My mother died this morning. She’d been in a coma since Tuesday, when she apparently suffered a stroke and a heart attack. Here’s the obituary that will appear in tomorrow’s Richmond paper:
Ann Lucas Hughes loved being part of a big family. The Hughes family itself isn’t very large. Ann and Jim (aka “Mickey”) had two children—Patti and Mike. Mike and his wife Ginny had two sons—Preston and Jason. Jason and Carley have a rambunctious daughter, Ella. Ann and Jim’s siblings were the ones who really filled out the family tree. Jim’s two sisters had 22 kids (no kidding)—the Duncans and the Orsinis. Two of mom’s sisters had 20—the Murphys and the Roaches. The Lucases, Kennedys, Bowles and Saulniers filled out the other branches of the family tree. And then there were the honorary family members—the Littons, Patti’s retinue, the Bowluses, Mike’s entire company, an army of dedicated friends and many, many more. Over the years, there was also an eclectic mix of people facing health or family or loneliness problems. Ann welcomed them into her Forest Hill Avenue home. Several lived with the Hugheses for years.
Ann outlived Mickey and all of their siblings. At her death Saturday at age 90, she was clearly the adored, funny, kind matriarch for four generations of a family that numbered in the hundreds. She shared her stories with all of us. Stories about being the first female draftsman at the state highway department. Touching stories about how much she missed Mickey since he died in ’84. But mostly self-deprecating funny stories about saying or doing the wrong things at the wrong time.
Patti was her mother’s best friend for the thirty years since Mickey died. Patti’s best friend will now be Eloise.
The family will welcome friends at a visitation from 2 to 4 today (Sunday) at Bliley’s-Central, 3801 Augusta Avenue. A rosary service will follow at 4 p.m.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 213 N. 25th St., followed by a reception in the church hall. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Westminster Canterbury or St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Richmond.