Opp Postmaster brightened lives of workers

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 19, 2014

Opp Postmaster Terry Hughes’s up-beat presence at Opp Post Office will not be easily replaced, according to postal workers who say he brightened their lives right up until his untimely death Saturday.

Bob Bannister, a clerk at Opp’s post office, said Hughes was battling leukemia for the third time when he finally lost his decade-long fight with the disease late last week.

“He became the postmaster here about three years ago,” Bannister said. “But I knew him when he worked at the post offices in Florala and Andalusia, so I’d known him about 10 years.”

In all, Hughes dedicated 17 years of his life to the U.S. Postal Service, and Bannister said he was one of the finest men he can imagine working for.

“He was probably one of the most upbeat people you’d ever want to meet, even when he was the sickest,” Bannister said. “He’d take the heat when we goofed up, but he’d never raise his voice when he was having to correct you. He always looked out for us here.”

In addition to his compassion and love of people, Bannister said Hughes was a sharp and efficient postmaster.

“He had a very analytical mind,” Bannister said. “He could look at a problem and solve it probably quicker than anyone I’ve ever known.”

Even the problem of cancer, Bannister said, Hughes met with grace and determination.

“He first found out about (the leukemia) about ten years ago,” he said. “This was the second time it had shown up in the last two years. He had taken some time off and had been back at work about six-to-eight months when it came back this third time. He had just started having to go through another round of chemo when he passed.”

Hughes, an Opp native, was laid to rest Wednesday in Florala, where he grew up and graduated from Florala High School. He was also a graduate of McArthur Technical College and served as a non-commissioned officer in the U.S. Army.

Hughes was also a long-time and heavily involved member of Masonic Fidelity Lodge No. 685, Order of the Eastern Star, as well as a member of the National Postmasters of the United States. He was 57 years old at the time of his death.

He leaves behind his wife of 23 years, Patty Hughes, as well as two sons, Tyler and Levi.

Those wishing to make memorials may do so through contributions made in Hughes’ honor to the NAPUS Scholarship Fund c/o Bonnie Bozeman, P.O. Box 425, Berry, AL 35546; the Masonic Fidelity Lodge #685, P.O. Box 685, Florala, AL 36442; or Cancer Freeze P.O. Box 92, Florala, AL 36442.