James's Story

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James Paul Hughes, 84, of Ottumwa passed away on Sunday, November 26th, 2017 at the Hospice House in Ottumwa, Iowa.
Paul was born May 10th, 1933 in Marion Kentucky to Norvel Harper Hughes and Lulu Ann (Newbell) Hughes. Paul spent the first 12 years of his life in Marion before moving to Ottumwa where he spent the remainder of his life.
Paul graduated from Ottumwa High School in 1953.
He married Marie Rebecca Wheeldon on June 13th, 1953. To this union was born three sons: Byron (Jeanette) Hughes of Ottumwa, Alan Hughes of Ames, Iowa and Phillip (Kal) Hughes of Monroeville, Pennsylvania.
Paul served in the U.S. Army at the end of the Korean War. Inducted into the Army the same week the cease fire was signed in Korea, he was stationed in Fontenet, France, a circumstance he was always grateful for as he knew many had not been so fortunate.
Self-taught in electronics and related fields he worked for Friday Lynch Radio & TV, Baird TV, and Brown Electronics, and "Iowa Tech" which became Indian Hills as a teacher. He ended his career as a self-employed TV and electronics repairman and satellite installer for Dish Network at the age of 70 years.
He also worked for a "gentleman" by the name of John Graham who taught him woodworking, forming a friendship with him and his family that would last both of their lifetimes.
Paul had many fine qualities. He was patient, meticulous in nature, a true perfectionist, and good sense of humor. These qualities served him well in all facets of his life. An avid photographer from the age of 12, photography remained his passion for the rest of his life. He was asked to judge many photography contests during his life and was always willing to offer his help and experience to a budding fellow photographer. He never entered a contest himself though as he was his own toughest critic always searching for the perfect image. He has left behind an archive of literally thousands of images chronicling his life which will always be cherished.
As a father, these traits served his sons well. He always stressed the importance of being an individual. He gave his children the freedom to make their own choices and mistakes with just enough rope to pull them back before they got into too much trouble.
He was also quite a mischievous prankster with many of his friends and family being on the receiving end of the pranks. But he had the admirable quality of being able to laugh at himself when we returned the favor.
Preceding Paul in death are his parents, Norvel Hughes and Lulu Hughes; sister Mary Elizabeth Schneider Musik; brother George William Hughes; and one brother, John Lewis Hughes, two sisters, Mildred Lois Hughes and Betty Louise Hughes who passed away in early childhood. Also two sister-in-laws, four brother-in-laws, three nephews and four nieces.
Survivors include his wife, sons, daughters-in-law, six grandchildren Nicole, Heidi, Amanda, Jessica, Shelby, Bella, four great-grandchildren Taylor, Cade, Kendall, Eliza, and many nieces, nephews, in-laws and friends, which include the Lawrence girls Valerie, Cynthia, Karen and Stacy, who he loved and admired.
A Celebration of Life will be held from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday December 17, 2017 at Pennsylvania Place Retirement Community, #1 Pennsylvania Ave, Ottumwa, Iowa. Private burial will be in Batavia Cemetery.
The family would like to express their gratitude to the Hospice House of Ottumwa. Their true compassion, professionalism, and friendship combined to make Paul's last months as dignified and comfortable as humanly possible. In lieu of flowers, the family would ask that memorials be made to: Hospice House at 927 E Pennsylvania Avenue, Ottumwa, Iowa 52501. They are truly deserving.
Published on December 12, 2017
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