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Phyllis Hughes

February 18, 1928 -
May 4, 2016

Phyllis Rash Hughes passed away at 12:26 pm on May 4 in her home, in the loving company of family and friends. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 8 at Morgan Memorial Home, 1304 Regency Dr. West in Savoy, followed by a greeting time until 4 p.m.

Phyllis was born in Detroit, Michigan, on Februar…read more

Phyllis Rash Hughes passed away at 12:26 pm on May 4 in her home, in the loving company of family and friends. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 8 at Morgan Memorial Home, 1304 Regency Dr. West in Savoy, followed by a greeting time until 4 p.m.

Phyllis was born in Detroit, Michigan, on February 18, 1928 to Jewish immigrant parents from Russia, one of six sisters and a brother. She married Jacob Stern in 1948, with whom she had two children. Later, she married John Hughes, to whom she was married for nearly 40 wonderful years. She is survived by her husband, John Hughes, and her two children, Sam Stern and Anita Feng, and her grandchildren, Matty Noble, Katrina Noble, Tasha Feng, David Stern, and Jesse Stern, and one great-grandchild, Nicola Tsujikawa-Noble.

Although Phyllis Rash Hughes stood at only 5′ 2 ½″, she was a larger-than-life figure, treasured by her family, friends, and community. She changed countless lives over the years by her courageous, supportive, and creative example.  She pursued everything with a great intensity, often saying to friends that she had no hobbies, only many careers.

Throughout her extraordinary life, she excelled at all of her endeavors. Phyllis received her Bachelors and Masters degrees from Wayne State University. In her youth, she was a modern dancer, having performed with the famous Martha Graham troupe in New York. At that time, she was also a table tennis champion, winning the Michigan state championship six years in a row. Phyllis was an award-winning artist, specializing in pen and ink drawings, and went on to work with textiles, encaustics, and mosaics. She illustrated many publications with her artwork. She also wrote two books, Dying is Different and Before the Door Closes: Annie’s Story.

Later she went on to become the head of the Psychology Department at Parkland College, where she developed the first Death and Dying course. She performed a great service for her community as the organizer and leader of the SOS (Survivors of Suicide) group, the facilitator of the Cancer Recoup Group, and as a part-time therapist. After her retirement, she started yet another career as the owner of The Studio art galleries in Champaign and Urbana. Also along the way, she studied for and received the distinction of being a Master Gardener. She used that particular talent to create an extraordinary sanctuary in their home, both inside and out. John and Phyllis, together, designed a home that was almost like a museum, combining their talents to create a living space that they and all their visitors cherished.

Late in life she took up table tennis yet again and competed in the Senior Olympics for several years, winning many medals in national and international competitions.

All her life, she was a talented musician, specializing in the mandolin and vibraphone.  She played and performed in several groups. She collected many rare and interesting musical instruments, and enjoyed playing many of them.

She was a rare and beautiful being. With her passing, the community has lost a true treasure, but we trust that she will be an inspiration to countless generations to come.

Condolences may be made at www.morganmemorialhome.com.

 

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Service Information

Service Information

Date: Sunday, May 8, 2016

Time: 02:00 pm

Morgan Memorial Home

Address:

1304 Regency Dr. West
Savoy, Illinois 61874

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