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HUGH EDWARD MARSEJanuary 13, 1933 ~ July 15, 2017 (age 84)
Hugh Edward Marse died July 15, 2017 in Seagrove Beach, Florida. He was born to Oscar Thomas “Buster” Marse and Lucy McBroom Marse on January 13, 1933 in DeFuniak Springs, Florida. He was predeceased by both parents.
He is survived by his loving wife Grace (nee Little) of 62 wonderful and exciting years, son Thomas C. Marse (Santa Rosa Beach, Florida), daughters Heather Ruane (m. Wade S. Ruane Tucson, Arizona), and Heidi Ellis (m. Jeffrey C. Ellis Seagrove Beach, Florida), granddaughter Samantha Okke (m. Kyle A. Okke Dickinson, North Dakota), grandsons Thomas E. Marse (Santa Rosa Beach, Florida), Alexander H. Ruane (Phoenix, Arizona) and Michael L. Marse (Santa Rosa Beach, Florida), brother Joseph Michael “Mickey” Marse (m. Judy Marse Freeport, Florida) and sister Cynthia Diane Martin (m. Harold Martin Houma, Louisiana).
Hugh was born during the Great Depression of the 1930s, grew up during World War II and became a young adult in the prosperity after the war. While he loved growing up in Freeport and DeFuniak Springs, he always had a strong desire to see the bright lights and excitement of the big cities. He joined the United States Air Force after one year of college and married his high school sweetheart, Grace, when he received his wings and commission. They set off on Hugh’s dream to see the world. Hugh accepted every opportunity offering travel. During their life together, Grace made a home for them in 27 different locations in ten states, two foreign countries, and one national trust territory. States included: Massachusetts, New Jersey, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, Kansas, Arkansas, Michigan, California and Florida. Hawaii was still a territory when he was stationed there. Taiwan and Saudi Arabia were his exotic locations. Hugh and Grace made a point to visit as many countries and capitals in Europe, the Middle East, Far East, and most of the islands in the Pacific. Even retirement did not end Hugh’s love of travel as he and Grace continued to explore and learn for many years with family and friends.
Hugh spent twenty years in the United States Air Force and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel and Senior Instructor Pilot. He flew C-124, T-33, C-47, B-47, O-2B and logged more than 10,000 hours in the B-52. He served in both the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War as navigator and pilot. Hugh was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with seven Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal and the Combat Readiness Medal among others.
Education was important and although he was unable to complete a four-year college degree immediately after high school, he did complete his Bachelor of Sciences at Northern Michigan University. After his Air Force career, both he and Grace took time to attend and complete graduate school where he was awarded a Master of Business Administration at Florida State University. He accepted a position with Lockheed. Hugh and Grace spent ten of the twenty years he worked for Lockheed in Saudi Arabia. He was a Vice President at Lockheed and retired in 1995.
Upon retirement, Hugh and Grace settled in Point Washington, Florida where he was a member of the Point Washington Methodist Church. Hugh served on the Board of Directors of Friends of Eden Gardens, Cultural Arts Association, South Walton Community Council, Three Arts Alliance and served as the Walton County Committeeman to the Florida Democratic Executive Committee. He also served on the Walton County Planning Commission. As a founding member of the Historic Point Washington Association, he took great pride in his service and his community. Hugh was a member of the Daedalians Bud Day Flight at Eglin Air Force Base.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Point Washington United Methodist Church 1290 North County Highway 395, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida on August 26, 2017 at 11:00am. The family will be receiving visitors in the church sanctuary prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Florida Chautauqua Assembly 1290 Circle Drive DeFuniak Springs, Florida 32435; Friends of Eden Gardens 181 Eden Gardens Rd Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459; or a charity dear to your heart.