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Merkley-Mitchell Mortuary

3655 5th Ave, San Diego, CA

OBITUARY

Patrick J Hughes Jr.

August 14, 1935June 3, 2020

Patrick Joseph Hughes, Jr., age 84, died on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, in his San Diego residence with his wife, Diane, and sons Devin and Brendan at his side.

Pat (Packy/Dad/Papa) was born in Chicago, Illinois on August 14, 1935, and, he was proud to say, the same day as the enactment of the Social Security Act. He married Diane Lopez at St. Clements Church in Chicago on October 2, 1976.

Pat was the oldest of the six children of Patrick and Nancy (Bracken) Hughes. He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Mickey, Frank, Bill, and sister Kathleen, and his beloved cats.

As a dedicated criminal appellate attorney for much of his professional life, he loved his work and his co-workers, and was humble in his many accomplishments. He served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Robert F. Kennedy's Justice Department in the 1960s, Director of the Prison Legal Services Project, and the Lakeview office of the Criminal Defense Consortium of Cook County. In 1977 Pat argued successfully before the United States Supreme Court in the case of Moore v. Illinois, 434 U.S. 220. In 1979 he and Diane moved to Springfield for Pat’s position as the Legislative Director, and later as the First Assistant State Appellate Defender, of the Illinois Office of the State Appellate Defender.

Pat received numerous awards during his career. The most notable awards included being named an Illinois Laureate by the Illinois State Bar Association (2004), receiving the Promotion of Social Justice Award from the Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (2013), and being honored with the Benjamin C. Bachrach Service to the Defense Award by the Illinois Public Defender Association (2014), of which he was a past President and longstanding Secretary.

He dedicated much of his time to training the next generation of public defenders. For three decades Pat organized a yearly trial advocacy training program in Chicago for public defenders. He also volunteered his time at the Office of the State Appellate Defender for 14 years after retiring, spending many hours in his old office sharing his years of wisdom.

Pat loved reading, sports, classical music, playing with his grandchildren, enjoying good food with his family, and was a lifelong Cubs fan, serendipitously having viewed the 2016 World Series on television after a lunch of White Castle hamburgers with his son on the day of his death. He was proud that his sons pursued careers aligned with two of his passions: the law and classical music. Brendan is currently studying for the California bar exam. Devin is the Conductor and Music Director of the Boulder Symphony Orchestra in Boulder, Colorado, and the Arapahoe Philharmonic in Littleton, Colorado.

Pat is survived by brother Dennis Hughes (Rose Kelly); wife Diane Lopez Hughes; sons Devin Patrick Hughes (Molly Kittle) and Brendan Hughes (Lesley Nuno) and cherished grandchildren Kieran and Nolina.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Boulder Symphony, the Mojave Desert Land Trust, San Diego 350, and Arapahoe Philharmonic are appreciated. When donating through the links, please remember to select "in memory of someone" you can type in Patrick Hughes. Links are listed below.

A private family Celebration of Life will be held. Merkley Mitchell Mortuary is serving the family.

Services

No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

Patrick J Hughes Jr.

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Wife Diane

June 16, 2020

Who am I? Why am I here? How shall I live?

I’m told that there are the three essential questions. I can’t respond with the answers for Pat. I can only respond with my experience of him and how I watched him live his life for over 45 years. Others will have their own views based on their unique experience - brother, sons, daughters-in-law, other family, friends - with him.

Who was Pat?
He was a thoughtful, articulate, guardedly friendly, extremely loyal, caring, committed, quietly pensive man with a love of music, sports, good food, family, and especially the best parts of the law. He was proud of being first generation Irish American from both sides (Counties Mayo and Offaly).

Why was he here?
Pat brought love, joy, knowledge, a generous spirit, passion for the law, and dry humor to those he cared for and loved, and the world. He fathered two sons and gave them his wisdom and all the other gifts of a loving father. He was my love, friend and companion; he challenged me to pay attention and be my better self. He educated and mentored countless students of the law. He made an indelible mark in the world.

How did he live?
He lived as a good person, doing “God’s work” as he once described the work done by his colleagues in his field of practice. As the conflict currently rages in our cities, country and across the world, those who call for equity and justice would say the same of him. As a good friend said, he left the world a better place. His grandchildren will know this because we will make sure they do. God couldn’t ask for anything more than that.

Patrick/Pat/Packy/Dad/Papa: we miss you. We love you. You are in our hearts now and always.

Helen Reedy

June 15, 2020

Enjoy your new home in heaven, Pat. You were one of a kind. You will be very missed here on earth.

Patrick Murphy

June 14, 2020

I had the great honor of working with Pat and trying cases with him in the 60s. Pat was a great lawyer who used his skills to champion the rights of the poor, forgotten and marginalized. As important, Pat was a kind and gentle man who touched the lives of those he encountered. Pat has made our universe a much better place by his existence. Farewell my friend. Our paths will cross anon.

Ela and Fritz Joachim

June 13, 2020

A beautiful tribute to a wonderful man. He will be missed!
Ela and Fritz

Jenna Jackson

June 9, 2020

Please accept my heartfelt condolences. I looked forward to working with Pat each year on Trial Advocacy programs. My life has been enriched by the privilege of knowing him.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Santa Fe, NM

FROM THE FAMILY

Dana Thomas House, Springfield, IL

FROM THE FAMILY

Packy, grammar school

FROM THE FAMILY

Receiving his Laureate award

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Santa Fe, NM

FROM THE FAMILY

Dana Thomas House, Springfield, IL

FROM THE FAMILY

Packy, grammar school

FROM THE FAMILY

Receiving his Laureate award

FROM THE FAMILY

No wonder he volunteered at his old office after retirement!

FROM THE FAMILY

Graduation from grammar school

FROM THE FAMILY

Loyola University Undergrad graduation

FROM THE FAMILY

On our front porch in Springfield, IL

FROM THE FAMILY

On the peace line, almost every Saturday noon for 16 years, outside of the Federal Building, Springfield, IL