Obituary: Vester T. Hughes

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Vester T. Hughes Jr., an attorney and philanthropist deeply involved in Texas Baptist life, died Jan. 29 at age 88 in Dallas. He was born May 24, 1928 to Vester T. Hughes and Mary Ellen Tisdale Hughes in San Angelo and grew up in Mertzon. He graduated valedictorian of his class at Kentucky Military Institute, began his undergraduate studies at Baylor University, completed his bachelor’s degree at Rice University, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, and graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1952. He served as a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark until he entered the military, serving as an officer in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the U.S. Army stationed in Paris, France. During his long career in private practice as a tax attorney, he argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, successfully lobbied Congress to amend federal tax laws on several occasions, and throughout his career frequently was called upon by staff members of the U.S. Treasury Department and Congress for his views on tax policy and pending legislation. He was a deacon at Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas. He received the Torch of Conscience Award from the American Jewish Congress’ southwest region in 1996 and the Russell H. Perry Free Enterprise Award in 2012 from Dallas Baptist University, where he served as a trustee from 1968 to 1977. Hughes served on the boards of numerous charitable organizations, including the Communities Foundation of Texas and Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Crippled Children. His sister, Elizabeth Hughes Pool, preceded him in death.


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