John was born in Canada in 1949. He died earlier this year of a massive heart attack at his home near Las Vegas. He was gone instantly and did not linger or suffer.
The Hughes parents moved to Fullerton in the mid-1950s with their sons Bill, ’65 and John, ’67. The boys attended Pacific Drive Elementary School, Nicolas Junior High and Sunny Hills.
I met John in 1961. Our neighborhood around South Basque & Oak was home to the Slezak brothers, Tom McCutchen, Jim Shattuck, Jim Sawyer, the Perrone brothers, Rob Allingham, Terry Hackett, the Ford sisters, the Redfearn brothers, the Ambridge sisters, the Walery family, the O’Brien family, Mike and Theresa Macias, and a half-block east, Randy McDonald, Rick Raczka, Mike Staffieri, the Carter brothers, Dennis Rollins, Cecily Wooters, Karen Teson, Ludd Trozpek and more. There was always a game of touch football going on, catch with a football, basketball on a driveway or in an alley, or baseball. John and Bill were in many of those games.
Everybody liked John. He was a man's man, a rugged, handsome guy who probably could have been a Western movie and TV star, and girls liked him.
John played football, basketball, baseball and wrestled at Sunny Hills. He was a varsity football leader.
John was very intelligent and enjoyed reading when he had time. He majored in Marine Biology for a while at Cal State Fullerton, after being inspired by Jacques Cousteau.
Later John became a casino manager in Las Vegas and probably Bullhead City. It was a brutal job with long hours through the night and high stress.
John was quiet and didn’t always say much. He opened up with his friends. A loyal, down-to-earth, hard-working man of integrity.
We’ll all miss John. Many of you knew him much better than I did.
My condolences to his family.
Bill, I’m sorry.
September 4, 2023