Richard Hughes, 84, of Eastsound, Washington, passed peacefully at Providence Hospital, in Everett, Washington, surrounded by his loving family. He was born in Bellingham, Washington in 1932 to Vic and Connie Hughes.
As a young boy, he followed his big brother Vic on many crazy adventures. During high school, he drove the sound car and ran the high school radio station. After graduation, his local Air National Guard Unit was called to active duty and he served near Fairbanks, Alaska as a member of the special services outpost during the Korean War. Richard graduated from the University of Washington in 1956 with a B.A. degree after attending one year at Western Washington University. As a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity, he served as President of the Interfraternity Council and a member of the Board of Governors of Student Government.
Shortly after release from military duty, he joined Family Life Insurance Company where he worked, for 35 years, in California, Montana, Kansas City and Lake Forest, IL. Richard was employed in a variety of positions with Family Life (selling mortgage life insurance through Banks, Savings and Loan and Mortgage Companies). He retired at age 59, leaving his position as Vice President, in 1991.
Richard’s love of Orcas Island began in the late 30s with family trips to Doe Bay to visit the Culver and Johanson families. In the early 40’s five families from Bellingham purchased property near Doe Bay and named it Shorewood. Richard received this property from his parents in 1976 and visited every summer.
Richard married the love of his life, Sally-Sue Allmon on December 10, 1967 and they were married over 30 years until her death in 1998. Richard and Sally-Sue became full time residents of Orcas Island in 1993.
Richard joined the US Coast Guard Auxiliary in 2002, participating in Flotilla meetings in Honolulu, Bellingham, and Anacortes. He was a member of the San Juan Islands Detachment, Flotilla 11 Bellingham. He had been Boat Crew qualified, and assisted in search and rescue missions in Hawaii and the Salish Sea.
In 2009, after learning about life jacket loaner programs for children, Richard put together a program that resulted in 9 stations at marinas on Orcas, Lopez, and Shaw Islands. He rounded up sponsors to mark the jackets, and create signs and racks. Richard loved this project. He often told the story of when 4 years old and he fell from an Orcas dock. Luckily, his older brother Victor was with him, and fished him out of the water. He saw the “Kids Don’t Float” program as an opportunity for personal payback as well as promoting recreational boating safety for children.
Richard loved life, Sally-Sue, his family, Orcas Island, his house on Buck Mountain, Rotary, Sigma Chi, friends and discussing politics. We all have been blessed by his presence, touched by his charm, warmed by his smile and laughed at his humor. Richard will be missed greatly.
Richard’s last few years was spent on Orcas Island with his friend Anna.
Preceded in life by his parents: Victor A Hughes and Francis C. Hughes; his brother: Victor C Hughes; his loving wife: Sally-Sue Hughes and grandson: Gavin James Hughes.
Survived by his son: Rick (Marlace) Hughes; grandson: Ricky Hughes; sister-in-law Judy Hughes nephew: Ken Hughes and nieces: Kathy Hughes and Karen Wieland.
Memorial Contributions to: Washington Make-A-Wish foundation in the name of Gavin James Hughes or the Richard and Sally-Sue Hughes family endowment at The Orcas Island Community Foundation.
A Graveside Service was held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, Dec. 30 at Olga-Doe Bay Cemetery, on Orcas Island in a plot next to his beloved late wife, Sally Sue and grandson Gavin. A Memorial Service will follow at the Orcas Island Community Church at 1 p.m. with a reception afterwards in the Church Hall.
Arrangements are in the care of Evans Funeral Chapel and Crematory, Inc., Anacortes, Washington and the San Juan Islands. To share a memory of Richard, please sign the online guest register at www.evanschapel.com.