In Memory of

Kenneth

Edward

Hughes

Obituary for Kenneth Edward Hughes

On Sunday, November 24th, 1935, Kenneth Edward Hughes was born here in Victoria. He was the middle child of Harold and Muriel Hughes. Ken has an older sister, June, who is four years older and had a brother, Robert, who was 16 months younger. Ken was born hearing but due to a severe infection lost his hearing around 11 months old. Ken has always remarked about his warm, loving and supportive family.

At the age of six, he was sent to Vancouver to the School for Blind and Deaf in New Westminster (later to be known as Jericho Hill School). He would only return home to Victoria during the summer and winter breaks. As a result, he missed out on the daily joys of being with his family, but this never made him bitter.

During the summer of his eleventh year at Jericho Hill School, he was hired in a temporary position in the print shop for the Ministry of Health. He excelled in this position and at the end of the summer he was offered a full-time permanent position; a position that he would remain in for some 43 years. During Ken’s time with the Ministry of Health, he sought and found employment for several Deaf friends.

In the summer of 1963, Ken decided to ask for more vacation time as he decided to take a trip across Canada visiting every Province on his own so he could attend deaf conventions across the country. He outfitted his VW Beetle so that he could sleep in it along the way. He was an amazing man who would not allow his deafness to stand in the way of his goals, one of which was to dip his car wheels in both the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans.

Ken also travelled to England on his own in 1969 and on that particular trip, he met Betty (nee Elizabeth Norris). She too was Deaf. Over the course of the next two years, they continued to correspond and then on September 1st, 1972, they married. Their happiness was short-lived when a mere two years later, Betty was killed by a hit and run driver.

Ten years later, I met Ken and was immediately attracted to this beautiful human – full of life and love. He was a joy to be with. We married on June 21st, 1986.

During the time after Betty passed away, Ken came in contact with Jehovah’s Witnesses. Ken always had a love of God and an appreciation for the beautiful creation around him, but he had questions such as “Why did God allow Betty to die?” Or “Was he being Deaf some sort of punishment on him or his family?” The more Ken looked into the Bible, the more he came to know and love Jehovah God. He learned that we cannot blame God for the troubles we encounter in our lives but rather someone else is responsible for all the troubles we endure and that is God’s enemy, Satan the Devil. Ken was baptized on November 16th, 1985, and later in 1989 appointed as a Ministerial Servant.

When Ken learned about the wonderful future that the Bible sets out – the Kingdom or government of God that we pray for in the Lord’s Prayer, he was anxious to share it with all his Deaf friends. Later after we were married, I was privileged to likewise share this positive message to the Deaf with Ken.

Ken had a deep and abiding love for the Deaf Community right up until the end of his life. He served two terms as President of the Deaf Club here in Victoria.

Ken was a humble man, a generous man who went out of his way to treat all with respect and kindness. If a person was disabled, Ken could see the person behind the disability and acknowledged that person with a warm handshake or a big “Hello” and a smile.

I shall miss my Ken. He made my life full of joy and contentment. He was always encouraging and supportive. But our love affair is not over. We both know that very soon he will be resurrected back to life forever in God’s new world, in perfect health. One of Ken’s favourite Bible scriptures is John 5:28, 29 which says: “Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs [or graves] will hear his voice and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, and those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment.” Also, in the very near future, the scripture at Revelation 21:4 will take place: “And he [God] will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” This is Jehovah God’s promise, and we know it to be true.

He also loved trains – logging trains in particular. In God’s new world, Ken will have forever to enjoy his love of this hobby with those who also share his passion.

Ken is survived by his devoted wife Victoria Osborne-Hughes, his loving sister, June Palin, nephews Brad, Steve and Craig Palin and their wives, as well as Steven and David Hughes. Also, many dear, dear friends.

Ken was a sincere, honest and spiritual man who loved his family, his home and his God.