Daisy Henryetta “Rhetta” Hester Hughes

Published 11:18 am Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Daisy Henryetta “Rhetta” Hester Hughes

June 4, 2016

Daisy Henryetta “Rhetta” Hester Hughes passed away June 4, 2016 in Highlands, North Carolina. A private graveside service will be held later this month in Bainbridge, Georgia.

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Born March 23, 1939, Rhetta grew up in both Cairo and Bainbridge, Georgia. As head majorette, she was celebrated to be among the first fire baton twirlers in the state of Georgia, and was a regular feature at marching band exhibitions. She was gifted musically and earned first chair oboe in the Cairo High School Syrupmaker Marching Band, directed by Major Verran.  An accomplished and passionate pianist, Rhetta studied in the prestigious music program at Florida State University under Dr. Robert Glotzbach. Later in life, she graduated from Valdosta State College, then moved to California where she attended Monterrey Institute of International Studies and later opened a Mediterranean restaurant called “Rhetta’s.” Her love for travel took her to foreign countries including Turkey and Russia.

She was passionate about classical music, loved birds and butterflies, was an F1 Racing tifosa, a lifelong student of American history, enjoyed flower gardening, and collected rare books. Always the life of the party, Rhetta’s greatest delight was entertaining family and friends and especially nurturing her grandchildren with whom she shared her keen wit and love for cooking.

Preceding her in death were her parents, Henry Hester Jr. of Cairo, Georgia and Elizabeth Brockett Hester Dollar of Bainbridge, Georgia, and her husband, Capt. Lawrence C. Hughes. Surviving Rhetta are daughters Libby Eustis and her husband Herbert of Highlands, and Susannah Taylor and Leslie Walls of Leesburg, Georgia; sisters Betty Pearson and her husband James of Norman Park, Georgia, Cindy Hester of Claxton, Georgia, and Alice Smith and her husband Stoney of Ludowici, Georgia; three grandchildren; two great-grandsons; nieces and nephews; many cousins, and best friend and first cousin T. Rod Hester of Buckhead, Georgia.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to Fidelia Eckerd Living Center and Four Seasons Hospice in Highlands, North Carolina.

Ivey Funeral Home of Bainbridge submitted the obituary information.