Neil Cameron Hughes, 1936-2021

Neil Cameron Hughes, 85, died peacefully on Wednesday, December 22, 2021, at his home in Leesburg, Virginia, from complications of ALS.

He was born in Santiago, Chile on December 17, 1936, to Ronald Keith Hughes and Margaret Gibson Hughes, where his family lived through World War II, before returning to the United States.

Hughes received his B.A. in history from The College of Wooster in 1959 and then went on to study British colonial history at Edinburgh University. After three years in the U.S. Navy, he attended The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, graduating with an M.A. in international finance and public policy. He joined Bankers Trust Co. in New York, then moved to the World Bank in 1968, where he spent the next 33 years working in 25 countries as an industrial and financial development specialist.

In 1989, he and his wife of 53 years, Kathleen, bought an historic house in Waterford, Virginia, and he devoted himself to the study of the American history and to its preservation. He served on the board and as president of the Waterford Foundation and wrote A Village in Time: 1690-1990, in which he delved into the history he discovered in this National Historic Landmark.

He is survived by his favorite dance partner, traveling companion, and wife, Kathleen Pope Hughes; two beloved daughters, Sara Hughes McNeal and Jennifer Norris Hughes; and three grandchildren, Isabel, Charlotte, and Thomas McNeal, and his twin brother Gordon Leslie Hughes of Whiting, New Jersey.

A memorial service will be held later this spring at St. James Episcopal Church in Leesburg with internment in the Waterford Union Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the Waterford Foundation or to Save the Children or UNICEF.

Online condolences may be made to the family at

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