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1952 Frank 2023

Frank Thomas Hughes III

March 2, 1952 — December 25, 2023

Carmel

Frank Thomas Hughes III,

71, of Carmel, passed away peacefully on the evening of December 25, 2023. He was born in Warren, Michigan to the late Frank Thomas Hughes II and Gertrude Kent Hughes on March 2, 1952. He was the third son born into a family of 9 children (7 boys and 2 girls) and loved to tell hilarious stories of their many adventures growing up.

Frank is survived by his wife, Lizabeth Hughes; children, Lindsay (Geoff) McGregor and Thomas (Erica) Hughes; four grandchildren, Blake and Evan McGregor and Addie and Kellen Hughes; and seven of his siblings. He was preceded in death by his brother, Rick.

Frank was proud to serve in the Army after high school, traveling around the world.  After that, he moved back to Michigan where he met Beth.  Both Beth and her whole family quickly fell in love with Frank - including her grandma, whose first impression of him was that he “had long hair, played the guitar and didn’t wear shoes.”  Beth and Frank moved to Houston together after getting married, where Frank finished his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Marketing at the University of Houston.  After several years in Houston, they moved to Indianapolis to be closer to family.  Frank worked primarily in food sales which was a natural fit for his gregarious nature, but his true passion was his family.

Frank was a devoted husband, always there to talk Beth off the ledge or rescue her from a proclivity for overcommitting herself.  He had unending patience driving her and her camera around the state chasing the perfect sunset, waterfall or field of wildflowers to photograph. When Lindsay was born a few years later, Frank’s skills as a “baby whisperer” came in very handy - she was an inconsolable baby, and he spent almost every night taking her for rides in the car and watching late night wrestling on TV to settle her down.  He continued to be an engaged and committed dad through the years, whether it was volunteering in Thomas’ kindergarten classroom every Friday or building icicle gardens with Lindsay in the middle of a snowstorm.  He had an eye for creating magic and adored being a dad.

Of course, he was overjoyed when the grandkids came along!  “Papa” introduced them to his love of leisurely weekend breakfasts out, while playing endless games of tic tac toe and perfecting his Donald Duck impression.  He called each of them on their birthday for a harmonica rendition of “Happy Birthday” and never missed a performance, game or school event if he could help it.  Anyone who met Frank knew how proud he was of his family - if you passed him on the street, you probably ended up seeing pictures or watching a video of his grandkids!

Frank didn’t know a stranger.  You couldn’t go to the grocery store with him without running into at least someone he knew…and if he didn’t already, he soon would.  His family always joked that he would strike up conversations with strangers and have their life story within a few minutes.  People were drawn to him for his colorful stories, hilarious one-liners and ability to make everyone he met feel special.

Everyone in his orbit knew that Frank’s love language was acts of service - he was truly happiest when doing anything for someone else, be it family, neighbors, and even strangers.  He provided loving support and care for his mother and father in law in their later years. He happily woke in the early morning after a snowfall to clear the majority of the neighborhood’s driveways and sidewalks.  He loved to give people rides, make and deliver meals to those who needed it, and fix things around people’s houses. He had a special bond with the very young and the very old.

Frank’s life was filled with all the things that brought him the most joy.  He loved music - despite not having any formal training, he could hear a song and play it on the piano or guitar by ear.  He played in a band when he was younger, and was great at “name that tune”.  He loved cars - he would read endless car magazines, and was beyond excited when the Mach-E he ordered arrived a couple years ago.  He loved dogs - spoiling his dogs Morgan and Java like they were kids themselves, and taking them along with him everywhere he went.  He loved being on or near the water - decades of memories were made at the family lakehouse, always driving the boat for dozens of kids (and adults) who would waterski, tube, and kneeboard for hours.

Details regarding a Celebration of Life will follow shortly.  In lieu of flowers, donations to the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) or Rosie’s Southside Animal Shelter are welcome.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Frank Thomas Hughes III, please visit our flower store.

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