Richard Hughes

July 12, 1946 – April 22, 2022
My beloved husband, Richard Hughes died peacefully on the afternoon of April 22nd, after a nearly two year struggle with ALS. In his own words, on his Facebook page, “Life is simple, keep a sense of humour, dig it while it’s happening and always question authority”. He was well known as a passionate advocate for social and environmental justice. In the words of a friend, “Richard was our beacon of hope and strength. He was our strong voice”. This is why it was such a cruel irony when he lost his voice to ALS.
I met Richard one summer afternoon in 1970 when I was making blackberry jam on an outdoor stove at “The Jones Farm” on Quadra Island. He drove up to deliver oil to the farm and I was instantly enchanted by his mischievous sense of humour and the twinkle in his eye…We couldn’t stop talking, so we went to The Pub that night, and 10 days later we got married in a good old fashioned hippie wedding.
We adopted 2 children, Jeff at 11 days old and Ashley at 2 and a half years old. Richard was the “stay-at-home Dad” to Jeff, as a baby, as we had about 12 hours notice to pick him up in Vancouver and I had a teaching job in Chemainus. We were so lucky to have a very happy marriage for almost 52 years. Even 52 years later he often introduced me as “My Bride”. Unfortunately, we couldn’t have a big 50 year celebration, because of COVID but we said, “Oh well we’ll do it next year”. By the next year he had ALS and we couldn’t celebrate then either.
Richard worked at several radio stations, in Chilliwack, Duncan and Vancouver, where he organized the first Union in a Canadian commercial radio station, CKLG, in 1975, kicking off a strike by putting on an ever revolving tape of “Part of the Union” by the Strawbs and jamming the locks to the studio.
In the 1980’s, in North Vancouver, he founded Sunshine Cabs, a unique luxury cab company dedicated to providing outstanding service to customers. In the Cowichan Valley, he worked for many years as a Realtor, calling himself an “unrealtor”. What he really loved about his job was helping people find their “forever home.”
For 9 years he served on the CVRD as Director of what he referred to as “The Republic of Cobble Hill”. In the words of another former Director, “Richard fought long and hard for many issues that affected his community and the CVRD as a whole. A couple of prime examples follow:
With the Bamberton re-development, having him, on the “inside, continually stirring the pot” as he would say, is what led to the meeting with the Minister of Municipal Affairs, which helped to kill the plan.
With the Mill Bay Ferry cancellation, he worked with other directors, both at the table and in bringing it to the UBCM, which allowed our precious ferry to keep running.”
For the last 12 years, he had been a prolific blogger on his blog and Facebook Group, “Cowichan Conversations”. Even right up until hours before he died, he’d been busy responding to so many emails and messages from friends, and worried that he wouldn’t have the time to respond to everybody. Richard wanted me to let everyone know, if you wrote him and did not get a response, he read everything sent to him and really tried to answer everybody, but ran out of time.
Richard is survived by his 101 year old mother, who has been living with us for the past 6 years, me, (his wife, Maggie), our son, Jeff, our daughter, Ashley and her partner, Derek, our one year old grandson, Nathan and his sister, Mary Lynn. He will be sorely missed by the family and by his many friends.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the ALS Society of BC:; Website: We have to do what we can to stop this horrible disease.
As Richard would say, “Onward”.Obituary

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