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John Wayne Hughes

July 23, 1944 October 11, 2013
John Wayne Hughes
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Obituary for John Wayne Hughes

John Wayne Hughes,69, passed away at The University of Colorado Anschutz Inpatient Pavilion on Friday, October 11th at 5:45 p.m. He was surrounded by his family in love. John was diagnosed with gastric cancer in late July and fought bravely against the aggressive disease. John was a Colorado native in every sense of the word. He grew up in the Elyria neighborhood in Denver, CO near the Denver Union Stockyards. He often passed many afternoons watching his father, Lawrence Wayne Hughes, count cattle and carry on the Hughes “cowboy” tradition. He attended Manual High School where he was third in the state in wrestling at 133 pounds and also a lineman on the football team at only 145 pounds. He graduated with Manual’s class of 1963. John began work at a place that fueled his life’s passion, the University of Colorado Medical Center, on July 1, 1968. His first job was as a Maintenance Mechanic I. For the next 39 years he worked to serve the University of Colorado in various capacities, ultimately becoming the Campus Building Official, a position he held until his retirement in May of 2007. Those who knew him could always spot him in his signature, cowboy hard hat. He helped oversee many of the campus projects on the new Anschutz Medical Campus. He loved his work, and refused to retire until he helped guide the completion of the new Children’s Hospital, which he lovingly called his “baby.” John was the quintessential family man. He took pride in each and every accomplishment of his five children. He was one of the loudest fans at all of their sporting events and in all of their lives. He was also a devoted husband. He and his wife, Julie, were married for 38.5 years. They were inseparable best friends who found satisfaction in the simplicity of being together. He was a man who worked hard every day of his life. He was often up at 4:00 a.m. and had to be “encouraged” to come inside, even late in the evening. Although he had nearly seven decades behind him, John could outwork and outlast most 30-year-old men. John looked much younger than he was and went into the hospital boasting six-pack abs. He loved working in the many gardens and fields on his country property. He knew how to fix just about anything and was the first person to share those skills with others. John truly would give the shirt off of his back to help anyone. John lived more in his 69 years than others who see many more decades. He enjoyed bike riding, hiking, big game hunting and traveling with his family. As recently as April, he took his dream vacation to Costa Rica enjoying ziplining and horseback riding and of course, a cold one on the beach. It was a perfect trip. To know John was to love him. His smile was infectious as well as his ever present positive outlook and happiness. He brought joy to those who met him and left a legacy of warmth in his memory. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, cousin, uncle, and friend. His mark will forever be left in our hearts. We were blessed and lucky to share life with John. His was nicknamed “Sunny” as a child, nothing could be more fitting. He was the BEST. John is survived by his wife, Julie Hughes, of Broomfield, CO; his three sons, John Wayne Hughes Jr. of Commerce City, CO (Antonia); Seth Patrick Hughes of Monument, CO; Caleb Daniel Hughes of Brighton, CO; two daughters, Chantal Yvonne Davis of Elizabeth, CO (Andrew); Sadie Beth Hughes of Cedar Rapids, IA; three grandchildren Steven Paul Hughes of Federal Heights, CO; Sean Alexander Davis of Elizabeth, CO and Danielle Yvonne Davis of Elizabeth, CO; his sister, Adrienne Corbett of Broomfield, CO; his brother, Randy Hughes of Pueblo, CO (Carol); his mother-in-law, Charlotte Emogene McCarty of Aurora, CO; sister-in-law, Sharilyn Marie Johnson, of Sterling, CO; brother-in-law, Robert Arthur McCarty of Sterling, CO (Caroline); and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He is preceded in death by his parents Lawrence Wayne Hughes and Josephine Ann Hughes and his grandson, John Robert Hughes. His honorary pallbearers will be: his sons, John Wayne Hughes Jr., Seth Hughes and Caleb Hughes. His son-in-law, Andrew Davis; brother-in-law, Robert McCarty; nephew, Tim Johnson; friend, Chris Gallegos; nephew-in-law, Chuck Meyer; and friend, Kristopher Neilsen. A celebration of life ceremony for John will be held at the sanctuary at the Broomfield United Methodist Church at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 19th. The church is located just west of Broomfield High School at 545 W. 10th Avenue Broomfield, CO 80020. Parking will be in the northwest parking lot of the church. **John “Sunny” loved the color yellow. The family asks guests wear something yellow =). Flowers and cards can be sent to “The Family of John Hughes” in care of the DeWitt & Tabler Funeral Home, 12114 Grant Circle, Denver, CO 80241. (303) 282-4753 Memorial donations for gastric cancer research will be gratefully accepted by the University of Colorado Foundation. To make a gift online, access www.cufund.org/giving-opportunities/memorial-funds/. To make a gift by check, send it to CU Foundation, Mail Stop A065, 13001 E. 17th Place, Aurora, CO 80045. Checks must be made payable to the “CU Foundation” with a note in the memo line indicating the gift is designated to the “John Hughes Gastric Cancer Research Fund.” Type the following address or highlight, copy and paste this address into your browser to be directed to the site to make a donation. http://www.cufund.org/giving-opportunities/fund-description/?id=14001

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