Leo Michael Hughes

April 4, 1927 ~ May 30, 2016 (age 89)
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Leo Michael Hughes, 89, died at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester, MN on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, 2016, from injuries sustained in a May 21 farming accident.  He was born on April 4, 1927, to James and Lauretta (Gallagher) Hughes on the family farm located in Maryland Township in Swift County near Danvers, MN. He graduated from Benson High School in 1944 and entered the U.S. Navy on June 6, 1944, receiving his training at Great Lakes Naval Training Center in Chicago.  He served in the South Pacific theater for the remainder of World War II.  Upon returning home in May 1946, he farmed with his father.

On June 23, 1951, he married Helen Rose Foley at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Murdock, MN.  On March 17, 1952, they moved to Pilot Mound Township in Fillmore County near Chatfield, MN, to begin farming, where he continued to farm until his death.

Leo served on the Chatfield Public Schools school board for nine years, and the Pilot Mound Township Board for eighteen years.  He also served on the Saint Mary’s Catholic Church Parish Advisory Board and School Board in Chatfield, MN.  In February 1997, he received the River-Friendly Farmer Program Award.  He was an honorary life member of the Knights of Columbus Council 2129 in Benson, MN.

Leo is survived by his eight children; two sons, James “Jim” (Cindy) of Marysville, WA, Daniel “Dan” (Elaine) of Austin, MN; six daughters, Mary (Dennis) Ludwig, Kathleen (Greg) Spoo and Lauretta “Laurie” Hughes, all of Rochester, MN, Shannan Hughes of Minneapolis, MN, Rita Buehler of  Kasson, MN, and Mollie Hughes of Austin, MN; eight grandchildren, Jacci Alspaugh of Everett, WA, Paul (Michelle) Hughes of Covington, WA, Philip “Phil” (Kathie) Hughes and Shannan (Mike) Smith, both of Rochester, MN, Meghan Spoo of Eagan, MN,  Erin (Sam) Tashima of West Bloomfield, MI, and Luke and Mary Buehler of Kasson, MN; five great-grandsons, Matthew Alspaugh, of Everett, WA, Killian Thorne and Gryphon Hughes of Covington, WA, and Robert and David Hughes of Rochester, MN.

He also is survived by sisters Lauretta Schneider of Farmington, MN, and Maureen Nowak of Mapleton, MN, brother Joseph C.“Joe” (Christine) Hughes of San Diego, CA, sister-in-law Edna Hughes of Chatfield, MN, numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Helen, in 2001; two sisters, Iona Street and Eileen Kicker, and three brothers, Clement, who died in childhood, Clyde, and Robert Hughes.

Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:00 AM, Friday, June 3th, 2016, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Chatfield with Father Thomas Loomis officiating.  Visitation will be from 4:00 - 7:30 PM at St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Thursday, June 2nd, concluding with a Prayer Service at 7:30 PM.   Visitation will continue one hour prior to the Mass at the church on Friday.   The Rite of Committal will follow the Mass on Friday at Calvary Cemetery, also in Chatfield.  Military honors will be accorded by the Chatfield VFW Post 6913.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to  St. Mary’s Catholic Church Organ Fund. 
Riley Funeral Home in Chatfield is assisting the family with arrangements.   To share a condolence with the family, please visit

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