John Michael (Mike) Hughes
May 8, 1948 – February 2, 2021
John Michael (Mike) Hughes, 72, of Seattle, Washington, loving husband, father and grandfather, passed away peacefully on February 2, 2021, with his wife, Bea, and sons, Brad and Kyle, by his side.
Mike was born on May 8, 1948 in Chicago, Illinois; moved to Schneider, Indiana, as a young boy; played football and wrestled at Lowell High School; and earned a BA in Business from Southern Illinois University. He met his wife, Bea, in Denver and headed West until reaching the ocean. They settled in West Seattle, where they married and raised their family over the next 40 years. Upon arriving in Seattle, Mike delighted in discovering that multiple Hughes cousins had also moved West to Seattle.
Mike defined success as creating a stable family life and working for the City. He did both. While raising his family in West Seattle, Mike worked for the Seattle Parks & Recreation Department for 25 years, retiring in 2007. He then started his Alki Handyman business. He loved the outdoors and knew the City parks like the back of his hand; some would say he was the best tour guide ever. Mike was fascinated by Seattle’s history and shared stories of landmarks with friends, family, and exchange students. Alki Beach and Lincoln Park captured his heart. West Seattle was his paradise.
Mike was a good man, with a physical and moral strength admired by many. You could count on him to be there and to do the right thing. He was a man of conviction and raised his sons with a principled moral code and sense of responsibility. People who worked with him remarked about his honesty, special sense of humor, good work ethic, professionalism, and his ability to foster individual contribution and pride. He openly admired skills and talents of others.
Sports was in Mike’s DNA, yet he valued art and music. He loved the heart based, real-life focus of country music. He was proud of and encouraged his boys’ athletic and artistic endeavors. His sensitive, loving, compassionate heart came through his sometimes-gruff exterior. Mike had a seriousness tempered by unexpected silliness. He was curious, creative, insightful and resourceful and nurtured those traits in others. He appreciated the arts of letter writing, storytelling and joke telling. He was a problem solver, tackled the seemingly impossible, loved a good challenge, pushed his own limits, and found ways to accomplish his mission.
In addition to sports, Mike’s pastimes included crossword puzzles, scrabble, cards, occasional trips to the horse track, and daily walks to Alki Beach with his dog (his best friend). He mastered the art of origami and was especially proud of folding a paper Pegasus (from Japanese instructions). He took up spelunking in college; moved on to sailing and scuba diving. Family sailing adventures abounded; and he realized his dream of diving the Great Barrier Reef with his family. He passed along to his boys skills in auto mechanics and home remodeling that he learned from his dad. He was proud of transforming an old house into the family home. Mike was a simple yet complex man with a spiritual consciousness, all the while being practical and pragmatic. He was a dedicated family man; his greatest joy was seeing his sons grow up to be devoted and loving family men. He was a man of few words but immense love. As we say farewell, Mike would say “I’ll see you down the road.”
Mike is preceded in death by his parents, Donald R. and Rita (Kerins) Hyatte; his birth father, Donald A. Hughes; three brothers, Ed, Dan and Leo. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Bea; two sons and their wives, Brad (Kyra), and Kyle (Hannah); three grandchildren, Mackenzie, Camden, Westley; his younger sister, Maggie (Joe) Czerwionka; numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Mike was a lifelong blood donor; in lieu of flowers, contributions to BloodWorks Northwest are welcome www.bloodworksnw.org
Due to COVID, an in-person memorial is not planned. Immediate family will pay tribute to Mike at his favorite spot, Alki Beach; a virtual celebration for extended family, close friends, and others who would like to pay tribute to Mike is in the planning phase. Check back for updates.
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