William Emerson Hough

January 15, 1941 - January 4, 2020

William “Bill” Emerson Hough, 78, of Batavia, IL., passed away peacefully, on Saturday, January 4, 2020 at Central DuPage Hospital. Bill was born January 15, 1941 in Collinsville, Connecticut, the son of Leonard and Marion (nee. Soisson) Hough. He was united in marriage to Mary “Lee” Elizabeth McCafferty on June 6, 1964 in Washington DC.

Bill was a graduate of Cranwell Preparatory school in Lenox, Massachusetts and graduated from Georgetown University in 1964.  Following graduation from Georgetown, Bill spent the first 20 years of his career with Montgomery Ward & Co. in Chicago, IL. He then opened his own paint store, Mr. Goodbrush, in Schaumburg, IL, which he ran with his wife, Lee “Mrs. Goodbrush”, for 10 years.  Bill then spent the next 16 years with JC Licht & Benjamin Moore, until his retirement in 2011. Most recently, one of Bill’s retirement “hobbies” was working part time at Ace Hardware in Geneva, IL.

Bill had a life long love affair with; Dewars White Label scotch whisky (splash of soda with a twist), pizza every Friday night (favorite places on speed dial), golf (obtained a prized hole in one in in 2016), the Chicago Bears (worked part time in season ticket office during the 80’s), the Chicago Cubs (obsessed with properly maintaining the “W” flag), music (the most random taste in music and one of his biggest accomplishments in life was figuring out how to work his iPod).

Bill excelled at mowing, mulching and keeping a beautiful yard, winning Batavia’s lawn of the year in 1978. He also excelled at cutting the cable line to the house numerous times over the years, while trying to maintain his sprinkler system, causing many hours/days without cable TV.

Bill had an infectious laugh, huge smile and favorite phrase was “life is good”, even on the tough days during treatment.  His most favorite times were spent with family and friends and working in the yard.

Bill is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Lee Hough; his three children, Bill Jr of Batavia, Elizabeth Hough Gill of Batavia, Jennifer Hough (Jason) Born of Sugar Grove; four grandchildren, Jonathan Gill, Amanda Gill, Rylee Born & Joseph Born; brother, Leonard Hough of Palm Harbor, Florida.  Bill was preceded in death by parents and his sister, Marion Scott.

Bill’s family would like to thank his Northwestern healthcare team that went above & beyond to help Bill courageously fight his short battle with esophageal cancer; Dr.John Abad, Dr.James Wade, Dr.Dragana Tomic & Dr. Nasiruddin Mohammed, alongside their APP’s, Jaime, Becky, Val, Louann, Mariann & Carrie. Huge thanks to the team at Central DuPage Hospital CICU, where Bill spent the last 7 weeks.

Visitation will be held from 4:00 P.M. until 6:00 P.M. on Thursday, January 9, 2020 at Moss Funeral Home, 209 S. Batavia Ave., Batavia, IL. 60510.  Funeral services will follow at 6:00 P.M. also at the funeral home.  Interment will be held privately.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, 541 North Fairbanks Court, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Please make the check payable to "Northwestern Memorial Foundation" and include "William “Bill” Hough " in the memo line. Donations can also be made online at or over the phone at (312) 926-2033. Your gift will support Northwestern Medicine Cancer Center Warrenville.

Guest Book

  • Jeff Weseman Sincere Condolences to the Hough Family on the passing of this great guy & mentor to many in the paint industry. irreplaceable as he was dedicated to the profession
  • Mike Flader My thoughts are with the Hough family. Thanks for sharing his “hobbies “ and “love affairs”. They brought back wonderful memories.
  • Janette Wolcott My condolences to all the family.