What can be done in 96 years?
Local man recounts his life in Wheaton
Not many people live their whole lives within a few miles of where they were born, but 96-year-old Wheaton resident Floyd Hughes, born July 19, 1923, is an exception.
Hughes, who has lived in or near Wheaton except for the three years he spent in Europe with the U.S. Army, said he and his wife used to own a little drug store in Wheaton, which they bought in 1949 and ran for 29 years.
“It was really a sundry store, not a drug store,” he said. “We had drugs there, but we couldn’t call it that because I wasn’t a pharmacist.”
Hughes said they sold ice-cream and soda, and they made milkshakes and malts.
“Plus, we had medicines and toys,” he said. “My wife had a line of jewelry she would sell.”
Hughes said he served in the Army from 1943-1946.
“About 30 months of that was overseas,” he said. “I traveled through Europe, Iceland, England, France and Germany.”
Hughes said after the Army, he came home which was about 4.5 miles from Wheaton.
“I have lived in this area all my life,” he said. “After I came home from the service, my wife and I started going together. She was raised in Wheaton, and we got married in 1949.”
Hughes said his wife was a former postmaster in Wheaton, then she retired.
“When we sold the store, I got into real estate,” he said. “I worked in Cassville doing that for about 12 years. [My wife] passed away about 11 years ago. Now, I live alone. I go to the coffee shop and drink coffee, and I have my garden.”
Hughes said he and his wife had two boys.
“I have seven grandchildren and I think about 11 great grandchildren now,” he said.
Hughes said he is getting to were he can’t see to drive, so he rides his bike anywhere he needs to go.
“I have a good friend, Kay Lombard, and her husband passed away last year,” he said. “We go places together and she drives. I can’t see well enough to get my license, but I can see enough to ride my bicycle here in Wheaton.”
Hughes said he has been in Wheaton so long he knows where to go.
“I was on the volunteer fire department for 25 years, and I was on the city council for a couple of years,” he said. “I love living in a small town and have so many friends because you know everyone.”
Hughes said he makes sourdough bread sometimes, and a friend of his brings him meals on the weekends so he takes bread to her, too.
Hughes said he enjoys spending his time outside hunting, fishing and going to baseball games, although he said he never was a big fan of football.