Gerald (Jerry) Lee Hughes, Jr., passed away peacefully at his home on Ground Hog Mountain, Patrick County, Virginia on July 23, 2020. He was 69. Jerry graduated from Bluefield High School, earned his undergraduate degree from West Virginia University, where he was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity, and his MBA from the West Virginia College of Graduate Studies. He was a Northwestern Mutual Insurance agent and owned the Institutional Linen Service in Bluefield, VA before starting a career in education and economic development at Concord College and West Virginia Tech. In 1988 Jerry became the first Director of Longwood University’s Small Business Development Center which served over 15 counties in Southside Virginia. He later became the Director of Continuing Education and Economic Development at Longwood University where he provided leadership for all of the University’s off campus credit courses and on campus non-credit courses in addition to leading all economic development initiatives and won several state awards for his work. Jerry went on to serve two years as the Director of Economic Development for Manassas Park, VA. In 2002 he was hired by the late Governor Gerald Baliles to be the Director of the Patrick County Education Foundation. In 2012, Jerry became the Town Manager of Independence, VA. He retired in June 2018. Jerry was involved with the Special Olympics, Bluefield Lions Club, the Farmville Jaycees, the Stuart Rotary Club and served on the Board of Directors of the Allegheny Memorial Hospital in Sparta, NC. Additionally, he served as president of the Virginia Economic Developers Association and served on the Board of Directors providing leadership in economic development for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Jerry loved the mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway where he loved to take his Porsche convertible out for a drive with his chocolate lab, Blue, and wife, Brenda. Needless to say Blue drew a lot of attention. Jerry was an avid West Virginia University football and basketball fan. He loved his time spent with his children, step-children, and grandchildren.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents Gerald L. Hughes Sr. and Vivian Hughes of Bluefield, WV and brother-in-law, Tom Linkous of Morgantown, WV. He is survived by his loving wife, Brenda; his son Jeremy Hughes (Jackie) of Great Falls, VA; daughter Meghan Wingerter (Daryle) of Haymarket, VA; step-daughter Sheri Atkins of Farmville, VA; step-son Brian Atkins (Karen) of Farmville, VA; his grandchildren, Brody Hughes, Taylor Miller, Jaydin Miller of Great Falls, VA; Eve Wingerter and Mack Wingerter of Haymarket, VA; and Olivia Gordon, Cole Atkins, Thomas Atkins, Mary Page Atkins, and Blake Tharpe of Farmville, VA, and one great-grandchild, Dakota Tharpe of Farmville, VA; sister, Kathy Linkous of Morgantown, WV; brother, Matt (Tammy) of Roswell, GA; uncle, Jim Hughes (Peg) of Abingdon, VA; numerous nieces and nephews; and special friends Hank (Leah) Kim of Farmville, VA.
A celebration of Jerry’s life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society for Pancreatic Cancer Research, PO Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK. 73123.