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Florence Hughes

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Florence (Hiniker) Hughes of the Regina Retirement community passed away peacefully Sept. 27, 2009.

Born in Hastings on Valentine's Day, 1916, she was the youngest of five children and, by her siblings' accounts, the most spoiled. She was active physically, and something of a tomboy. Her family home on the corner of Sixth and Pine with its tennis court, gardens, gymnastic apparatus, orchard and barn provided plenty of opportunities for outside activity.

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The Hinikers also enjoyed a summer home they built on the shore of Lake Little Hanging Horn.

After attending St. Boniface School and Hastings High, Florence followed her sister Mil to Iowa State College where they earned the nickname "the battling Hankers" for their occasional disagreements. Later Florence went on to the University of Minnesota and, finally, the University of Wisconsin where she received a degree in sociology and was president of her sorority.

Following some additional practical study at the Minnesota School of Business, she became a secretary at Hastings High. (At a later time, she tested at 100 words a minute as a typist.) But she had a sense of adventure, and decided to join the Navy. While stationed in Washington D.C. during WWII, she met her husband Thomas Hughes from Boston. Hughes was a Harvard Business School graduate who was a financial analyst, and they settled in the Boston area. They had two sons, T. John of Denver and James (deceased) of Waltham, Mass.

Florence was a teacher and later a guidance counselor, making use of her sociology background. She loved to spend time at the family home on a bay near Cape Cod, play cards, especially bridge, and travel to places like Europe, Canada, the Canary Islands and down the Mississippi. She had a great interest in national politics and was a life-long Democrat.

Ten years ago, she moved back to Hastings. Her friends at Regina remember her sense of humor, sympathetic ear, and feisty attitude.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas Houghes; son, James Houghes; parents, Jacob and Catherine Hiniker; sisters, Marie and Seil Hiniker; and brother, Jim Hiniker.

She is survived by her son, T. John Houghes of Denver, Colo.; and sister, Mil Wieners of Hastings.

Mass of Christian burial, officiated by Father Jim Cassidy, at 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 2 at the Regina Memorial Chapel, 1175 Nininger Rd., Hastings. Interment St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Cemetery.

The Wise Family Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. To view memorial video and sign the guestbook, go to www.wisefamilyfh.com.

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