Broadcast Engineer George W. Hughes, 67

Monday, November 26, 2007

George W. Hughes, 67, a retired broadcast engineer with ABC News and a dedicated model-train enthusiast, died Nov. 16 of respiratory failure at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington County. He was a resident of South Riding.

Mr. Hughes moved to the Washington area in 1978 to work for ABC News, where he was a video operator and studio cameraman. He spent most of his career there as a field soundman, covering presidential inaugurations, political campaigns, the White House and many other Washington-based news stories and events. In 1985, he traveled to South Africa to cover a fact-finding visit by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.).

Mr. Hughes retired from his broadcasting career in 2005.

A lifelong devotee of railroad and model trains, he had a specific interest in the Norfolk & Western and Virginian railroads. He was a founding member of the Norfolk & Western Historical Society and served two terms on its board of directors. He published several articles in the society's magazine, the Arrow.

Mr. Hughes also was the owner of Springhaven Shops, a home-based retailer of model-railroad equipment. He operated the business for about 15 years.

Mr. Hughes was born in Penns Neck, N.J., and came from a family of railroaders. He attended Rutgers University and worked for the Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines as a brakeman, conductor and engineer.

In 1967, he began working as a studio and field engineer for a television station in Philadelphia.

He was a member of the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians-Communications Workers of America and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.

Mr. Hughes underwent a lung transplant in 2005 and was an ardent supporter of organ donation.

He enjoyed international travel, classical music, transportation history and raising koi.

His marriage to Margaret Newcomb Hughes ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife of 23 years, Laura Stroube Hughes of South Riding; two sons from his first marriage, George W. Hughes Jr. of Seattle and Edward J. Hughes of Midlothian; a brother; and a granddaughter.

-- Yvonne Shinhoster Lamb

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