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2020 Humanitarian of the Year - Beth Hughes

Beth Hughes loves the saying, “God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.”

She was born and raised in Tripp, SD, where she was active in 4-H, choir, band, track, FHA, and pretty much anywhere else needed, one of the many benefits of growing up in a small town. She attended SDSU and was active in choir and theatre. In 1976 she represented SDSU in the Miss South Dakota Pageant, and went on to represent our state in the Miss America Pageant. One of her fondest memories was singing Andre Crouch’s “My Tribute, To God Be The Glory” on stage in Atlantic City. When she returned to complete her last year of college, she met and married her husband, John Hughes. Together they launched out into the world, and they found that their map wasn’t necessarily the one God was following. John attended the University of Nebraska Law School and accepted a position as a corporate attorney with a large Omaha firm. Beth worked for KFAB Radio as a news reporter. Their lives took a different direction when they felt the call to return to South Dakota, where Beth worked for KELO TV as a news reporter, producer and morning and afternoon anchor. In 1989, after struggling with infertility for several years, their first son, Elliott, was born, followed by Stuart and Evan within 3 ½ years. Needless to say, the pace of life quickened! Beth was a stay-at-home mother for 10 years. In 2000, she joined John at Hughes Law Office as office manager, but that direction changed also as she became increasingly involved in the adoption area of John’s practice, which started after a couple from their church small group asked John to help with their adoption. John replied he was a business attorney and had never done an adoption. Their response was, “You’d better learn.” Now after 29 years of working in the area of adoption, Beth and John say that God knew so much better the direction for their lives. They say it’s been an honor and privilege to help build families through adoption. The fast pace of the news business and years of infertility, coupled with John’s legal training, have equipped them for doing adoption work. John and Beth have now been married 42 years, and two daughters-in-law and three grandsons have joined their family. To quote a line from My Tribute, “The voices of a million angels, could not express my gratitude. All that I am, or ever hope to be, I owe it all to Thee.”


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