Dr. Bernard “Bernie” O. Hughes


Dr. Bernard “Bernie” Owen Hughes, 96, longtime Superior resident, died, Saturday, June 27, 2020, at New Perspectives Senior Living in Superior, Wis. Bernie was born in St. Paul, Minn., May 2, 1924, the only child of Owen and Addie (Thatcher) Hughes. He was raised on a dairy farm, nine miles west of Menomonie, Wis., before electricity, running water, and inside toilets. He grew up milking cows, and feeding and caring for pigs, chickens, and other farm animals. Bernie attended Lucas Valley Elementary with one teacher for eight grades and an inadequate library. He graduated from Dunn County Agricultural High School, Menomonie. He attended UW-Stout before enlisting in the US Army, Dec. 10, 1942, for WWII. He was honorably discharged, Sept. 13, 1945. Bernie married Miss Jean Francis Stoll, daughter of Daniel and Delia (Olson) Stoll, on Nov. 19, 1944, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Menomonie. To this union three children were born: Barry, MaryBeth, and Terry. Following Bernie’s military service, he worked at the Menomonie Aluminum Plant and reentered UW-Stout where, before graduating, he was offered a teaching job in Poplar, Mont., tribal headquarters for the Assiniboine Indian Nation. He taught junior and senior high school there for six years and completed his BA at Stout and MA from the University of Minnesota. Bernie was an educator for many years, serving as Superintendent of Schools for 13 years, the last five in Hamilton, Mont., where, during those years, he finished his PhD at Washington State University. He served as the Director of Lab School for two years at Mankato University, after which he worked 19 years at the UW-Superior, retiring as Emeritus Professor in 1997 to fulfill traveling plans with his wife who had terminal brain cancer. She died Feb.15, 1999, following 54 years of marriage. Bernie wrote many columns for Duluth and Superior newspapers stressing needs for social justice. He also was an active volunteer in retirement, driving for the Aging Resource Center, conducting duties for the Catholic Charities Office, and driving people to Duluth for doctor appointments, etc. He played handball regularly to the age of 80. In 2003, Bernie married Joyce R. Kunz, née Nichols, fellow church member at the Duluth Unitarian Church, who had similarly lost her husband; she died on Mar. 10, 2020. Bernie is survived by his children: Barry (Janet) Hughes, MaryBeth (Ron) Scavo, and Terry (Joy) Hughes; grandchildren: Marc Scavo, Angela (Steve) Kokesh, Melinda (Arjen) van Eijmeren, Daniel (Lauren) Hughes; and great grandchildren: Megan Jean Kokesh, Anna Kokesh, Molly Kokesh, Adelaide Hughes, and Lyla Hughes. Should friends desire, in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Bernie’s name to Senior Connections, 1805 N. 16th Street, Superior, WI 54880, YMCA, 9 N. 21st Street, Superior, WI 54880, or to Shriners Hospital or Planned Parenthood. The Downs-LeSage Funeral Home in Superior is assisting the family with arrangements. For extended information on Bernie, or to leave a condolence or sign the guestbook, please see

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