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Robert Hughes

Robert Bates “Bob” Hughes

November 2nd, 1937 - April 18th, 2024

Bob's Obituary

Robert “Bob” Bates Hughes, treasured partner, lauded business leader, community servant, and friend to many, passed away on April 18, 2024, at the age of 86. Bob peacefully left our world at his home in Benton Harbor, Michigan in the care and comfort of many who loved him dearly.

Bob was born November 2, 1937, to the late Rev. Horace and Grace Hughes in Englewood, New Jersey. He was raised in New Jersey, graduated from Tenafly High School in 1955, and furthered his education at Michigan State University on a track scholarship. Bob graduated from MSU in 1959 and then completed his military obligation with the United States Army at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

Bob’s career began in 1960 in the life insurance and financial planning business, ultimately retiring as a Senior Financial Representative with the Principal Financial Group. He gained certification of several professional designations throughout his time in business. During his tenure in insurance and financial services, Bob served as President of the Central Michigan Association of Health Underwriters, Michigan Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), and the Chairman of the Life Underwriter Training Council. Bob also worked as an instructor at Michigan State University in the Insurance School for state licensing of agents for health and life insurance and had been a moderator for Life Underwriting Insurance Council courses. Bob received numerous awards and honors for his work in the industry, among them being inducted into the Michigan Insurance Hall of Fame.

Having lived in East Lansing for over 65 years, Bob was involved in many church, civic, and community organizations. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Lansing serving in different capacities through the years. Bob was appointed to the boards of the Parkwood YMCA, the Greater Lansing Estate Planning Council, Red Cross Development Committee, and the Agent Education Advisory Council for the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. He was also a past Chairman of the Board for the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, and a past Chairman of the Board for Sparrow Specialty Hospital. As a lifelong champion of Michigan State University, Bob was involved as a member of several organizations within the University.

Bob also found great pleasure in golf, biking Leelanau County, running, photography, travel, reading, and frequent visits to the MSU Dairy Store. Bob’s humor and wit-infused storytelling were always a staple at many gatherings.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, and a brother. He leaves behind a legacy of love, survived by his sister Helen Fry; his three children, Robert L. (Laura); Christopher J. (Elizabeth); and Heather E. Howe (Terry); seven adored grandchildren, Allison, Kyle, RJ, Aryana, Austin, Alden and Logan; his life partner Dianne Sheppard, her two daughters, Carole Reitz (Matt) and Kimberly Bennett; her six grandchildren, Nathan, Alexandria, Ryan, Mason, Abigail and Nicholas.

A memorial service to celebrate Bob’s life will be held on May 1, 2024 at First Presbyterian Church of Lansing, 510 Ottawa Street Lansing, Michigan. The memorial will begin with visitation at 2:00 PM, a service at 3:00 PM followed by a light meal. If you are able to attend the memorial, please consider wearing a piece of Green and White to honor Bob’s enthusiasm for Michigan State University.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Michigan State University Track and Field Program, 550 S. Harrison Rd., East Lansing, MI 48823 and/or the First Presbyterian Church of Lansing. For those wishing to leave an online condolence, please go to www.heritage-chapel.com.

Robert “Bob” Bates Hughes will be deeply missed, but his humor, zest for life, and love will continue to impact all of those who knew him. As Bob often signed off, “See you around the campus, and Go Green!”

Service Details

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Additional Visitation Information

Visitation & Service will be held at First Presbyterian Church of Lansing, 510 Ottawa St., Lansing, Michigan. The visitation is from 2:00 to 3:00 pm with the service to follow.