John H. Hughes, 78, Orange


Last updated 4/8/2024 at 2:56pm

John Harvey Hughes was born on February 23, 1946, in Hillsboro, Illinois.  He was the fourth child of George and Ena Marie (Abernathy) Hughes.  He went to be with Jesus on April 1, 2024, at Cornerstone Specialty Hospital in Lake Charles, Louisiana, surrounded by his family.  He was 78 years old.

John grew up in Witt, Illinois.  He graduated from Witt High School and was drafted to the US Army.  He served as a cook for 2 years at Fort Polk in Louisiana.  Along that journey, he met and married Sybil Burch.  Their love was evident to all as they just celebrated 56 years of marriage on February 9th. 

John worked and retired from Bayer in Orange.  He was a member of McDonald Memorial Baptist Church.  For 19 years he was a member of the West Orange Volunteer Fire Department.

He always enjoyed his annual trips to Illinois to visit family.  After retirement, he and Sybil would go twice a year.  While there, his sister’s lake house would become a gathering place for friends and family to visit.  During every visit, he and Sybil always spent a day in the Amish country with his long-time best friends.  

During retirement life, John could be found operating his lawn service and mowing many lawns around West Orange and tinkering with his lawnmowers. But what he spent most of that time doing was being his grandchildren’s biggest fan. He could be found at football, basketball, and baseball games as well as dance recitals.  He didn’t want to miss a thing they were involved in.  Anyone that spoke to John knew without a shadow of a doubt those grandchildren were his pride and joy.  To them, he was their Bippy, and many of their friends called him the same.

In addition to being the grandchildren’s Bippy, he was the best dad.  There was never a doubt of the love he had for his girls.  He was always there to answer questions about everything and always a strong foundation in their lives.

John was easygoing, ever the optimist, and could always be found with a smile!  To know him was to truly love him. 

He was preceded in death by his mother Ena Marie Hughes, father George Hughes, grandparents Alta King, James and Rosie Hughes, in-laws Ben and Lillie Burch, granddaughters Makenzie, Makaela, and Makenna Clark, and other close relatives.  

He is survived by his wife Sybil, daughters Laura Clark and husband Trey, Emily Geldard and husband Steven, grandchildren Quade Clark, Max Geldard, John Hayden Clark, and Addison Geldard.  His siblings are Bob Hughes, Marge Lakin and husband Herb, Nancy Shipman, Janice Crabtree and husband Jim, Barbara Whitlow, Alta Lovsey and husband John, and Helen Saxby and husband Brad, as well as sister-in-law Ann Wimberly.  He also leaves behind numerous nieces and nephews.

This visitation will be held Friday, April 5, 2024, from 5:00-8:00pm at Claybar Funeral Home with the funeral service at McDonald Memorial Baptist Church on Saturday, April 6, 2024, at 2:00pm with Trey Clark officiating.  Pallbearers will be Quade Clark, Max Geldard, John Hayden Clark, Addison Geldard, Rickey Woodard, Raymond Gilbeaux, and Lawrence McShan.  Honorary Pallbearers will be Emeric Ponthieu and John Compton, his childhood friend.

He will be buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery in West Orange.


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