Reva Engle Hughes


Reva Engle Hughes, formerly of rural Corydon, Iowa, passed away at age 93 on July 16, 2019, at Methodist West Hospital, West Des Moines, Iowa. A Celebration of Life will be held July 28, 2019 at 2:30 p.m, Carpenter’s Hall, Chariton, Iowa. Interment of ashes will be at the Corydon Cemetery.

Reva was born March 8, 1926, to Estella (Neal) and Arthur Kirchner on a farm west of Corydon in Benton Township. As a young girl, Reva cared for and sewed clothing for her younger sisters Marjorie, Margaret Jane, Mary Lou and Nancy. Reva loved riding horses on the family farm and often told the story of her favorite horse, Silver, a former racehorse that would stomp seven times when asked his age. Silver, on command, would also kneel so that Reva and other children could climb aboard.

Reva graduated from Cambria High School in 1943 and married Doyle Engle, a yeoman in the U.S. Navy, on June 1, 1944. They made their home on the Engle family farm north of Corydon. To this union, four children were born: Robert, Thomas, Judy and James. Like many women of her time, Reva worked tirelessly as a mother and homemaker—gardening, canning, making clothes and playing a critical role on the farm. She was widowed at the age of 46 when Doyle passed away in 1973.

As a grandmother, Reva brought joy and devotion to a new generation of her family, caring for her grandkids after school and delighting in their accomplishments as they grew. She served the people of Corydon well, too, during the years she worked at Nessen Pharmacy.

Following her marriage to Wayne Hughes of Garden Grove, she moved to Southgate Apartments in Chariton, then to Des Moines, where she resided at Luther Park. In her later years, she put her expert sewing skills to work in piecing quilts and making American Girl doll clothes. She established a scholarship fund for each of her eight great-grandchildren from the sale of those unique clothes.

Although she spent her last years away from Wayne County, Reva maintained a keen interest in her friends and relatives there and recalled lifelong stories of her life in rural Iowa.

Reva was preceded in death by her parents; her first husband, Doyle; two grandsons, Brian Engle and Martin Hughes; and a sister, Mary Lou Singleton. Honoring her memory are sisters Marjorie Watsabaugh, Margaret Jane Harvey and Nancy (Mike) McCann; children Bob (Debra) Engle, Tom (Waverly) Engle, Judy (Charles) Hughes, and Jim Engle; grandchildren Jennifer Johnson (Billy Hockenberry), Darin (Makayla) Engle, Christina (Travis) Sellers, Annette (Tim) Bailey, Erica (Jonathan) Craig, Jason Hughes, Nicholas (Shelley) Hughes, Ryan (Kristin) Hughes; great-grandchildren Gregory Hockenberry, Brylee and Carter Engle, Jordan (Mackenzie) Sellers, Taylor Sellers, Connor Candler, Colebe, Grace and Gabe Bailey, Evan Hughes, Dani Hughes, Declan Hughes; and great-great-granddaughter Hudson Sellers.

The family would like to express their heartfelt appreciation to the doctors and staff of Methodist West Hospital in West Des Moines for their loving care and support. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Corydon American Legion Auxiliary or Prairie Trails Museum of Wayne County in Corydon.

Reva will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by her many friends and family.