Serving the greater Tulsa area for 80 years.
Obituary of Thomas Jefferson Hughes, III
Thomas Jefferson Hughes, III died peacefully at home Wednesday, October 18, 2023. He will be remembered for his love of family, lifelong passion for business, kind and generous spirit, good sense of humor and as a visionary leader.
Tom was born May 10, 1933 to the late Elizabeth Hatfield Hughes and Thomas Jefferson Hughes, Jr. in Cushing, Oklahoma where he spent his youth. As was a tradition in his family, he graduated from New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, New Mexico. He continued his education at the University of Oklahoma where he earned a B.S degree in Business. He was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. He then served in the US Marines Corp achieving the rank of Captain.
In 1957 Tom joined Hughes Lumber Company, his family’s building materials business centered in Cushing, Oklahoma. He was methodical, focused and committed to the company and his employees. In 1970 he moved the corporate office to Tulsa. He served as CEO until 2014 when his son, Robert began serving in that position. Hughes Lumber Company will celebrate its 100th Anniversary in 2025 largely due to the strong tradition upheld by the family. Tom was a savvy workaholic whose work was a constant satisfaction to him. Related to his business interest, he served as chairman of the Board of Lumberman’s Merchandising Corporation. He also was state chairman of the YPO chapter as well as serving on the International Board of YPO.
In Tulsa, Tom was deeply committed to the betterment of the community. Beginning in 1976, he served on the board of BOK Financial Corporation and the Bank of Oklahoma for 23 years. He served as Chairman of the Metropolitan Tulsa Chamber of Commerce as well as the Holland Hall Board of Trustees, The Board of Governors of Southern Hills Country Club, the board of Trustees of the First Presbyterian Church, the board of Tulsa’s Community Hospital Authority and the Salvation Army Dinner. In recognition of his community leadership and service, the Tulsa Historical Society inducted him and his wife, Sally into the Tulsa Hall of Fame in 2017.
Tom and Sally Ann Lively of Oklahoma City were married December 9, 1961 when they began their life together. They have three children, Jeff, Robert and Holly and seven grandchildren. While Tom will be remembered as a business and community leader, the part of his life that brought him the most pleasure and satisfaction was his family. He was an encouraging, loving father and grandfather.
Traveling with family and friends was truly a pleasure to Tom, especially when it involved golf in a beautiful place. Summers in Crested Butte, Colorado and time spent in Montecito, California over 25 years were prime time. He especially liked holiday festivities and small gatherings with dear friends. Starting his day with “The Tulsa World” and “The Wall Street Journal” was a necessity.
Tom was a man of integrity, loyalty, personal warmth and appreciation of his family, friends and employees. He handled his health setbacks in his final years with grace and strength. His mark on the lives he touched will remain always.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Sally; their children, Thomas Jefferson Hughes IV, Robert Lively Hughes, and Holly Ann Hughes Lehman and her husband Scott Fowler Lehman; their grandchildren, Lauren Elizabeth Lehman Campbell and her husband William Morgan Campbell, Lindsey Lee Lehman, Elaine Ansley Lehman, John Lockwood Hughes, Robert Lively Hughes, II, Margaret Anne Hughes and William Lee Secrist. Tom was preceded in death by his brother, John Hatfield Hughes.
A memorial service will be held 4:00 pm Thursday, October 26 at First Presbyterian Church.
For those desiring, a contribution may be made in Tom’s name for the benefit of First Presbyterian Church of Tulsa, Music Department, 700 S. Boston, Tulsa, OK 74119 and First Tee of Tulsa, 5223 East 41st Street North, Tulsa, OK 74115.
Ninde Funeral & Cremation (918) 742-5556 | ninde.com
In Loving Memory
Thomas Hughes, III
1933 - 2023
To this day, Ninde Funeral Directors is owned and operated by the Ninde family, making it one of the only remaining original family owned funeral companies in Tulsa. Founded on a commitment to family service, Ninde continues to provide unparalleled funeral excellence... and have for over seventy-five years.
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