Introducing the new Robert J. and Lois M. Hughes Scholarship


The Robert J. and Lois M. Hughes Scholarship was established at the Community Foundation to assist individuals with the backgrounds, values, and love of the professions in which Bob and Lois lived and worked. Scholarships are awarded to students at St. Ambrose University for students studying nursing and to the University of Iowa School of Pharmacy for students pursuing a career in pharmaceutical medicine.

Robert (Bob) Hughes was born April 3, 1922 to Albert (Bert) and Kathrine (Kitty) Hughes in Emmetsburg, Iowa.  Bob had two older brothers, Tom and Chuck. They grew up working in Hughes Drug, their father’s drug store. The boys were responsible for everything from sweeping floors and stocking shelves to making phosphates and ice cream sundaes at the soda fountain.

Bob graduated from Emmetsburg High School and went to the University of Iowa to follow in his brother’s footsteps by attending and graduating from the College of Pharmacy. While at Iowa, Bob worked at the Iowa Memorial Union starting what came to be known as the ‘Union Boys,’ a group of 100 boys who ran the IMU during the late 1930s and early 1940s.

Bob graduated in August of 1944 and went right to Officer Training in the US Navy. He was commissioned an Ensign and assigned to the USS Yancey. During 1944 and 1945, the Yancey was engaged in conflicts on Iwo Jima and Okinawa and other south Pacific islands. In 1945, the Yancey was the third ship to enter Tokyo Bay and was anchored next to the USS Missouri. Bob watched the signing of surrender of Japan from the bridge of the Yancey. Immediately upon his discharge from the Navy, Bob went to work for 38 years with the Upjohn Company.

Lois Murray was born March 11, 1924 to Edward and Margaret Murray.  They lived in the Rogers Park area of North Chicago. Lois had two older siblings, a brother (Edward II) and a sister (Jean). Lois attended Catholic grade schools (St. Timothy’s and St. Gertrude’s) and Catholic High School (Immaculata), all in Chicago.

Upon graduation from high school, Lois enrolled in the nursing program at St. Francis School of Nursing in Evanston, IL. She graduated in 1945 and went to work for Dr. Francis X. Brenner, an obstetrician and gynecologist. Lois was a surgical RN in the morning and office nurse in the afternoon. When they moved to Bettendorf, IA, she worked in the office of Dr. Ken McKay.

One of Bob’s first positions with Upjohn was calling on doctors and hospitals in Chicago and Evanston. On one of his calls, he was scheduled to take the doctor to lunch. The doctor had a conflict in his schedule, so Bob asked the young nurse on staff (Lois) if she would like to join him for lunch.

Bob and Lois were married on February 7, 1948. They raised six children in Des Plaines, IL and later in Bettendorf, where Bob was transferred by Upjohn.

Throughout their lives, family and faith came before anything else. They raised their six children in the Catholic Faith, all of them attending Catholic schools from Kindergarten through High School and college. Bob and Lois shared an unconditional love for one another, their family, and their friends.

Lois passed away at the age of 93 on December 23, 2017, six weeks shy of their 70th wedding anniversary. On March 9, 2018, two days before Lois’ 94th birthday, Bob passed away at the age of 95.