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Gov. Harry Roe Hughes

November 13, 1926 ~ March 13, 2019 (age 92)


Governor Harry Roe Hughes of Denton, MD passed away on Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at his home. He was 92 years old.

Governor Hughes was born on November 13, 1926 and was the son of the late Jonathan Longfellow Hughes and Helen Roe Hughes. His beloved wife of 60 years, Patricia Donoho Hughes, passed away on January 20, 2010 after suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

Governor Hughes grew up in Denton and graduated from Caroline High School in 1943. His passion was baseball and he had been signed as a pitcher for a Yankee farm team in his twenties. During WWII, he joined the Naval Air Corps and after the war ended he enrolled at the University of MD and subsequently graduated from the George Washington University Law School. After graduation, he and his wife, Pat, moved to Denton where he practiced law.

In 1954, Governor Hughes was elected to the MD House of Delegates and was elected to the MD Senate in 1958 where he served until 1970, eventually becoming its Majority Floor Leader. In 1971, he was appointed Maryland’s first Secretary of Transportation. He eventually ran for the office of governor and was inaugurated governor in 1979.

After two successful terms as governor, Governor Hughes returned to the practice of law in Baltimore at the law firm of Patton Boggs and Blow. He later retired and returned to the Eastern Shore and chaired the Harry R. Hughes Agro-Ecology Center and served as a member of the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy and other entities concerned with preserving the environment. In the ensuing years, Governor Hughes wrote his autobiography, My Unexpected Journey, and took care of his beloved wife, Pat, to whom he attributed his success.

Governor Hughes is survived by two daughters: Ann Fink and son-in-law (Michael) and Elizabeth R. Hughes and her partner (Terrie); a grandson, Andrew; and many nieces, nephews, and great grandchildren. In addition to his wife and parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Jonathan Hughes.

The family thanks those caregivers who cared for him enthusiastically and with true compassion later in his life. The family gives a special thanks to Cindy Sharer, Governor and Mrs. Hughes’ long-time personal assistant whose organizational skills, persistence, and good humor helped Governor Hughes live a full life until his death.

A funeral service will be held at the St. Anne’s Episcopal Church located at 199 Duke of Gloucester Street in Annapolis at 12 Noon on Thursday, March 21st. On Wednesday, March 20th, the family will greet friends from 4 until 6 at the Moore Funeral Home, P.A. located at 12 S. Second Street in Denton to sign a Register Book. The interment will be private.

If friends wish to send memorial donations, the family requests for them to be sent to the Harry R. Hughes Agro-Ecology Center, 124 Wye Narrows Drive, PO Box 159, Queenstown, MD 21658 or to the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, 114 Washington St., Ste 101, Easton, MD 21601. To offer online condolences and tributes, please visit

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gov. Harry Roe Hughes, please visit our floral store.


March 20, 2019

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Moore Funeral Home, P.A.
12 S. Second Street
Denton, MD 21629

Funeral Service
March 21, 2019

12:00 PM
St. Anne's Episcopal Church
199 Duke of Gloucester Street
Annapolis, MD 21401


Hughes Agro-Ecology Center
P.O. Box 169, Queenstown MD 21658

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy
114 Washington Street, Easton MD 21601

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