Eloise Hughes


Eloise Hughes

Eloise Katherine Voorhies was born on April 25, 1919 in Holyoke, Colorado. She was the daughter of Daniel and Hadie Voorhies of Venango, Nebraska.

She attended school in Venango while residing on a small farm southeast of town. 

After graduating from high school, she attended college at Chillicothe College in Ohio, where she met her husband to be, William Robert (Bob) Jervis who was a Kentucky native. After being married in the renowned straw bale church in Arthur, Neb., they moved eastward to Ordville, Neb., where Bob began a career as an ordinance inspector at Sioux Ordinance Depot. 

Together they had a daughter, Judith Kay and a son, Daniel Robert. After a few years, they bought their first home in Sidney, Neb., where their children were enrolled in school.

Eventually in the late 50s Bob’s career as a civilian in the Department of the Army required being transferred to different ordinance depots in the United States and abroad.

In 1958 he was positioned at Fort Wingate Ordinance Depot near Gallup, New Mexico. While stationed there for two years, Eloise began her career in civil service by working for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. In 1960, they moved to Yokohama, Japan where Bob was stationed at Ikego Ordinance Depot. 

Eloise soon resumed her career, becoming the executive secretary for the U. S. Air Force Commander of the Far East Exchange Service at Ofuna Air Force Base. In 1962, Bob was transferred to Sunny Point Ordinance Depot near Southport, North Carolina. Eloise resumed her career by becoming a secretary in the office of Colonel Duffy, the commander of the Army installation. 

In 1964 Bob was transferred to Bluegrass Army Ordinance Terminal outside of Richmond, Kentucky. Bob and Eloise bought a home in nearby Berea, Ky. Their tour of duty there was for three years and Eloise became the assistant dean of women at Berea College until Bob was transferred to Meisau Ordinance Depot in central western Germany in the summer of 1966. Eloise became the executive secretary for the Commander of Landstuhl Army Medical Hospital while living in military quarters in Kaiserslautern where their son graduated from high school in 1967. 

In 1968 Bob was transferred to Fort Campbell Army Base near Hopkinsville, Ky. where Eloise resumed her career at Fort Campbell as the chief travel agent who arranged travel itineraries for soldiers and their families. 

In 1970, Bob’s sudden death was linked to his exposure to lethal nerve gas, hazardous materials and toxic chemicals exposure endured while serving as an ordinance inspector during his career. Eloise remained employed by the Army at Fort Campbell until retiring in 1979.

In 1980, she attended a Venango school reunion where she met an honorable man named Harold H. Hughes. Harold had raised eight children near Venango and became widowed in 1973. Within six months, Harold and Eloise were married. 

Eloise sold her home in Kentucky and moved to the Hughes residence on the Brandon Road between Grant, Neb., and Venango where they lived together until buying a home in Grant on Grassland Court.

Together they began traveling abroad together and enjoying their deserving lives. In 1992, they bought a smaller home on Hancock St. where in 2006, Harold passed away peacefully leaving Eloise alone until she sold her home and moved to South Carolina where she bought a home next door to her daughter Judy near Anderson. There, she lived a quiet peaceful life with her cat, spending her time reading, playing bridge and relaxing. 

Beginning in 2014, she was able to live with minimum assistance from her daughter. Thereafter, when she was 94, she became less independent but remained living in her own home. In 2016, she wished to move back to Grant and was assisted by Judy and Dan to relocate next to the Perkins County Health Service’s assisted care facility. She became lonely and was then taken back to her home in South Carolina. By now, she required increased daily care so was moved to a nursing home where she managed for a month until passing on March 30 at the age of 97. No funeral services are arranged.

It would be unfair to Eloise to not mention many of her other achievements during her life. She successfully summitted Mt. Fuji in Japan, she visited the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal in India. She was a member of the Eastern Star, she became a Kentucky colonel and was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1968. 

Throughout her life she visited 48 countries, she was chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission in Hopkinsonsville, Ky. She was instrumental in creating the Arts Council in Grant, and thanks to her diligence by communicating with First Lady Laura Bush, received a grant for the town to purchase the building for the new Grant library as well as partnered with the Gates Foundation to receive eleven donated computers. 

She was nominated to run for county judge when she was 86 years old. She loved playing bridge and dancing with Harold. When she lived alone in Kentucky, she took up oil painting and was honored with a single-artist show in Grant displaying 26 paintings.

Eloise is survived by her daughter Judy; her grandson Dean William Swain, both of Anderson, SC; her son Daniel Robert Jervis and wife Mimi; grandson Ryan Foster Jervis, all of Carbondale, Colo.; as well as her great-grandson, Wyatt Foster Jervis, 11, residing in Hagerstown, Maryland. 

In lieu of flowers or sentiments, contributions may be given to the Grant Arts Council or the Grant Public Library.

The Grant Tribune-Sentinel

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Grant NE 69140