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Jack Hough, a beloved businessman and philanthropist, was shot and killed outside a CVS pharmacy in Gainesville, Georgia.
His full name was James Jackson “Jack” Hough, and he was 73-years-old. “Jack was a philanthropist in the Gainesville community and supported numerous charities,” his obituary reads. “In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to two of Jack’s favorite charities – We Care 615 Oak Street #F1300 Gainesville, GA 30501 and Gainesville First United Methodist Church 2780 Thompson Bridge Road Gainesville, GA 30501.”
Hough was remembered by those who knew him as a “fine Southern Gentleman,” who gave a lot back to the community.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Hough Was Shot in a Pharmacy Parking Lot While Waiting for His Wife
Hough was shot and killed by an unknown assailant as he sat in the parking lot of CVS Pharmacy around 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7. He was shot in the torso.
Jack Hough and his wife had gone to dinner and then stopped at the pharmacy, according to WDUN. Police think it was a robbery or carjacking. According to The Gainesville Times, Hough’s wife went inside the pharmacy to buy something, and he stayed back in the car waiting for him to return.
The Gainesville Police Department says the “victim has been pronounced dead at Northeast Georgia Medical Center. The case is being investigated as a homicide. Shooting investigation CVS on Parkhill Drive. Male subject shot, transported to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in unknown condition.”
The police chief recorded a video in which he discussed “four random unrelated acts of gun violence that have occurred in our city in the past five weeks… We know that random acts of violence are not the norm for Gainesville, Georgia.” He said police were working “around the clock” to solve the homicides that had occurred.
2. Hough Was Described as a Great Friend Whose Loss Is Senseless
Friends remembered Jack Hough on social media. “Jack Hough was a great friend. I will miss him dearly,” wrote one man. The Scott’s Downtown restaurant page wrote, “Jack Hough has been a friend, supporter and mentor since I came to Gainesville. I will miss him terribly. Such a senseless loss.”
Matt Dubnik, a state representative, wrote, “This is a picture of my friend, Jack Hough, at my August campaign event. It’s significant to me because Jack was standing front and center, there to support me. He always told me that I was doing a good job and he always encouraged me. He will be truly missed and our community will forever be in his debt. Until we meet again, my friend.”
According to police, “Perpetrator was reportedly a black male wearing all black clothing, left on foot. K-9 units are on the ground and aviation in the air. Anyone with info please call 911.” You can see a surveillance photo here, although it doesn’t show the shooter’s face.
3. Hough Was President of a Food Company & Was Involved in Community Events
On Facebook, where his page has been turned into a memorial site, Hough wrote that he was Owner/ President at MSE Branded foods from 1990 to present. “So sad. We worked with MSE Branded Foods throughout the years…praying for friends and family!” wrote a woman on Facebook.
The company’s website describes it this way: “At MSE Branded Foods, we provide a variety of operating options including full-service restaurants and bars, and food courts featuring nationally branded quick-service concepts. MSE operations cover the spectrum of airports, universities, hotels and premium shopping centers.”
Ed Jones, vice president of MSE Branded Foods, told The Gainesville Times: “We did consolidated food courts, which was a totally different concept from what other people were doing. He came up with ways to answer a need in the market that wasn’t being met.”
In 2014, Hough wrote on Facebook, “MSE Branded Foods opened Thomas Creek Grill and RJ Rockers Flight Room yesterday at the Greenville – Spartanburg International Airport.” In 2013, he wrote, “Grand opening at the St. Louis Premium Outlets yesterday.” And that same year: “MSE Branded Foods opened 4 new restaurants at Myrtle Beach Int’l Aiport yesterday, including Nacho Hippo which is a southwest restaurant / bar.”
The website lists Hough as the company president and says, “With 30 years of experience in the restaurant business, and extensive expertise in commercial banking and real estate development, Mr. Hough is the founder of MSE Branded Food Systems. As a pioneer in manufacturer branded food concepts, he was one of the first to adopt the “consolidated food court” format. Jack holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting, with an emphasis in Banking.”
According to his obituary, “He was President and CEO of the company he founded, MSE Branded Foods for 23 years. He was President of the Wall Street Club, a member of Rotary, and a Founding Director of the Chattahoochee Bank of a Georgia. Jack also served in the military and was member of the Gainesville First United Methodist Church.”
4. Hough Was From Alabama & Studied Accounting
According to his Facebook page, Hough studied Accounting at University of Alabama in Huntsville. He is from Decatur, Alabama, and graduated from Decatur High School, but he lived in Gainesville, Georgia.
He was married to wife, Gail Davis. His Facebook page was filled with photos of food court restaurants and also travels. “Fly Fishing in North Carolina on the Nantahala River,” he wrote with one photo. “Life at the beach….” he wrote with another.
AJC reports that there was a struggle before Hough was shot. “It’s senseless. I’m numb. I mean, my wife last night said she couldn’t cry anymore,” friend Andy Piucci said to WSB-TV. “He was a great friend and just a wonderful person. It’s just horrible.”
5. Hough Served in the U.S. Air Force & Was Married With a Son
Hough posted a photo of himself serving in the U.S. Air Force, prompting numerous friends to thank him for his service.
According to his obituary, Hough was married to Gail Attaway Davis on November 22, 2014. He is survived by his son Brandon Hough and his brother Don Hough.
He was involved in many charities, especially ‘We Care’ with his wife, Gail,” Piucci said to the television station of Jack Hough.
“I can’t imagine what it would be like to walk out of that business and find citizens rendering aide to my spouse. That’s what breaks my heart and keeps me up and driven to find this man,” the police chief told WSB.