ULS mourns the passing of former LTSP president, Rev. Dr. Robert Hughes

September 6, 2023

The Rev. Dr. Robert G. Hughes, age 86, passed away on September 3rd, 2023, surrounded by four generations of family, outside of Ocean City, New Jersey. The son of George and Ethel Hughes, Robert was born in Pottsville on August 28th, 1937, he is survived by his wife of 62 years Dona Lee, his three children Jeffrey (Janice), Randal (Tammy), and David (Laura), and five grandchildren, Jeffrey Jr. (Nicolette), Matthew (Gabrielle), Patrick, Joseph, and Ella. and great-grandchildren Caden, Oliver, and Rayla Rose.

Robert graduated from Tamaqua High School and received a bachelor's degree in English Literature from Lehigh University in 1959. He went on to receive a master's degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia (LTSP), and his doctorate from the Princeton Theological Seminary. He served as Pastor of St. John Lutheran Church in Ashland, PA before becoming a professor at LTSP in 1972. He established the Academy of Preachers in 1982 and directed the Academy until 1996. He was elected as the President of the LTSP from 1990 to 1999. While President of LTSP, he spearheaded a capital campaign that led to a major building project on campus and was a leader in growing the ministry ultimately doubling the student body during his tenure. During his “retirement”, Robert spent his time traveling, when he was not consulting or fundraising for the Church, writing his books, or serving as a leader of ALOA.

During his nearly nine decades of life, Robert was a Renaissance man of unquenchable curiosity. As a young man, he pursued a degree in Civil Engineering at Lehigh University before realizing he did not enjoy mathematics, he pursued a future in the Air Force before realizing he was colorblind, and finally settled on a distinguished life of service as a minister for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America., Lutheran Seminary professor, and Lutheran Seminary President. He was throughout his years a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, a teacher, a world-traveler, an author, a napper, and perhaps, dearest of all, a fan of his beloved Philadelphia Phillies and Eagles, who he lived to see win two World Series and a Super Bowl.

He will be remembered for his gregarious personality, sense of humor, infectious laugh, love of reading, thirst for knowledge, his ceaseless devotion to friends and family, and his generosity of spirit.

Relatives and friends are invited to Robert’s visitation on Friday, September 8, 2023 from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM at Grace Lutheran Church located at 11 E Dawes Ave in Somers Point, NJ. Funeral service to follow at 11:30 AM. Interment to immediately follow on property at Grace Lutheran Church Cemetery.

Services will be livestreamed by Grace Lutheran Church - http://gracelutheranspnj.org/

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the United Lutheran Seminary