James Patrick (Pat) Hughes, longtime Downey resident, beloved father and grandfather, avid golfer, fly fisherman, wood refinisher, and consummate joke-teller, passed away on November 17, 2014, in Downey, California.
Pat was born to Joseph Simpson Hughes and Mary Elizabeth Hughes in Long Beach, California, and grew up in South Gate, attending South Gate High School.
In September of 1943, one day shy of his 18th birthday, Pat enlisted in the
U.S. Navy, where he proudly served aboard the USS Jason, the USS Washington, the USS North Carolina, and the USS Europa. Following an Honorable Discharge from the Navy in May of 1946, Pat attended Compton Community College, receiving an AA degree in 1948.
That same year, Pat began a long career with the Southern California Gas Company. He worked initially as a field service technician, out of the Downey base, and later joined the Southern California Gas Company’s marketing services division in Anaheim, from which he retired in 1989.
Pat’s greatest joys in life were his family and his friends, and he loved nothing more than making people laugh. A man of deep honesty and integrity, Pat dedicated his life to leaving the world a better place. He quietly went about helping those in need—both friends and strangers alike. Pat will be deeply missed by everyone whose lives he touched.
While sorting through Dad’s effects after his passing, we came upon a note he had written titled “Things I Like to Do.” In it, he mentions, among other things, watching beautiful sunrises and sunsets, helping others, talking to people, taking walks, solving problems, watching sports, and listening to the sound of peaceful streams.
Pat is survived by his three daughters, Kathy Callan (Steve), Anita Melcombe (Rich) Suzanne Scholl (Kim), and his beloved grandchildren, Melissa Melcombe (Matt Sprowles) and Charlie Melcombe.
Dad/Grandpa, we love you so much. You will be in our hearts and in our memories forever.
A private burial was held at Riverside National Cemetery on December 15, 2014.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to one of Pat’s favorite charities: the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, or the Arthritis Foundation.