Dennis P. Hughes, 98, of Frankfort, SD passed away peacefully with his loving sister of 102 years at his side, on Saturday, April 14, 2018 at the Redfield Care and Rehabilitation Center in Redfield, SD. Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. on Monday, April 23, 2018 at St. Bernard Catholic Church in Redfield. Reverend Tom Anderson will officiate. Burial will follow at St. Ann’s Catholic Cemetery in Frankfort.
Visitation will be Sunday, from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m., at Hyke Funeral Home in Redfield with a Prayer Service and Rosary beginning at 7:00 p.m. Arrangements have been entrusted to Hyke Funeral Home (www.hykefuneralhome.com).
Dennis Patrick Hughes was born March 16, 1920 to William T. and Clara M. (Marquardt) Hughes on the family farm, southwest of Frankfort. He spent his childhood on the farm, learning to milk cows at age 5, and continuing to do so for 40 years. He also tended to the horses, pigs, and crops. Dennis went to country school until the eighth grade, and then went on to Frankfort High School, riding his pony the three miles, no matter the weather. The Hughes lived along the James River where Dennis learned to fish and swim.
Just after high school, Dennis’ father died in a tragic accident. The bank attempted to take the farm land, but with the help of some kind friends, the Hughes were able to make arrangements to buy the land back. The 1930’s were hard on the Hughes family, as with many farming families. In 1933, a tornado struck the cow barn and completely blew it away. The seven-year drought caused them to eventually lose the farm, but in 1945, they were able to buy the farm back. In 1962, they built a new house, doing much of the work themselves.
In his younger years, Dennis loved the night life. He would go to Frankfort for cash drawings and dances on Wednesday nights. He also went to Redfield for dances at the Pavilion or to catch a few baseball games. Dennis, from a young age, loved airplanes and started building model airplanes as a child. He loved riding and learned how to fly from some of his pheasant hunters who were flight instructors. Dennis bought his own airplane and flew until he developed glaucoma. After that, he learned to fly radio-controlled airplanes and continued to do so until the age of 85. Dennis was an accomplished woodworker and had built many things for the church in Frankfort and the Frankfort Community Center.
In his later years, Dennis became an avid traveler and adventurer. After retiring from farming, he took many trips which included: 48 states, including Hawaii and Alaska, Rome, Mexico, Brazil, and South America. Dennis also had opportunities to see the first men that walked on the moon and to shake hands with President John F. Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy.
Dennis was a member of St. Bernard Catholic Church and a Grand Knight and Fourth Degree Knight with the Redfield Knights of Columbus. He was also a board member for the country school, St. Ann’s Catholic Church and cemetery. He spent 30 years as a trustee for the Frankfort township and worked on organizing all the school reunions.
Dennis is survived by his loving sister, Esther Hughes, of Frankfort; his nephew, Larry (Kathleen) Noll of Akron, IA; and his nieces: Patricia Fialkowski and Helen (Jerry) Sabaska, all of Chippewa, WI. He is survived by his great nieces and nephews: Mary, Tom, Jess, Karla, Tom, Karen, John, Bill, Colleen, and Dayna as well as many great-great nieces and nephews. In addition, Dennis is survived by many cousins living in Canada, California, Washington and Wisconsin.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers: James Donald, William Lee, and Clark; and his sister, Ruth.