Miles William Hughes, 44, known for his singular wit and love of family, died suddenly in the arms of his lifelong love, Leigh Ann Hayward Hughes, in Oak Park, on March 17. Miles met Leigh Ann while in middle school in Tallahassee, Fla., forming a strong friendship that would blossom into love, marriage and children, Ragan, 16, and Reece, 10.

Born on June 20, 1968 in Mount Pleasant, Mich. to William and Jane Hughes, the family moved to Tallahassee in 1977. He graduated from Lincoln High School in 1986 before attending the University of Florida, where he completed a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in history. He married Leigh Ann on May 16, 1992, in Tallahassee. His education led him to the Florida State University College of Law, where he served on the law review and earned a JD in 1997. He served as a clerk for Justice Ben Overton of the Florida Supreme Court.

At the time of his death, he was an income partner with the McDermott, Will & Emery law firm in Chicago. He will be fondly remembered for his unique sense of humor and his passion for life. He was an avid tennis player and lover of heavy metal music, and he was fascinated by the vast power of the cosmos. His compassion for humanity showed in his demeanor and his politics. His commitment to his family was apparent to all who knew him, and he will be greatly missed by his community.

Youth baseball, trips to the planetarium and watching his children on stage in Oak Park filled his life. He loved and mentored his nephew, Domenic Casenelli, with whom he shared his passion for music. He was preceded in death by his father, William Hughes, and his grandmother, Pearl Ragan Elrod.

Miles Hughes is survived by his best friend and wife of 21 years, Leigh Ann; their daughter, Ragan, 16, and son, Reece, 10; his mother, Jane Hughes; his sisters, Sallie Hughes and Cindy Hughes; his nephew, Nic, 23; his father- and mother-in-law, Tom and Dot Hayward; his brother-in-law, Blake Hayward, and Jan Hayward; his nieces, Hannah, 22, Camille, 17, and Lydia, 13; and extended family and friends in Oak Park, Tallahassee, Chicago, and other locations.

A memorial service will be held in Oak Park on Wednesday afternoon, March 20; the time and address will be posted on the Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home website: (

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in honor of Miles may be made to Sarah’s Inn,

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