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 Hoyt Edward Hughes

Hoyt Edward Hughes

Birth
Macksville, Stafford County, Kansas, USA
Death 13 Mar 2011 (aged 79)
Indianola, Pittsburg County, Oklahoma, USA
Burial McAlester, Pittsburg County, Oklahoma, USA
Plot Sec. 30
Memorial ID 66896653 · View Source
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Retired OHP Trooper Hoyt Hughes dies at 79

Hoyt Hughes' partner was down, but there was no time for the state trooper to think about it. Hughes, who had been wounded in the preceding gunbattle, knew that the two cornered killers had no intentions of being taken alive, and now they were coming for him. From the driver's side of his Oklahoma Highway Patrol car, Hughes watched as escaped convicts Claude Dennis and Michael Lancaster, the subjects of a multistate manhunt, emerged from cover and started toward him, their guns raised. They didn't get far. Trooper Mike Williams drove up right at that moment, and they saw him and retreated into the brush. "By then," Williams said, Hughes "was outside his car, and it looked like he was trying to load his automatic. But he was injured and couldn't do it. So he grabbed (his partner's) rifle and fired - and I saw Lancaster fall." Williams then shot and killed Dennis, bringing the escapees' monthlong spree of murder and mayhem to an end. The price had been steep for the OHP. Not only was Hughes' partner, Lt. Pat Grimes, dead, so were Troopers Houston "Pappy" Summers and Billy Young, whose bodies were found shortly afterward on a lonely dirt road. That day, May 26, 1978, would come to be known as the "OHP's Darkest Day." Retired Lt. Hoyt Hughes, who received a Purple Heart and a promotion for his role in the capture, died Sunday in Indianola. He was 79. A funeral service is set for 2 p.m. Thursday at Bishop Funeral Home in McAlester. Hughes and his fallen comrades were lauded for their bravery, and after recovering from his injuries, he resumed his career with the OHP. Law enforcement was in his blood. His grandfather had been a Texas Ranger, and his father, a police officer, later worked for many years at an Oklahoma prison. But Hughes never forgot Grimes, with whom he had worked for a few years. "He moved on, but it was never far from his memory," Hughes' daughter Rhonda Bailey said. "He was affected by it for the rest of his life." Hughes was 46 at the time and a supervisor in the OHP's Internal Affairs Division when he and Grimes were called in to assist with the manhunt. Dennis and Lancaster, who a month earlier had escaped from the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester through a utility tunnel, had since been linked to five killings, two shootouts and car thefts in several states. But on May 26, Dennis, who had been serving time for manslaughter, and Lancaster, a convicted robber, were reported back in Oklahoma. They had stolen a pickup in Bryan County and were on the move. With hundreds of officers from several agencies closing in, the convicts encountered and killed Summers and Young on a dirt road near Kenefic. Soon after, the fugitives parked their truck in some brush near a house in Caddo. That's where, when Hughes and Grimes arrived minutes later, the final showdown unfolded. Hughes never considered a change of careers, family members said. "He loved his job," Bailey said. Hughes retired in 1987 after 25 years. "He was a super guy," said Williams, who retired from the OHP in 2002. "Hoyt was fun to be around, but when it was time to be serious, he took care of business. I would've trusted him with my life." Williams said he and Hughes "never really sat down and talked about" what took place. "He knew what had happened and I knew what had happened, so we just looked at each other and were grateful," he said. "It didn't require a lot of words." Hughes is survived by his wife, Carrie Hughes; three daughters, Rhonda Bailey, Leslie Fling and Carrie Lynn Hughes; two sisters, Lois Maricich and Bernie Gilpin; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
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Hoyt was the son of Hoyt Ralph and Zelma (Parton) Hughes. He grew up in Pawhuska, graduating in 1951. He served in the United States Navy from 1951 to 1955 on the destroyer USS Cassin Young. He worked in the oil fields from Montana to the Gulf and then for Bell Telephone. He married Carrie Lou Murdaugh on April 20, 1957, in Ada. He worked for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol from April 1, 1962 to October 1987, retiring at the rank of lieutenant. He had a long and distinguished career with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol covering Harrah, Oklahoma City, Guthrie, Edmond, McAlester, Lake Patrol and Internal Affairs. He then worked for the Oklahoma Department of Motor Vehicles as an examiner. In 1973 he served as deputy warden at Oklahoma State Penitentiary after the riot. He was a member of OHP Retired Troopers Association, Cattlemens Association and member and director of Pittsburg County Fairground. He enjoyed traveling with his wife and also following his family who participated in music, shows, car races, horse shows and rodeos. He also enjoyed his horses, raising livestock and watching basketball. He passed away at his home in Indianola at the age of 79. Survivors include his wife, Carrie Lou Hughes, of the home; daughters, Rhonda Bailey and husband, Doyle, of Tulsa, Leslie Fling and husband, Mike, of Edmond, and Carrie Lynn Hughes and Kelly Smith, of Indianola. Also, grandchildren, Michael Adkisson, of Tulsa, Tyler Fling, of Edmond, Kinsey Fling, of Edmond, Betsy Fellwock and husband, Michael, of Tulsa, Amy Bailey, of Tulsa, Jill Garcia and husband, Jeromy, Houston, Amy Smith, of Indianola, and Nicole Smith, of Indianola. And, great-grandchildren, Connor, Bailey, Beckett and Noah; sisters, Lois Maricich, White Deer, Texas, and Bernie Gilpin, Bakersfield, Calif. And, brothers-in-law, Bud Murdaugh and wife, Margaret, of Stuart, Bill Murdaugh and wife, Velba, of McAlester, and Ben Murdaugh and wife, Paula, of McAlester, and numerous nieces, nephews, other family and friends. He was preceded in death by his father, Hoyt R. Hughes; mother, Zelma Hughes; stepmother, Jerry Chiausana, and a sister, Arena Trotter. Pallbearers will be members of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Honor Guard. Honorary pallbearers will be Dick Conley, Lesta Oliver, Jim Painter, Charlie Chambers, Paul Johnson, Rocky Murdaugh, Dusty Murdaugh, Alan Murdaugh, Clay Murdaugh, Todd Murdaugh, Matt Murdaugh, Blake Murdaugh, Rhett Murdaugh, Nabe Murdaugh, Jimmy Hoch, Billy Hoch, David Gilpin, Bill Gilpin and Donald Wayne Trotter. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Thursday, March 17, 2011, at Bishop Chapel of Memories with Chaplain Sam Garner officiating. Burial will be at Oak Hill Cemetery in McAlester. Honors will be provided by Oklahoma Highway Patrol Honor Guard. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Bishop Funeral Service of McAlester.


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  • Created by: MillieBelle
  • Added: 14 Mar 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 66896653
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Hoyt Edward Hughes (26 Dec 1931–13 Mar 2011), Find A Grave Memorial no. 66896653, citing Oak Hill Memorial Park, McAlester, Pittsburg County, Oklahoma, USA ; Maintained by MillieBelle (contributor 46628380) .