Tahlequah Daily Press


October 13, 2011

Lance R. Hughes

TAHLEQUAH — Lance passed from this world surrounded by close friends who were his family.

A native Oklahoman of Muscogee Creek ancestry, Lance was born in Oklahoma City, but lived all over the state, as his father worked in the oil fields and the family moved often.

He is preceded in death by his beloved mother, Ro Ann Hughes.

Lance’s family consists of many friends, colleagues and favorite musicians scattered across the nation. He was the consummate host and chef, known most notably for his deserts. Lance loved his home on Lane Hill and the Barron Fork Creek almost as much as he enjoyed his last years in the cabin on Spring and Snake creeks. These hills were his home and the waters his joy.

In the early 1980s, Lance worked with Wilma Ma-nkiller and Ross Swimmer at the Cherokee Nation, and was responsible for writing the 1985 Cherokee Code of Law, updating it in 2001.

For the past five years, Lance worked as a consultant to the Cherokee Nation Health Department. Lance became the executive director of Native Americans for a Clean Environment in 1986.

Despite a lack of formal education, Lance was a brilliant strategist, with a gentle voice and easygoing (generally barefooted) manner, that masked a steely resolve to get things done. He brought an encyclopedic knowledge to focus on the problems of nuclear pollution and the art of community organizing in an international arena.

In 1993, the efforts of the NACE organization shut down 23 percent of the world’s uranium supply at the notoriously contaminated Kerr McGee facility in Gore, accomplished much to the tenacious, laser focus of Lance Hughes. He was the recipient of the Joe A. Callaway award for Civic Courage in 1995 for leading the fight, as well as an award from Nuclear Free America in 1997.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations (tax-deductible) may be sent to: IEER – Institute for Energy and Environmental Research at 6935 Laurel Ave., Suite 201, Takoma Park, Md., 20912. Condolence cards may be sent to the family at P.O. Box 1735, Locust Grove, Okla. 74352.

 A Celebration of Life will be held in approximately one month, to be announced far and wide. The Lance Hughes Memorial Page is available on Facebook for notes and celebration announcements.

Locust Grove Funeral Home, 120 N. Wyandotte, Locust Grove, Okla. (918) 479-8161

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