Carlton (Carl) Hughes passed away peacefully in his sleep at home in Walnut Creek, California on May 6, 2022, after a brief battle with cancer. He will be remembered as a wonderful husband, partner, father, grandfather, sibling, uncle and cousin to his entire family, and as a jovial and committed friend.
Carl was born in Buffalo, New York as the second of four children to Henry and Carolyn Hughes. His childhood was filled with the outdoors, benign mischievousness, sports and a decidedly adventurous side. He graduated from Amherst Central High School and the University of Buffalo. He was a veteran, serving in the US Army, initially at Fort Dix and then in Germany. He was proud to have served and if you caught him in the right mood, he would share some of his (mischievous) stories from his time in the service.
He discovered a love of travel at an early age and while still in his teens embarked upon an adventure from New York to Panama using every form of transportation. That trip would only portend greater adventures to come.
His desire to see the world led to his career at Trans World Airlines, where he started work in 1962 after moving to California and from where he retired after 35 years. By the time of his death, he had visited 6 continents and over 100 countries. There are simply too many adventures and trips to describe here. He instilled in his children that same love of travel that endures to this day.
Carl loved being on the water. One wall of his office at home is filled with pictures of the various vessels he had traveled on, from large cruise ships to three-masted sailing schooners, to working barges, all carrying him to new and exciting places. But he also had his beloved boats at home, moored in the California Delta. Many weekends were spent with family and friends “swinging on a line” somewhere between Brannan and Sherman Islands, or along Frank’s Tract in the Delta. We think he only ran aground once, but we cannot be entirely sure of that.
While raising his boys, he seldom missed a baseball or soccer game, clapping encouragement from the stands or sideline (and only occasionally griping at the umpire or referee). His support for Marc and Brian in their sporting endeavors carried over to his grandchildren too, as he attended as many high school football games and track meets as he possibly could while cheering for his grandkids (and still only occasionally griping at the referees). He also attended many of his granddaughter Jacqueline’s dance recitals (and never once griped at the producers).
Carl had a great sense of humor, could spin a yarn and until the end was always up to watch the Giants, 49ers or Warriors games. He tried to instill in his family a willingness to “try this” or “go there” or “experience that” and we can unequivocally say he was successful. We will forever be grateful.
He is preceded in death by his wife of 35 years, Virginia Anne (Bailey). He is survived by his two sons, Marc and Brian, his partner of 15-years Sheron McCormick, his grandchildren Harrison, Jonathan, Jacqueline, Brandon and Clayton, his daughter in-law Michelle (Holman), brothers Bobby and Don, sister Karen, and in-laws Ann, Raul and Margaret, as well as nieces, nephews and cousins scattered across the globe.