William E. Hugs Sr.

Thursday, December 20, 2018
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William E. Hugs Sr., 58, of Fort Smith (on the eve of his passing, we shared a prayer of repentance… Praise Be To God) went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, after a short illness, while surrounded by his family.

“One Who Wears His Whistle Around His Neck” was born April 28, 1960 in Crow Agency, a son of Oliver and Elizabeth (Little Light) Hugs Sr. He was a member of the Greasy Mouth Clan and a child of the Big Lodge Clan.

William grew up in the Fort Smith and Crow Agency areas. He received his early education in Fort Smith and graduated from Flandreau Indian School in 1980. After receiving his diploma, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1982 to serve his country as a Marine. While in the military, he was a field wireman; he received recognition for his marksmanship skills and was awarded his Rifle Sharpshooter Badge. William was honorably discharged 1985, achieving the rank of lance corporal.

He attended Mirana Indian Police Academy in Mirana, Arizona in 1987. After returning from his training, he worked for the National Park Service at Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area as a maintenance worker and groundskeeper. He later worked for the Crow Tribe as a buffalo ranger for several years.

He was very active and enjoyed breaking, training and riding horses; hunting; being outdoors; and watching football. He was a true Denver Bronco fan at heart and recently jumped ship to become a Kansas City Chiefs fan. He had a great love for his grandchildren, but family and friends were William’s love and joy. He was known for his sense of humor and quick-wittedness, and he loved to joke around and tease with whomever crossed his path. That’s how people will remember him.

Whenever there was a need from whomever, he made himself available and would assist in any way he could. William never turned anyone away; he was a loving and kindhearted man.

Survivors include his wife Julie Ann; his daughters Maggie Gregory and Hannah Hugs; his sons William Jr. and Edmund “Peanut” Hugs – he claimed Wesley “Festus” Hugs as his own – his sisters Sherri and Samantha (Curtis) Rides Horse, and Marcella Deputee and Merle Jean Harris; his brothers Kenneth Toineeta, Jerome (Dora) Hugs, Leland, Frank and Harvey (Annie) Hugs, and Marc (Suzette) Little Light; and adopted brother Bob Gieesse of Lusk, Wyoming.