(Dillsboro, Ind.) - A Dearborn County Councilman and former South Dearborn educator has died unexpectedly.
Jim Hughes passed away Sunday of a suspected heart attack, according to his brother and Dearborn County Commissioner Jeff Hughes. The lifelong Dillsboro resident was 62.
Hughes had just left home in his vehicle to go purchase a new Christmas tree when less than a mile down the road from his driveway the cardiac arrest began, Jeff Hughes said.
Hughes won election to county council’s District 3 seat as a Republican in 2010. It was his first and only run for office.
Prior to local politics, Hughes was a math teacher at South Dearborn Community Schools for over 30 years. He retired from teaching in 2005. He also touched a number of students’ lives as a driving instructor with the school district.
“He was a dedicated individual to Dearborn County,” Jeff Hughes said. “(After teaching) he wanted to continue to give his time to the community and that’s why he became a councilman.”
Council President Dennis Kraus, Sr. was shocked to learn of Hughes’ passing late Sunday evening.
“We’ll miss his input. I had a lot of respect for Jim,” Kraus said.
Dearborn County GOP Chairman Alan Goodman said news of Hughes’ death came as a total surprise.
“We’re saddened by his sudden death. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family,” Goodman said.
Hughes’ funeral arrangements have not been released.
It’s unclear how Hughes’ passing may affect plans for Dearborn County Council to meet for their regular meeting Tuesday. Funding for the Dearborn County Law Enforcement Center expansion will be the topic of the meeting scheduled for 6:00 p.m. in the County Administration Building in Lawrenceburg.
Kraus said no decision has been made on whether to cancel the meeting or hold it as scheduled.
A caucus would be necessary to fill the vacant council seat, Goodman said. A date for the caucus or the names of possible candidates have not yet been announced.