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Whitfield Funeral Home
Little Davenport
Hamilton Mill

William (Russ) Russell Hughes III

Obituary Date: Thursday, August 7, 2014
William "Russ" Russell Hughes III, 68, died on Thursday August 7, 2014 surrounded by loved ones.

Russ was born on September 21, 1945. A native of Gainesville, Georgia, he was the son of Mildred and Billy Hughes. After graduating from Gainesville High School and Wofford College, Russ served as an officer in the U.S. Army, achieving Ranger designation and the rank of Captain. Following military service in Germany, he earned his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology at the University of Alabama.

Russ dedicated his career to promoting the dignity of the mentally ill. After serving community mental health centers in Sylacauga, Alabama and in Beaufort, S.C., he joined the South Carolina Department of Mental Health in 1984. During his long service to D.M.H., he served as director of C.M. Tucker Nursing Care Center and later of G. Werber Bryan Psychiatric Hospital. While at Tucker Center he was instrumental in implementing the "Eden Alternative" of care to make nursing facilities more homelike, and while at Bryan Hospital he was active in national trainings to make seclusion and restraint methods more humane.

Russ was devoted to his family and friends, his love and joy extending far beyond his wife and children. He was a lifelong lover of water who reveled in boating on Lake Murray or sitting on a Lowcountry beach. He was an active member of the Episcopal Church of the Cross. And on Saturdays in the fall, he was guaranteed to be cheering "Roll Tide!" as Alabama took the field. Loved ones will remember him for his warmth, his quiet strength, his wit, and his generosity.

He is missed and celebrated by his wife Laura W. Hughes; his children Krista E. Hughes (Michael), Genevieve Alert (Jason), Joshua Galen Sloan (Sarah), Aubrey Sloan, and Julian Sloan; his grandson Beckett Alert; his sister Sherma Dunagan; his brother Jim Henderson (Jan); numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews; and all who were graced to know him. Russ was predeceased by his brother John, his sister Millie, and his parents.

Funeral services for will be held at 12:30 Thursday, August 14, at the Episcopal Church of the Cross at 7244 Patterson Rd., Columbia, SC 29209 with interment to follow at the Fort Jackson National Cemetery, 4170 Percival Road. Visitation will be held from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Wednesday, August 13 at Thompson Funeral Home, 845 Leesburg Rd.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI SC, P.O. Box 1267, Columbia, SC 29202 or to the "Russ Hughes Memorial Fund," The Episcopal Church of the Cross, P.O. Box 9561, Columbia, SC 29209.

Those wishing to leave online condolences may do so at
Funeral Date
08/14/2014 at 12:00AM
Funeral Home
Little & Davenport funeral Home