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.


Mitchell, Alice Palmer

Alice Palmer Mitchell, born November 15, 1923 in Brooklyn, NY, died peacefully at home on Wednesday , May 20, 2015. Alice was a caring wife, mother and sister who always put others before herself. She was an artist, avid gardener, writer and especially enjoyed traveling the world with the love of her life, her husband Mitch. Alice had a very special wit and will be missed ... (click for more)

Tudor, Philmena Emily "Dot" Fox

Philmena Emily “Dot” Fox Tudor, 95,  of Ringgold, Georgia, died on Saturday,  May 23, 2015.     Arrangements will be announced by the North Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home, Crematory and Florist, 5401 Highway 153, Hixson.  (click for more)

Bearden, Donald Lee (Summerville)

Donald Lee Bearden, 57, of Summerville, Georgia, died on Saturday, May 23, 2015, at his residence. Mr. Bearden was born January 5, 1958, in Rome, Ga., the son of the late D.A. and Sarah Ruth Rollins Bearden.  He was   employed with Frank Bearden Logging. Survivors include his children, Donavaughn Bearden, Maekayla Bearden, sister, Virginia Stratton, brothers ... (click for more)

Wallace, William "Billy" Franklin Jr. (Dunlap)

William "Billy" Franklin Wallace Jr, 81, of Dunlap, Tennessee, passed away Thursday, May 21, 2015 at his home. He was a member of the Church of Christ. Mr. Wallace was preceded in death by his parents, William and Inez Wallace Sr.; sons, Jeff and Butch Wallace; and brothers, Glenn and Bobby Wallace.  Survivors include ... (click for more)

Winning Bid For Huge River Tract Near Dayton Is $4,370,000, But Sellers Not Willing To Accept

A huge tract on the Tennessee River/Chickamauga Lake near Dayton, Tn., brought $4,370,000 at auction at the site on Saturday. However, the auction firm later said the high bid was not accepted by the sellers, John and Edyth Buxton. Henry Glascock of the John Dixon firm auction firm said, "It was a gorgeous piece of property, but we just didn't quite get there. "We had a willing ... (click for more)

Olympian Kristin Armstrong Sets Course Record; Talansky Is Men's Winner

Two-time Olympic goal medal winner Kristin Armstrong won the USA Cycling Professional Time Trial Championship in a record time at the Volkswagen course on Saturday morning. She finished the 19.2-mile course in 42 minutes, 8 seconds. The time trial victory assures the 41-year-old Armstrong of a spot as one of three American women to compete in the world championship time trial ... (click for more)