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Kennywood CEO took amusement seriously

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By Jerry Vondas
Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

Carl Hughes spent more than 50 years in Kennywood Amusement Park, creating a park that embodied the spirit of Western Pennsylvania.

“When other amusement parks tried to emulate Disney World, Dad said, ‘We are who we are, and we do it better than anyone else,' ” said his daughter, Mary Lou Rosemeyer of Troy Hill.

Carl O. Hughes of Mt. Washington, retired CEO of Kennywood Entertainment, died on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, in his home. He was 91.

“It was Carl's love of children, especially teenagers, that motivated him into providing a park that was family-oriented,” said Anny Coleman Hughes, his wife of 58 years. “We traveled to amusement parks throughout Europe and Asia to find exciting yet appropriate rides for children and adults.”

Born and raised in a Welsh family in South Fork, Cambria County, Mr. Hughes was the son of banker Wallace Hughes and his wife, Edith Owens Hughes.

After graduating from South Fork High School, where he edited the school newspaper, Mr. Hughes received a bachelor's degree in economics from Geneva College in Beaver Falls. He was working in the sports department of the former Pittsburgh Press when he was inducted into the Army during World War II.

He returned to the newspaper after his discharge.

“That's where we met,” said his wife, who worked in the Press' editorial promotion department. “I felt comfortable being with him. He was not only kind and considerate, but I found him to be a man of integrity.”

Mr. Hughes began his career at Kennywood in 1956. He taught Sunday school for children and adults at Christ Presbyterian Church in Carnegie and Dormont Presbyterian Church.

In addition to his wife, Anny, and daughter Mary Lou, Mr. Hughes is survived by his daughter, Lynn Cauley of the East End; a sister, Joanne Hunter of Houston; eight grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a sister, Helen Louise Nave.

Family and friends are invited to attend a memorial service at 1:30 p.m. Sunday in Smithfield United Church of Christ, Downtown. Arrangements are being handled by William Slater & Sons Inc. of Mt. Washington.

Jerry Vondas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7823or jvondas@tribweb.com.

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