Louise, CSJ, of San Diego; two sons, Massie Hughes III and wife, Tammy of Warner Robins, Ga. and Kevin Hughes and wife, Tracey of Bellevue, Wash.; daughter, Kari Gillenwater and husband, Spence Fricke of Little Rock; and seven grandchildren, John "Trey" Gillenwater, Ryan Gillenwater, Madison Hughes, Mackenzie Hughes, Kaitlyn Hughes, Kennedy Hughes and Ashley Frances Hughes.

A funeral mass with military honors will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, at Christ the King Catholic Church, 4000 N. Rodney Parham, with Msgr. Francis Malone officiating. An inurnment will follow at the church's Columbarium, with a reception following the services. Visitation is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, at the Hunter's Green Clubhouse, #16 Hunter's Green Circle.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Catholic High School Foundation, 6300 Father Tribou St., Little Rock, Ark. 72205, or the local chapter of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 11324 Arcade Dr., Ste. 16, Little Rock, Ark. 72212.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Little Rock Funeral Home at 8801 Knoedl Court, Little Rock, Ark. 72205, 501-224-2200. Please sign Mr. Hughes' online guest book at www.littlerockfuneralhome.com.

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