Around Suffield By Pauline Persons

By Pauline Persons Published:

Family and friends surprised Richard Hughes of Suffield on his 90th birthday. Richard's four daughters and their families planned this surprise by calling him and asking his help with car trouble. Always ready to help his girls, he hurried to the Mogadore Baptist Church to give assistance. He was very surprised and overwhelmed by the crowd gathered to help celebrate his special birthday.

The church was decorated with memorable family photos and a huge inflatable birthday cake. The family provided a buffet of delicious food, complete with a huge birthday cake with Richard's picture. The girls toasted their father with individual stories of growing up under his parenting. They all agreed that when young he was "bigger than life" and now realized what a great father he always was, with his great skills of wisdom that they are following in raising their children.

A little biography on Richard: He has moved around a bit, being born in Blairsville, Ga., his family later settled in Akron. He met and married Florence Lane Heffner. They were married 43 years and raised four girls: Winona (and Charles) Johnston of Pittsburgh, Pa., Belinda (and Chris) Freese of Indiana, Sheal (and Dave) Price of Brimfield and Juanice (and Art) Saylor of Suffield.

They lived in Akron and later moved the family to Suf­field after he built their house on Waterloo Road. Later, Richard retired from The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., with 42 years of service.

Richard has always been involved in many activities. He loves sports and, while working at Goodyear, he played on their baseball team as pitcher and also played ball on many church leagues. He has always been an avid bowler. He bowled on three leagues until recently, when he cut back to two.

When time allows, he enjoys hunting with his friend Harold Thompson and his sons.

For many years he was also active in the Masons.

Richard's daughters shared testimonials regarding his Christian faith. They admire him as a very humble man who walks the Christian walk with Christ. He has been involved serving God in all aspects of his churches: serving as youth director and deacon, finance committees and building committees, being a Sunday School teacher and attending numerous Bible studies, visiting members and also singing in the choir. His faith and love for Christ have always been his anchor and solid foundation.

Richard was instrumental in starting the Broadman Baptist Church, with his friend Hoyt Douglas, which was housed in a school house. He and Florence were married there, and their four daughters were baptized and also married in this church.

Along with Richard's happy years, he endured the passing of his wife, Florence, after her battle with cancer.

Richard later married Midge, who was a close friend and neighbor of the girls' mother. They will celebrate 10 years of marriage this February. Together, he and Midge share many grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Their greatest joy is being with their family.

Never idle, together the Hugheses are avid Fall Metro Park hikers earning their annual shields for their walking staffs.

Everyone left the party wondering about Richard's youthful appearance and energy. No one could believe Richard was 90. Everyone is looking forward to the next decade celebration!

Richard's grandchildren by his four daughters are Whitney Johnston, Ryan and Breanne Freese, Travis, Cody and Makayla Price, Todd, Shayna Foldi (and Mitch) and Kalyn Saylor and Ashley Butler, an angel in Heaven.

For Suffield news, contact Pauline Persons at 330-628-3994 or ppjstamping@yahoo.com.

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