Cover photo for John "Butch" Edgar Hughes's Obituary
John "Butch" Edgar Hughes Profile Photo
1945 John "butch" 2020

John "Butch" Edgar Hughes

September 1, 1945 — October 7, 2020

John Edgar Hughes, Sr., 75, of Homerville, passed away Wednesday, October 7, 2020, at Community Hospice in Jacksonville, Fla.

John, known as "Butch" growing up in Homerville, was born on September 1, 1945 in Valdosta, the youngest child of G.C. and Bernice Wynn Hughes.

John graduated with honors from Clinch County High School in 1963, where he played football, ran track, and played basketball for the Panthers. He went to Oxford College of Emory University, then Emory University, where he graduated with a B.S. degree in 1967.  He was a member of the track team in college, and of the Sigma Chi fraternity at Emory. It was in college that he met the love of his life, Gayle Chew, of Crawfordville, Ga.

In July of 1967, Gayle and John were married, and John was commissioned into the U.S. Air Force. For the next five years, he served his country, flying missions as a navigator on a B-52 bomber during the Vietnam War.

While he was in the USAF, his two children, John and Tavia, were born.

After his service with the military, John returned to his education, graduating from the University of Georgia with a Master's in Public Administration. He then moved his family back to his hometown to work in the family business, Hughes Oil Company.

John grew the oil distribution business to add two convenience stores, 66 Fuel Center and Huey's One Stop, retiring in 2014.

John loved his hometown, and served it in many avenues. He succeeded his father as the treasurer of the Clinch County Lions Club, serving in that capacity for 44 years. He was chosen as the Lion of the Year, and also was a past president of that service organization. He served the Clinch County Chamber of Commerce as president and officer numerous times over the last four decades. Following his grandfather, who was once Homerville's mayor, John served on the Homerville City Council. At the time of his death, he was serving on the Homerville Downtown Development Authority. He served on the Empire Banking Company Board of Directors, and was a chief fundraiser for, or active participant in, many worthwhile community causes over the years. He also served on the statewide Georgia Oilmen's Association on its board of directors.

John served his God through his church, Homerville United Methodist Church. At the time of his death, he was serving as the chairman of the Finance Committee, and had held that position for decades. He served the church in a variety of ways over the years, from leadership roles on the administrative council to singing in the choir. He steered the church through several building projects. He took great pride in his stewardship of church finances, and was instrumental in paying off notes for building projects ahead of schedule.

John was a big supporter of the Clinch County Panthers, attending Panther games, and supporting the school system financially, even in his retirement. He was also a fervent Georgia Bulldog fan, being a football season ticket holder for decades.

John loved and cherished his family. His daughter, Tavia Hughes Underwood, whom he shared a special bond, preceded him in death in February of 2019. An older brother, Gilbert C. Hughes, also preceded him in death. 

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Dr. Gayle Chew Hughes, of Homerville; a son, John Edgar Hughes, Jr. of Marietta; one son-in-law, Ned Underwood, of Atlanta; one sister and brother-in-law, Wynn Hughes Tabor and Dwight Tabor of Decatur; five grandchildren, Avery Hughes and Maggie Hughes of Canton, and Bo Underwood, John Underwood and Ford Underwood, of Atlanta; a sister-in-law, Maryanne Hughes of Vancouver, B.C.; brother- and sister-in-law, Randy and Kathy Chew of Pelham; sister- and brother-in-law, Marti and Charlie Strong of Gainesville.; and a host of nieces and nephews whom adored him, and the feeling was mutual.

A private family funeral service will be held at Homerville United Methodist Church on Sunday, October 11, 2020, at 2 p.m. Due to COVID-19 concerns, only family members will attend the service, but it will be streamed online at, and on the Homerville UMC YouTube page,

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to Homerville United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 145, Homerville, GA 31634; or the Pulminary Hypertension Association, 8401 Colesville Road, Suite 200, Silver Spring, MD 20910; or the Wounded Warrior Project, 4899 Belfort Rd Suite 300, Jacksonville, FL 32256.

Roundtree Funeral Home of Homerville is handling arrangements for the Hughes family.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John "Butch" Edgar Hughes, please visit our flower store.


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