My Mother, Emmajane Smith and my Dad’s sister Margaret Hughes met when they were 18 years old and living in Lexington Missouri. They became fast friends. During a visit to the Hughes Family Farm in 1937 my Mother met my Dad, Douglas Hughes. They really didn’t like each other!
My Mother was already married to her first husband, Earl Joseph Wilson (1936), and had my brother Gordon Wilson (1937) when the two of them first met.
In November of 1937 my Dad married his first wife Mildred Marie Shockley and in February 1938 they had a son, Benjamin Hughes. 3 months later Benjamin died of Acute Bronchial Pneumonia. One month later Mildred died of Tuberculosis at the age of 17 years old.
I do not know what happened to Earl but I do know that by 1940 he was no longer in the picture. My Mother then married George Charles Lierman in Lexington Missouri. They did not have any children. George and my Mother divorced sometime in 1945. George (Charles) remarried and was killed in a house fire in May of 1948. The gas stove in their house exploded and George and his 3 stepsons were the only ones at home. All four died of their burns.
In 1945 my Dad married Mildred McQuillen. Although Mildred was only 18 years old she had already been married previously and had a daughter named Loretta. They never had any children together. In early 1948 my Dad and Mildred got divorced.
For 11 years my Mother and Dad saw each other quite often mainly because of the friendship between my Aunt and my Mother. After his divorce from Mildred my Dad began to drink heavily. I don’t know if he drank much before this time but my Aunt said at this time he would drink anything alcoholic, even rubbing alcohol. When my parents decided to get married the only condition was that my Dad stops drinking. On December 13, 1948 my parents ran away to Arkansas and got married. My Dad kept his promise and never had another drink.
My parents were married for almost 26 years when my Dad died of lung cancer in 1974. My Mother never remarried and lived until she was 80 years old dying in 1999.
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