Amy Hughes Obituary

Amy  Hughes
Amy Hughes

August 11, 1931 - December 31, 2016
Born in Holyoke, MA
Resided in South Hadley, MA
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Amy (Stoddart) Hughes died peacefully on December 31, 2016 at CareOne Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Northampton, MA. Amy was born on August 11, 1931 in Holyoke, MA, the daughter of Harold W. Stoddart and Dorothy B. (Robinson) Stoddart. She graduated from Northfield School for Girls (NMH) followed by Mount Holyoke College (class of '53), a member of the National Honor Society and Phi Betta Kappa. Amy began her study of French at MHC and continued at Middlebury College's language school. She received a prestigious Fulbright Fellowship for study in France, and spent a year in Paris doing university level work in French language and culture, earning her master's degree in French. Amy spent a year in New York as a fellowship student in Russian studies at Columbia University where she met her first husband and started a family. The marriage ended in divorce and Amy and daughter, Katharine (Kate) set out on their own. After a short stint teaching at Foxcroft School in VA, Amy began her richly rewarding career at The Putney School in Vermont, where she met colleague, Robert (Bob) M. Hughes, the man she would eventually marry and spend many memorable and loving years together. In 1963, upon the death of her mother, Amy and her daughter returned to South Hadley to live with her father and begin a long illustrious career teaching at The MacDuffie School in Springfield, MA. After her father's death in 1969, Amy and Bob married and began their life together with Kate in Amy's family home in South Hadley, within sight of MHC, where her mother, an ordained minister in the Congregational Church, had studied and taught and where Amy's daughter graduated.
During her years at MacDuffie, Amy was a much admired and loved teacher and counselor. Many students remained in contact with her over the years. She was a loving helpmate in her husband Bob's many works. Bob was a civil rights activist and the driving spirit in many civic and humanitarian endeavors, including Northern Educational Services, founded by Bob to provided life skills training to inner city youth. Amy and Bob sponsored several Fresh Air Fund students who summered in their home. They also took in foreign students; one such student was diagnosed with terminal illness while studying in the U.S. and spent the last 6 months of her life under Amy's care. Amy's caring spirit was lavished on her husband Bob, a disabled Korean War veteran. She retired from MacDuffie in 1993 and became Bob's full time caregiver. Despite Bob's disabilities, Amy's devoted care made it possible for them to enjoy a richly rewarding life until his death in 1998. They traveled extensively in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Japan, and across the U.S. Bob especially loved New Mexico, and Amy China. Amy made her first trip to China in 1979, she returned with Bob to teach a year in a Chinese university. She made three more trips, in later years, to help with English language learning in primary schools. After Bob's death, Amy continued to contribute generously to her community and beyond. Throughout her life, and especially in her last years, Amy thoroughly enjoyed classical music, Tanglewood, and art museums. In her last years, Amy spent much time in doctor's offices, hospitals, and rehabilitation centers. She very much appreciated the kindness and care received, along with the loving support of family and friends. She is survived by her daughter Katharine Bedard, granddaughters Caitlin (Owen) Donovan and Vanessa (Michael) Stepan, great grandchildren, Laurel Donovan, Bradley and Arlyn Stepan, nephews Douglas and Richard Stoddart and Amy's loving and faithful companion of her last few years, James Flynn. A Celebration of Life service will be on Saturday, April 22 at 10:00 a.m. at the Abbey Chapel, Mount Holyoke College. Beers & Story South Hadley Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.

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Celebration of Life
Abbey Memorial Chapel
College Street
South Hadley, MA US 01075
Saturday, April 22, 2017
10:00 AM