Edward Hughbanks, a lifelong and popular resident of Gary died recently following a brief illness. He was 78.
Raised by his maternal grandparents and his stepmother Mary Rogers, he was encouraged to excel academically and did so, developing a love for knowledge as a student at Tolleston High School. His thirst for travel and adventure began in Casablanca, Morocco, where he was stationed in the Air Force as a Military Policeman. He subsequently became a world traveler, so much so he became known as Mr. International.
Regarded about town as a stylish, cosmopolitan man, Hughbanks’ interests included travel, music, and fashion. Of the latter his taste in fashion ranged from expensive tailored suits to colorful African wear. Describing his love of fashion, he frequently remarked, “I don’t get up and put on clothes, I get up and get dressed.”
Hughbanks had a number of career false starts before his celebrated career in advertising. He was recruited by the FBI but declined to accept the job offer in light of the turmoil and civil unrest of the sixties. He began a career in insurance and also worked as a recruiter of African American teachers for the Gary Public School Corporation before finding his niche in newspaper advertising. He is described as a transformational figure in the history of newspaper advertising. As an ad man he broke class and color barriers and set the tone for professionalism while at the Gary Post Tribune, and later as Executive Account Manager at the Chicago Tribune. Before retirement he was an Account Manager with the National Black MBA Association and was the owner of the promotional and advertising firm, Sale-A-Bration.
Considered a great conversationalist Hughbanks frequently engaged with strangers and spoke at length about his passion for skiing, his love of jazz, and his taste for stout, a British beer. However, it is said no topic consumed his conversations more than discussing his grandchildren. He noted his biggest honor was speaking at both his grandsons’ Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony and shopping for and with his granddaughter.
Hughbanks is survived by two sons, Lamont Williams of Milwaukee, WI, and Darius Hughbanks of Tampa, FL; two brothers, Kenneth Rogers of Alexandria, VA and Ronald Rogers of Pasadena, CA, three grandchildren, Lamont Jr., Montrell and Briana of Milwaukee, WI., and an adopted son Jimmie (Joann) Parker of Milwaukee. Ed is also survived by a host of family and friends in Gary, Chicagoland, Oklahoma City, OK, Los Angeles & Pasadena, CA, very “special friends named PAM” and so many others around the world.
Due to the current state of affairs, a memorial is planned for a later date.
Cards and condolences may be addressed to Lamont Williams, P.O. Box 16754, Milwaukee, WI 53216.