Martha Shorter Stephens Hughes
Published 9:35 am Friday, April 22, 2022
Martha Shorter Stephens Hughes, a native of Greensboro and longtime resident of Selma, lost her battle to ALS on April 13, 2022 at the age of 70 at her beloved country home in Mulberry.
A memorial service will be held Friday, April 22, 2022 at 1:30 p.m. at Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, 301 Broad Street, Selma with Rev. Steve Burton officiating. Visitation will be held at noon in the Warren Room of the church. A private family burial will follow at the family plot at Ivy Creek Methodist Church Cemetery.
Mrs. Hughes was born in Selma on September 1, 1951 to the late Mr. Chester O. Stephens, Jr and Minnie Steele McNeel Stephens.
She grew up in Greensboro, where she attended both the public and private schools in Hale County. She graduated high-school from Southern Academy in Greensboro where she was elected Southern’s first homecoming queen. She earned a B.S. in Human and Life Sciences at Auburn University where she was a charter member of Delta Gamma Sorority.
After college, Mrs. Hughes went to work in the banking industry in Selma for People’s Bank and Trust Company (now Trustmark Bank). Mrs. Hughes was an employee of People’s Bank and Trust Company for 35 years. She served as Vice President & Human Resources Officer for most of those years.
In 1977, Mrs. Hughes married James N. Hughes, Jr. at First Presbyterian Church (now Cornerstone Presbyterian Church) in Selma.
Mrs. Hughes was well known for her servant’s heart as she was an active member in her church and community. She was a member of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church where she was very active in the Women of the Church where she volunteered her time providing flower arrangements for the monthly luncheons and as a Sunday school teacher for many years. She was a longtime and dedicated member of the Colonial Dames of the 17th Century, Magna Charter, and National Society of the Colonial Dames in the state of Alabama where she served as the officer of patriotic services.
Over the years, Mrs. Hughes served in numerous civic and social clubs in Selma including the Selma Charity League, Pandora, Selma-Dallas County Historic Preservation Society, and served on the board of directors and was a lifetime member at Sturdivant Hall.
Mrs. Hughes loved flowers and enjoyed seeing how flowers made others happy. She designed floral arrangements on many occasions with her dear friends and enjoyed working in her yard. Her love of outdoors was shared with her husband where they worked hard on their property in Autauga County. Together they shared the W. Kelly Mosley Environmental Award in 2014 given for achievement in forestry, wildlife and related resources. Their unselfish and voluntary efforts helped educate the members of their community on sustainable management of our natural resources. They also received the Gaines Smith Award in 2021 for land management practices. In addition, Mr. and Mrs. Hughes hosted “Friends of the Forest” on their farm for the 5th graders in Autauga County for 13 years.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Hughes shared many family memories traveling the world; however, her family home on Lookout Mountain in Mentone was a favorite vacation retreat for family and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Chester Oliver Stephens, III.
She is survived by her husband of nearly 45 years, James N. Hughes, Jr.; children, Katherine H. (Samuel B.) Ellard, Pitt N. (Alyson) Hughes; grandchildren, Philip Pitt Hughes, Luke Oliver Hughes, Laura Steele Ellard, James Douglas Hughes, Samuel Blake Ellard, Jr. and her namesake Martha Anne Hughes; sister, Gladys Stephens (Jimmy) Elliott and many beloved nieces, nephews, close cousins and special friend Betty Jean Perry.
In lieu of flowers please consider donations to:
Ivy Creek Cemetery Fund, 3068 Highway 14 West Autaugaville, AL 36003
Cornerstone Presbyterian Women of the Church Flower Guild, 301 Broad Street Selma, AL 36703.