Grover Hughes Sr.
Grover was born in Little Rock in 1925 and grew up on a dairy farm in North Little Rock. He loved baseball and the Boy Scouts and learned how to play the guitar Chet Atkins style. During WWII he joined the Navy and trained at Notre Dame and the University of Oklahoma, attaining the rank of LTJG. He played guitar for a local Navy dance band. After being discharged, Grover came through Booneville on a Greyhound Bus, where Mimi Hodges boarded and it was love at first sight. They were married at the First Baptist Church chapel in 1946.
Grover and Mimi lived in Fayetteville, where Grover received a Master of Science degree from the University of Arkansas. In 1953, they moved with two sons to Albuquerque, NM, where Grover worked as a mechanical engineer for Sandia Laboratories until retiring after 32 years. While working on tracking mounts for Sandia, Grover taught himself orbital mechanics and became the resident astronomer in chief. He enjoyed hobbies that involved astronomy and math, corresponding with other mathematicians, and working on highly advanced problems. When his sons were old enough to join the Boy Scouts, Grover became a troop scoutmaster, and when they became teenagers, he became the director of their Sunday School department. They enjoyed camping in the mountains of New Mexico and Colorado with family and friends. Grover is known for hiking four 13k+ mountain peaks, including Santa Fe Baldy, Pecos Baldy, and the Truchas Peaks. In 2004, Grover and Mimi moved to Booneville for their late retirement years. Grover was active in the community and enjoyed living here so much. He felt greatly supported by his friends, especially his neighbors. When Mimi passed away in 2017, Grover continued living in the Littlefield Estates until being reunited with her.
Grover is survived by his sons, Grover (Bill) Jr. and Greg Hughes; and grandchildren, Paul, Michael, Ruth, and Sara: step-grandchildren, Corby, Tressidy, and Jordan, and great-grandchildren, Canyon and Aspen. He was preceded in death by a step-granddaughter, Cara.
Celebration of Life donations may be made in Grover’s honor to the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch, PO Box 3964, Batesville, AR 72503.