Maxine Hughes

Big Island radio and newspaper figure

Maxine Hughes, a Big Island radio and newspaper figure for nearly a half-century, died Wednesday May 22 at her son’s home in Waimea, Hawaii, where she was recovering from an illness. She was 85.

Hughes, known for her essays, and personality profiles, was the last women’s editor at the Hawaii Tribune-Herald before the focus changed to in-depth interview features. She also edited Orchid Island magazine for several years when it was the newspaper’s Sunday tabloid for features and travel before it became a weekend television section.

Hughes helped establish the “Old Hawaii on Horseback” — a historic pageant that was then the nation’s biggest fund-raiser for the American Heart Assn.

Hughes moved to Kauai with her late husband, Jack, from their native Texas just before World War II. They moved to Hilo in the early1940s. Hughes worked at KHBC, the town’s only radio station at the time, and later went to work for the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

She was a founding member of the Big Island Press Club.

She is survived by a daughter, two sons, 11 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

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