Francis Joseph “Fran” Hughes was born at Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, D.C. to Francis Sr. and Kathleen Hughes. They soon moved to Long Island, N.Y., where he was raised.
In 1957, upon graduation from Sewanhaka High School at the age of 17 and with the written permission from his mom, Fran entered the Navy as a hospitalman recruit.
During the next 14 years, Fran advanced to master chief hospital corpsman. His duty stations included St. Albans Naval Hospital; 1st Marine Division (FMF); 24th Rifle Company (FMF); Nuclear Power Training Unit, Windsor Locks, Conn; Naval Hospital, Portsmouth, Va.; NSA DaNang, Vietnam; San Diego Naval Hospital Corps School.
In 1972, he was commissioned to ensign in the Medical Service Corps. During the remainder of Fran’s naval career, he served in various positions at Oakland Naval Hospital; the USS Sanctuary (AH-17) hospital ship; Naval Hospital Port Hueneme, Calif.; officer-in-charge, Branch Clinic, Glenview, Ill.; Medical Dept. Head, NSF, Diego Garcia, B.I.O.T. and executive officer, Naval Hospital, Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.
Along the way he received an associate’s degree in business management from Southwestern Junior College in 1972, a bachelor of science in health care administration from George Washington University in 1976 and a master’s in human resources management from Pepperdine University in 1980.
His personal awards include two Meritorious Service Medals; three Navy Commendation Medals; Navy Achievement Medal with Combat V; Combat Action Ribbon; and numerous other awards.
On his first tour of duty at NAS Whidbey Island in 1979, while shopping at A&H Hardware, Fran met a young employee, Mary Burmeister. Love blossomed and they were married in Park Ridge, Ill., on July 24, 1983.
Cmdr. Hughes retired from the Navy on July 1, 1989. He never forgot his enlisted “roots,” and the reception held after his retirement ceremony clearly showed this. Ask anyone who was around at the time.
Never one to sit still for long, exactly one month after his Navy retirement, Fran became the executive director of North Whidbey Help House, a position he held until 1995.
He was very proud of his community involvement and was a member of North Whidbey Lions; VFW; Elks Lodge; WICMOAA; the Masonic Lodge; and North Whidbey Shrine Club.
Francis is survived by his wife of 35 years, Mary; son Shawn; grandchildren Brian Jr., Michelle and Nicole; and brother Brian (Annmarie) Hughes. Also surviving are his nephew Michael (Carmelita) Hughes and numerous other nieces and nephews. Fran was preceded in death by son Brian Hughes Sr.; grandson Ian Hughes; daughter-in-law Regina Hughes; and siblings Kathleen Hughes and Mark Hughes.
A funeral mass for Francis will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 11, 2019, at St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, with Rev.Paul Pluth, JCL as celebrant. A reception will follow in the parish hall. Per Fran’s request, he will be interred at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Arrangements were entrusted to Wallin Funeral Home.