Accident victim was a man of many interests
Under other circumstances, Kevin Hough’s family might have turned to him for the kind of comfort food that can help you through a tough time. Hough was a great cook, and he specialized in stick-to-your-ribs meals like chili, chicken adobo and mushroom ragout.
“Whenever we were down or we needed a special meal, that’s what we would get,” said Kathy Hough, Kevin’s wife of 30 years.
But now, when his family has every reason to be down, Hough isn’t there to make those meals anymore. The 52-year-old Farmington resident was killed in an early-morning accident April 25 on Highway 55 in Mendota Heights.
Hough was a man of many passions. He would find an interest and jump into it with enthusiasm. Then, something else would catch his attention and he’d attack that with the same excitement.
He grew up a military history buff and loved to build military models. He collected military paraphernalia and volunteered for a time restoring vehicles — particularly tanks — at the Fort Snelling History Museum.
He restored radios and received the highest classification as a ham radio operator. He had contacts all over the world.
He was a home brewer and an aquarium enthusiast and a recreational shooter who participated in cowboy action shooting competitions and volunteered for years at youth shoots at the Dakota County Gun Club.
“He was pretty much defined by his work,” Kathy said. “He would develop an interest in areas and pursue them to the Nth degree and then they would fade away and something else would come along.”
Most recently, Hough’s passion was serving as mechanic and crew chief for his son Ted’s auto racing. They were planning to put the engine in Ted’s car on the day Hough died.
Hough was reserved by nature, but he managed to make friends nearly everywhere he went. The tow truck driver at the impound lot where his car ended up after the accident knew Hough from his work as a Skywarn severe weather spotter.
“Everyone I talked to thought he was the funniest, kindest, most generous guy,” Kathy said. “He would jump up and help you before you even finished asking.”
Hough was on his way to work Friday morning when the accident happened. He was headed west on Highway 55 in a 2006 Ford Focus when an eastbound driver swerved into oncoming traffic and hit Hough head on. The other driver, 53-year-old Bloomington resident Gary Ferm, was not injured.
Kathy had a feeling as soon as she saw the accident online that her husband was involved. She knew his route to work, and she knew his schedule would have put him in the area of the crash at the time it happened. She got the news officially a few hours later from a State Trooper.
Hough was raised in Pennsylvania and worked for 23 years as an aircraft mechanic and inspector for Northwest Airlines. He worked most recently for Element Materials Technology in Minneapolis.
Hough is survived by Kathy and sons Stephen, Collin and Ted.