Joan Kathleen Beres Hughes

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Joan Kathleen Beres Hughes completed her 85 year life journey July 13, 2018, in the company of family members.

Joan was the eldest child of Joseph Sebastian and Appolonia Mary (Grasl) Beres, born in Dickinson, N.D. on March 19, 1933. She was raised and schooled primarily in Dickinson, moving during her high school years with her family to Glendive where she graduated from high school in 1951. It was during her time in Glendive that she met her future husband, a tall, slender Irishman named Thomas William Hughes. Not long after, the two were married on May 9, 1954 in a chapel at Hamilton Air Force Base near San Francisco. Four children resulted from their union.

Despite being raised in rural environments, Joan was enamored with big city life. She very much enjoyed working in Chicago and San Francisco for several years. But with the arrival of children, Joan ably stepped into her mother role, taking care of young children and supporting Tom’s evolving banking and aviation careers. She endured many household moves, first during Tom’s military service, and later during his banking career that took them from Missoula to Helena and later Glendive. Education was important to her and Tom, and all of her children were afforded the opportunity of a secondary education.

She and Tom ultimately settled in Billings in 1988 after Tom’s retirement, where she spent her final thirty years overseeing her flock of children and a growing population of grandkids. Joan loved to travel and she and Tom visited many of our country’s nicer cities. She was particularly fond of New Orleans and San Antonio, where she spent many trips enjoying her passion – music. Joan compiled a large inventory of Dixieland jazz and big band music that played frequently throughout her home and she shared her music willingly with several online DJs. She was an avid gardener with a wonderful green thumb and she was quite adept at using computers until her final days. People who knew Joan considered her a classy lady with beautiful eyes and a resemblance to Elizabeth Taylor. She was an incredible cook and many of her homemade recipes have been shared with friends and family and will survive for future generations.

Joan was an avid reader of novels and spent many hours sewing outfits and crocheting gifts for family members. She would be the first to tell you she lived a wonderful life, and she will be missed by many, far and wide.

Joan was preceded in death by her parents, Joe and Appie; her best-friend and brother, George Mathias (d. 1986); and brother, Joseph “Jack” Jacob (d. 1997).

She is survived by her husband of 64 years, Thomas; her children, Michael (Marlene Mathews) Hughes of Plano, Texas, Brian (Kerry Ware) Hughes of Hayden, Idaho, Deborah (Tim) Crennen of St. Cloud, Minn., and Tracey Gatlin of Belfield, N.D.; seven grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends, all of whom were dear to her heart.

Service and burial arrangements are pending. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Greater Glendive Community Foundation.

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