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William “Bill” Hughes

May 10, 1928 - Aug 07, 2021


William E. Hughes, age 93, Sheboygan, passed away peacefully on August 7, 2021. He was born May 10, 1928 in Milwaukee, WI, the son of the late William and Ermal (Parker) Hughes. His family moved to Racine, WI, where he graduated from Washington High School. Bill graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with Bachelor and Master degrees in Music Education.
Bill married Mary A. Geisler on February 11, 1956 at First United Methodist Church in Reedsburg, WI. They were happily married for 62 years until the time of her death in 2018.
His passion for music led him to a teaching career as a high school band director in Random Lake, Reedsburg, and Kenosha, and a Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan County, where he shared his talents with students for 25 years. During his teaching years in Sheboygan, Bill taught various music courses, band, choir, and directed the Chamber Singers, Campus Singers, as well as the popular “Potpourri” Variety Show.
As a trumpet player, Bill enjoyed performing with many music groups over the years including the Wuerl Band, Sheboygan Symphony, Sheboygan Pops Concert Band, Peptones, Carl Laack Orchestra, Riverfront Ramblers, and many others. He especially took pride in the musical talents of his children and grandchildren. As a music educator, Bill spent thousands of hours teaching music lessons to multiple generations of his family.
A lifelong Badger fan, Bill enjoyed many Badger events and took pride in marching in the UW Alumni Band every year. Additionally, he was an active member of the UW-Madison Alumni Association, UW-Madison Alumni Club of Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Bandmasters Association, Phi Beta MU, Sheboygan Concert Association, and served on the Sheboygan Symphony Board. In recognition of his achievements in the music world, Bill was honored as the Teacher of the Year by UW-Sheboygan County, was a recipient of the Sparkplug award by UW-Madison alumni, twice received the Outstanding Alumni Award from the Sheboygan County Chapter, and his name is displayed on the Music Wall of Fame at the Fountain Park Bandshell.
Bill is survived by his loving family of five children, Melody (Tim) Manion, Rondell (Lee) Prinsen, Marci Hughes, Robert (Heide) Hughes, and Lori (Perry) Fritz; eight grandchildren, Sean (Amber) Manion, Meredith Rathe, Matthew (Krystal) Prinsen, Megan (Marcus) Ninneman, Abigail and Emily Hughes, Allison (Tom) Ross, and Nathan (Taylor) Fritz; and seven great-grandchildren, Parker and Payton Ninneman, Mason, Grace, and Ryder Prinsen, Elliana Ross, Madison Rathe, and Baby Fritz arriving soon; and sister-in-law, Molly Hughes, and nephews and nieces.
He was preceded in death by his wife Mary, parents William and Ermal Hughes, brother Charles Hughes, sister and her husband Marlene and John Hallinan, granddaughter’s husband Alex Rathe, and niece Glenda Spaulding.
Visitation will be held on Friday, August 13, 2021 at St. Luke United Methodist Church, 623 Ontario Avenue, Sheboygan, from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. A private family memorial service will be held following the visitation. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to St. Luke United Methodist Church are welcome. Bill’s family would like to thank Dr. Sonya Hollingsworth, the staff at Pine Haven Christian Communities, and HSHS St. Nicholas Hospice for their loving care and support.


Date: Friday Aug 13, 2021
Time: 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Location: St. Luke United Methodist Church [map]



Guestbook Entries SIGN GUESTBOOK

Barbara Nagy

The family of Alex Nagy (a journalism professor and acting dean at UW-S for many years in the 1960s and '70s) extends its deepest condolences to the Hughes family. Mr. Hughes' love of music was obvious in his enthusiasm and his skill as a professor was obvious in the quality of the productions and his commitment to his students. All of us Nagys loved attending music events on campus and catching a bit of that energy he radiated. Thinking of him now, 50 years later, still makes me smile.

Judy Straus

Bill was a wonderful man. I’ve known him thru the music world. I would utilize his trumpet playing at area churches where I was the director. He also played in my dads clown band! Last time I saw him was after your moms passing. He said everyone worried about him not eating. He had a freezer full of food!,!! Great. Memories. Judy Hummitzsch Straus

Tony and Lou Ann (Pierce) Van Wyk

It was such a privilege to be students of Mr. Hughes. We have many fond memories of Choir, Campus Singers, and Potpourri! Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you celebrate his life and legacy.

Curtis W Hancock

It has been a pleasure playing with Bill in the Wuerl Band, Pops Band and various dance bands since 1979. His Potpourri shows at the UW Sheboygan were some of the best entertainment we have had in Sheboygan.

Jane Halverson

Bill was the ultimate musician. We have been friends for the past 45 years. I can hear that trumpet being played to the glory of all. Blessings to your family.

Roni Anderson

My condolences to the family. Bill has been such an incredible person to know and he will be dearly missed at Pops Band. In peace and blessings. 🌻🎺

Mary Schueller

It was with great sadness that I learned of Bill's death. Please know that he will remain very much alive in my memories as well as those of the other members of the Sheboygan Pops Concert Band.

Ken Bailey

We have lost a friend and icon. Working with Bill on Potpourri skits and songs at UWS was a blast. The "Carol Burnette Skit" especially.

Myra A Eischen

so sorry for your loss. This is a huge loss for the music community. Bill was such an inspiration and true legend. I'm sure he'll have his turn with the greats to conduct the heavenly band.

Fran Haen Holberg

Mr. Hughes was my teacher at UW Sheboygan where he taught me Music Education for Teachers and I was fortunate to be part of the Chamber Singers group. Under his leadership we toured Europe with People to People. This opportunity would never have happened without his efforts and musical talents. Thank you Bill for all you have done for me and all the UW students!

Sandy Van Sluys Reisenauer

I first took classes from Bill when I attended UW Sheboygan. My favorite times at the UW were in Choir and swing choir under Bill and performing on three Potpourri shows! Those were the most memorable times in my life. Bill really had an impact on hundreds of students over the years. My prayers are with his family and friends. May you Rest In Peace.

David J. Wehrwein

I knew Bill since 1972 playing in the Wuerl Band, and later at the UW Center in his vocal groups, along with Potpourri Shows. Rest in Peace my friend.

Jean Keppel

Bill was a very special person who befriended many people.His musical talents and outgoing personality will be missed!