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Col. David Hughes Jr., Colorado Springs icon, laid to rest

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) - A Colorado Springs icon was laid to rest Friday, complete with a military caisson, riderless horse, and mounted cavalry unit that carried his ashes into Fairview Cemetery.

Col. David Hughes Jr. died October 14 at the age of 93. He was a war hero, an internet pioneer, and is credited with saving historic Old Colorado City from development when it was nearly torn down. Hughes even created the Colorado City Historical Museum, which was where his funeral celebration began Friday morning.

“My father was extraordinary," said David Hughes III, son of David Hughes Jr. "He meant a great deal to this city.”

“An extraordinary human being who always thought of other people first," said Bill Taylor, a friend of Hughes Jr. "He never thought of himself.”

Those sentiments, echoed by all who attended Friday's services. Well known to many in Colorado Springs for helping stop the city from developing the old west side in the 1970s because the buildings were empty.

“He’s the one who helped get it designated a national historic preservation district," said Hughes III. "He’s the one who combined small business loans with tax incentives, brought it all together under historic preservation, and we have Old Colorado City today because of him.”

Hughes Jr. was known for helping others. His family says he invented distanced learning in 1982, creating online courses for high school students that dialed into his bulletin board systems.

“With all of the technology that he innovated he probably could have been a millionaire," said Taylor. "But that wasn’t important to him. What was important to him was connecting people.”

Surrounded by family, friends, and military colleagues, Hughes Jr. was laid to rest on Friday, but his legacy as a pioneer, in numerous ways, will live on forever.

“I have tried not to wipe my eyes today," said Taylor. "I just let the tears run down because he meant so much to me.”

The honors for Hughes Jr. will continue. He received the Distinguished Service Cross while serving in Korea, but his friends and family believe his work warrants a Medal of Honor. They’re now starting an effort with the help of a lawmaker and people in the Army to get his honor upgraded.

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Mallory Anderson

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1 Comment

  1. “He never thought of himself.” This is an impossible lie. That being said, why shouldn’t he, or anyone, else think of themselves? And why not think of themselves first, and first all the time? What makes not thinking of yourself morally righteous?

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