Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Helen Jane Hughes

Helen Hughes

Helen Hughes

Helen Jane Hughes, longtime Endicott resident, passed away June 28, 2020, in Pullman, Washington. She was 84. A private family graveside service will be Tuesday, July 7th, at 1:00 p.m. in the Endicott Cemetery with a celebration of her life for the community at a later date when the current situation subsides.

Helen Jane was born March 28, 1936, the youngest of four girls, in Spokane, Wash., to James Ralph and Helen Wyrick Setters. She grew up on the farm just west of Winona where son Jim and his family currently live. She was a "Winona Pirate" until her senior year of school. Helen Jane was saddened to not be able to complete that last year of high school in Winona and she graduated with honors from Endicott High School. She attended Washington State College in Pullman completing her four year degree in 1958.

Helen Jane married Clarence Victor "Cleater" Hughes on August 21, 1958. He was drafted into the U.S. Army shortly after the wedding and they lived in various places all around the United States during his deployments. Their family was started in 1959, with the arrival of son, Jim, in Denver, Colo., and not long after that Cleater's military service was over and the family moved back to Endicott and started farming. In 1966 Helen Jane's parents retired and the Hughes family took over the farming operation.

In addition to raising her family and keeping busy on the farm, Helen Jane found time for 4H activities and plenty of volunteer work with the Palouse Empire Fair. She always raised a large garden and loved baking bread or making jam. She was a voracious reader and loved getting books from the library two sacks full at a time. She enjoyed her trips to the library and was insistent that her kids not only "learn" to read but enjoy it as well. Another rule she implemented was "you can't help with harvest until you complete swim lessons". Of course helping with harvest was a very big deal to the family so needless to say all of her kids learned to swim rather quickly, except maybe Jim who required an extra lesson or two. Helen Jane enjoyed knitting and sewing too. She was active with Trinity Lutheran Church and spent many hours helping out in the kitchen there for various functions. Her husband Clarence died in 2002 and Helen Jane remained on the farm until moving to Bishop Place in Pullman five years ago.

She is survived by her children; Jim (Sheri) Hughes of Endicott, Donna (Sinclair) Hughes Lockhart Philip of the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Gail Stockard of Lewiston, Idaho; 11 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren; and two sisters, Dorothy Hodgson of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and Sylvia (Alvin) Buchholtz of New Castle, Wash. In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by a sister, Barbara Talsma and a great-granddaughter, Matisen Huntley.

The family suggests memorial gifts in her memory be to the Whitman County Library. On-line guest book is at http://www.bruningfuneralhome.com. Bruning Funeral Home of Colfax is caring for the family.


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