Clifford Craven Hughes Jr., 89, well-known custom home and commercial builder

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WILMINGTON- Clifford Craven Hughes Jr., 89, of Wilmington, North Carolina, died at Lower Cape Fear Hospice on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016.

Craven was born June 16, 1927 on a farm in Oxford, NC, son of Clifford C Hughes Sr. and Martha Mangum Hughes.

A nationally recognized and award-winning custom home and commercial builder, Craven began his long career after serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II at the age of 17, then graduating in three years from East Carolina University in 1949. He started his first construction company in Greenville, North Carolina, in 1957, then moved his family to Alexandria, Virginia, in 1963 to serve with the Minchew Corporation, and later Scholz Homes as senior vice-president for the eastern U.S.

He formed the C Hughes Company in 1975 where he excelled in designing and building homes which replicated the quality craftsmanship of historical southern residences in both grandeur and charm.

Mr. Hughes retired in Wilmington with his wife in 1992 and opened The Woodworking Emporium in Leland, North Carolina, where he designed and crafted handmade furniture.

Throughout his life, Craven remained a farm boy. He loved North Carolina, Brunswick stew, barbecue, and the farmland that defined his childhood. His deepest desire was to ride between the corn rows, plant tomatoes, squash, and cucumber, and sit under a shady pecan tree telling anyone about his life experiences.

He also loved to teach the Bible and very rarely missed a Sunday with his special group of mavericks at First Baptist Church. His Thursday afternoon lunches with good friend Dr. Bert Williams and the other “rednecks” was the highlight of his week.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Becky Holcomb Hughes; son Clifford Craven Hughes III of Abita Springs, Louisiana; daughters Kimbre H. Metts of Wilmington and Leigh H. Bravo and husband Claudio of Gainesville, Virginia; his sister Juanita H. Weaver (Jack); and family of Eaton, Georgia; and his five beloved grandchildren: Alex Hughes, Bo Metts, Caileigh Bravo, Ayden Bravo, and Branden Bravo.

His daughter, Becky Hughes Spence preceded him, as well as his sisters Marian Brazemore, Carolyn Boyle, as well as a brother, Lynwood Bryan Hughes.

We’re sure the Lord has a homestead all picked out for  Dad. “Ride those fields forever. We’re right behind you.”

A memorial service will be held Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, at 3 p.m.in the Chapel at First Baptist Church, 411 Market Street, Wilmington, NC 28401.

In Lieu of flowers, please send donations in the name of Clifford Craven Hughes to Lower Cape Fear Hospice, 1414 Physicians Drive, Wilmington, NC 28401.

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