Eastern Shore Remembers, Says Goodbye to Former Governor Harry H - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Eastern Shore Remembers, Says Goodbye to Former Md. Gov. Harry Hughes

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DENTON, Md.- Maryland is preparing to say goodbye to former governor and Eastern Shore native, Harry R. Hughes. The Caroline County native died last week at the age of 92.

As cars rushed over and across the Choptank River in Denton on Wednesday, former Caroline County Circuit Court Judge James Wise walked toward a sign and a name he knows all too well. The sign - dedicated to the late governor - sits as a reminder for drivers crossing the bridge.

Wise, a lifelong friend who grew and worked with Hughes, remembers him as an underdog. Hughes was a Democrat who ran and won the race for governor in a huge upset, eventually leading the state for a full two terms and gaining the trust of its people along the way.

Hughes also served many public roles aside from governor, including as both a state delegate and senator for more than 16 years. Hughes also served as the head of the Department of Transportation back in the 1970s before becoming governor in 1978.

"If I had to sum up what kind of person Harry Hughes was - he was a small town guy who didn't allow himself to be corrupted by big city politics," Wise said.

His name and legacy are remembered at the bridge in Denton as well as a portrait at the conference room dedicated in his honor at the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy in Easton. Hughes was a board member at the organization and was also a well known champion of the Chesapeake Bay. He supported new initiatives to eliminating pollution while preserving prized land and history in places like the Eastern Shore.

"It feels like a celebration of his life," ESLC President Rob Etgen said. "He was always just lighthearted and fun to be with and a casual, comfortable person."

Flags will fly at half staff for just one more day, but Hughes' legacy lives on through memorials and the people who remember him as a lifelong servant for the people of Maryland and the Eastern Shore.

"We need more people like him," Wise said.

Aside from a private viewing on Wednesday, Hughes will have a formal funeral service in Annapolis on Thursday. Gov. Larry Hogan, who will deliver the eulogy, expressed his condolences to the family and called Hughes "a Maryland legend."


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