Hughes, Nathaniel “Nat” Cheairs, Jr.

Former GPS Headmaster, Historian And Author

Friday, December 14, 2012
Dr. Hughes
Dr. Hughes

Nathaniel “Nat” Cheairs Hughes, Jr., Ph.D., former headmaster of Girls Preparatory School, and beloved member of the Chattanooga community, died Wednesday morning at the age of 81. 

A native of Chattanooga and life-long history student, Dr. Hughes received his B.A. in history from Yale University in 1953, a master’s degree and his doctorate degree in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1956.

Dr. Hughes was commissioned in the United States Marine Corps as a lieutenant, where he served 2 years as an amphibious tank commander.  He reached the rank of Captain while serving in the Marine Corps Reserve.

He began his educational career in 1959, serving for three years at the Webb School in Bell Buckle, TN, where he coached and taught history and English.  He was appointed headmaster of St. Mary’s Episcopal School in Memphis, TN in 1962, where he served for more than 11 years, helping the school grow and prosper.

In 1973, Dr. Hughes moved with his wife and three children to Chattanooga and became headmaster of GPS, where he served faithfully for 14 years.  In 1986, he was presented the William R. “Old Sawney” Webb Award “in honor of his distinguished career as a headmaster.”

Upon retiring in 1987, Dr. Hughes turned to his passion for history and writing.  He has authored 35 books, including fiction and non-fiction, and in 2000 was awarded the Charles L. Defour Award for a lifetime of achievement in the historiography of the American Civil War.

Dr. Hughes served as a lay reader in the Episcopal Church and as a vestryman in three parishes.  He has been a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church of Chattanooga since 1973.  He was a member of the Tennessee Historical Society and the Southern Historical Association and was past-President of the Tennessee Association of Independent Schools.

He is survived by his wife, Buckner Latimore Hughes; and children Frank (D’Arcy), Lookout Mountain; David (Kathaleen), Chattanooga; and Sam (Mitzi), Omaha, NE; and grandchildren, Kelsey, David Jr., Nathan, Scott, Mary, Adam and Samantha.

Services will be held at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Chattanooga on Tuesday, Dec. 18. 

A visitation will begin at 3 p.m. with the service at 4 p.m.


Holland, Terry

Terry Holland, of Chattanooga, passed away on Sunday, June 25, 2017 at his residence.   Arrangements will be announced by Taylor Funeral Home of Chattanooga, Inc.  (click for more)

Adams, J. Randall

J. Randall Adams, 53, formerly of Chattanooga, passed away on Thursday, June 22, 2017, at his residence in Nashville, Tennessee.  He was a 1981 graduate of Brainerd High School.  Randall was a veteran of the United States Navy and in 2005 he received his B.S. degree from Tennessee State University.  He was employed by Firestone as the store manager.  ... (click for more)

Johnson, Kenneth "Mule" William (LaFayette)

Kenneth "Mule" William Johnson, 76, of LaFayette, passed away on Thursday, June 22, 2017, surrounded by his loving family. Kenneth was born in Chatsworth, Ga., on March 1, 1941, to the Will A. and Thelma Ingle Johnson. He was their first son of nine children. He was an avid golfer whether it was playing or just watching it. He was of the Baptist faith. Kenneth had a heart of ... (click for more)

Todd, Ashley Nicole (Athens)

Ashley Nicole Todd, 22, of the Athens/Englewood area, passed away on Thursday, June 22, 2017. Ashley enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, four wheeling, and anything outdoors. She was a graduate of McMinn Central High School class of 2013. Ashley was a loving mother to her baby boy Jason Ryan Lincoln.  Ashley was preceded in death by her father, James Todd, grandparents, ... (click for more)

Wilkins Found With 2 Stolen Vehicles After Homeowner Catches Him In Break-In

Authorities said Jesse Lee Wilkins was found with two stolen vehicles after a resident on Thursday caught him stealing items from his residence on Cave Lane. Wilkins, 29, of 2906 E. 43rd St., was charged with aggravated burglary and two counts of theft over $1,000. When deputies arrived on a burglary call, they found Wilkins and the resident standing in the driveway. He said ... (click for more)

Jury Finds Milner Guilty Of Lesser Charge In Attack On Cancer Patient

A Criminal Court jury found 27-year-old Michael William Milner guilty of reckless endangerment in an attack on a cancer patient at an East Ridge motel on July 12, 2016. Milner had been charged with aggravated assault, which would have carried a possible prison sentence of 6-10 years because he was a Range II offender due to his prior record, prosecutor Bates Bryan said. The ... (click for more)