Thomas Robert “Tom” Pugh, Sr., 89, of Portland and Little Rock, died Wednesday, July 24, 2019, in the Palliative Care Unit of the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System. He was born April 20, 1930, into a pioneering Arkansas family settling Ashley County in 1850. He was named after his grandfather, who was an agricultural business leader in Southeast Arkansas, and was also a close friend and benefactor of North Little Rock developer Justin Matthews. Mr. Matthews constructed and then dedicated as a gesture of their friendship, T.R. Pugh Memorial Park (The Old Mill) in North Little Rock in 1933.
Tom was a 1948 graduate of the Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where he was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity. He was a veteran of the United States Air Force, a member of Portland United Methodist Church, and he attended First United Methodist Church in Little Rock. He served as Director of the Worthen Banking Corporation; Chairman of the Bank of Parkdale; Chairman of Delta Trust and Bank; Chairman of the Farm Equipment Company (Arkansas Ag), comprising multiple John Deere dealerships; Chairman of the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission; President of the Portland Cemetery Organization; and President of the Portland Hunting Club located on Caulk Island in the Mississippi River. He was a cotton ginner and owned farmland in southeast Arkansas. Tom’s recreational pursuits included time on the beach, flying airplanes, reading, and camping/hunting with friends on Caulk Island. He cherished every moment with his family and received great pleasure from personal relationships facilitated through his association with Baylor School, Sigma Chi, the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, and his business pursuits.
He is preceded in death by his wife and the mother of his children, Elsie Silverman, in 1988; and his wife, Susie Ingram Hogan in 2018; his parents, Gus and Evelyn Newman Pugh and two brothers, Gus “Buddy” Pugh, Jr. in 1936 and George Pugh, Sr. in 2015.
He is survived by his brother, Augustus “Bubba” Pugh of Lake Village; his children, Tom Pugh, Jr. and wife, Cindy, of Little Rock and Frank Pugh and wife, Melissa, of Portland; his stepchildren, Miles Hogan, Maggie Hogan, and Dan Hogan, all of Little Rock; his grandchildren, Robert Pugh and wife, Ashley, and Stephanie Pugh Smith and husband, Tom, all of Lake Village, and Elsie Pugh and Jaclyn Pugh, both of Little Rock; his great-grandson, Gus Smith of Lake Village; his nephew Leyden Pugh and wife, Jan, of Lake Village; his nieces, Becky Pugh, and husband, Dean Jabs, of Bethesda, Maryland, and Susie Pugh Tackett and husband, Jim, of Greenwood, Mississippi; and the many step-grandchildren he was blessed to know and love. The family wishes to thank the wonderful and devoted caregivers at Fox Ridge Assisted Living Community in Little Rock, the Arkansas State Veterans Home (Hero Home 7 & 8) in North Little Rock, and Arkansas Hospice.
Funeral services are 10 a.m., Wednesday, July 31, 2019, at the Portland United Methodist Church with Rev. Don Nolley and Rev. Jimmy Faulk officiating. Burial will be in the Portland Cemetery. Pallbearers are Leyden Pugh, Miles Hogan, Dan Hogan, Scott Young, Wayne Ricks and Gary Morgan. Memorials may be made to the Portland Cemetery Association, PO. Box 51, Portland, AR 71663, Portland United Methodist Church, PO Box 400, Portland, AR 71663, or the Arkansas Hospice Foundation, 14 Parkstone Circle, North Little Rock, AR 72116.
There will be a visitation for family and friends in Little Rock on Tuesday, July 30, 2019, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Ruebel Funeral Home.