Wadesboro - James Moody Hough, age 84, of Wadesboro died Wednesday, December 30, 2020.
Born on a farm between Ansonville and Lilesville, Mr. Hough joined the U.S. Coast Guard at age 19 as a "fireman apprentice" and worked his way up through the ranks to retire 21 years later as a Lieutenant Commander after a very distinguished and decorated military career.
An excellent swimmer, a tri-state debate champion, a master parliamentarian, and an expert on the U.S. Constitution, Mr. Hough was also a 32nd Degree Mason for 63 years, holding lifetime memberships in lodges in North Carolina, Alabama, and Oklahoma. He was also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star and volunteered for over 20 years as a Guardian ad Litem, a court-appointed and unaffiliated advocate and spokesperson for children embroiled in the court system.
After his military retirement, Mr. Hough moved his family back to his native Anson County where he worked as a hydroelectric power plant operator at Blewett Falls for 15 years. He also retired from Carolina Power & Light.
Mr. Hough attended Mars Hill College and Temple University. He could send and receive Morse Code expertly, and he etched in his memory every single shoal, sandbar, navigational buoy, and shoreline feature along the entire eastern U.S. coastline. He was stationed in the Territory of Hawaii when it became ratified as our country's 50th state. He protected the southern coast during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He memorized all constellations and could easily steer any ship solely by looking at the stars. Stationed on two lighthouses and six different Coast Guard cutters, he crossed the International Dateline twice and circled the North Pole on an icebreaker.
An opinionated, vocal, fierce, spirited man, Mr. Hough also had a dry sense of humor and an extremely quick wit. His personality was often too much for others to handle, but he was, at ALL times, "comfortable in his own skin."
He drank his coffee strong and black with two scoops of ice. He put ketchup in his oyster stew. He truly loved his mother-in-law.
Professing his religious belief and making the decision to be baptized before he was seven years old, Mr. Hough was a faithful member of the Baptist Church and served as a deacon in every church he ever joined as an adult. With each new duty station, he found a good church in the area and served his brothers and sisters in Christ to the best of his ability. In church, he could preach, he could pray, he could teach Sunday School, and he could lead; however, he could NOT sing! Mr. Hough carried only one picture in his wallet (and the same picture all those years) -- a picture of Jesus.
Mr. Hough met his wife in 1943 when they both started the first grade at Lilesville School. They were later high school sweethearts and then went on to be happily married for 62 years.
Mr. Hough's survivors include his wife, Ann Marks Hough, of Wadesboro; his children, Mandy (Ken) Kennedy of Badin Lake, Garry (Cathy) Hough of Gastonia, and Marsha Burney of Clarkton; along with his two grandsons, Zach Kennedy (Greg Burrows) of Escondido, CA, and Tyler Kennedy of Lexington, SC; and one great-granddaughter, Reagan Kennedy of Lexington, SC. Mr. Hough's sister, Julia H. Brown of Laurel, MD, also survives him.
The Hough children ask for prayers for their mother.
A private service will be held at a later time.
The arrangements are in care of Leavitt Funeral Home. Online condolences may be made at www.leavittfh.com