Robert Craig Hughes, age 69 of Johnson City, Tennessee, died Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at the NHC Healthcare Facility in town. He was born August 4, 1949 in Erwin, Tennessee, son of the late Robert and Cecilia (nee: Sheehan) Hughes.
Born and raised in Erwin, Tennessee, Robert's family moved north when he was a small child, relocating to the Motor City. Robert was a graduate of Hazel Park High School. Shortly after graduation, an opportunity of a lifetime presented itself, a chance for Robert to be a part of the automotive magic coming out of the Detroit area. And of the “Big 3,” Robert was fortunate to have been selected by the Granddaddy of them all, General Motors, with whom he devoted the next 32 plus years of loyal and dedicated employment. He was part of the team at the former Hydra-Matic Transmission Plant at 9 Mile & Mound in Warren. Together with his workmates, Robert was an integral cog in the wheel of production that rolled out of Detroit and populated the roads of America.
When he finally accepted his well-deserved retirement, Robert decided he wanted to revisit his roots in Tennessee,…and so, he packed up bag & baggage, picked up stakes, and headed south until he was back at home in the place of his birth, Erwin, Tennessee. It is there that Robert would live out his retirement, and his precious Golden Years, enjoying the comforts and culture of that familiar southern charm. Yet Michigan wasn’t forever in his rearview mirror as his absence was felt by the loved ones he left behind. So he started a tradition that would become increasingly special over the years with each annual trip he made back to the Mitten to spend time with his Michigan family,…especially those precious cherubs, his adoring granddaughters. It truly provided him the best of both worlds. For as the old adage states, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.”
As for his favorite pastimes, Robert will fondly be remembered for his love of angling and spending time down at one of his plentiful fishing holes. Forever in search of the “Big One,” Robert had the patience of a saint as he awaited that familiar tug on the line and his call to action. But whether he was having a good day fishing or a bad day fishing, the key to it all is that…he was fishing! And as the bumper sticker says, “The worst day fishin’ is still better than the best day workin’!
Robert’s other passion in life was found in his love of music. He appreciated most all genres of the art form, but there was no mistaking his immense fervor and enthusiasm when it came to Jazz. Those smooth & silky sounds seemed to sweep him away into another dimension, one in which he could spend hours being caressed and enrapt by its ability to embrace the soul. Robert was a regular attendee at many of the local music festivals and Jazz venues that he was able to find. And not merely a listener, he was also a participator by way of the various bands he was a member of throughout the years. With his guitar in hand and the spirit of music in his soul, he and his fellow troubadours entertained countless fellow jazz lovers over the years and truly left their mark on the local music scene.
A loving Dad and Grandpa, Robert leaves behind a legacy of the unique and genuine love he possessed that melded with his musical heart and sang its own melody to those who knew him best. In so many ways, Robert touched countless hearts and souls in his journey through life,…may he now be touched by the wings of angels as they whisk him into the presence of Jazz like he’s never heard before. Robert was loved by many and will be missed immensely.
Robert was the beloved father of Jodi (Joe) Mackiewicz and Leiah Hughes. Loving grandfather of Allie, Nola, and Mia, and dear brother of Irene (Charlie) Trivette, Elaine (Rich) Judkins, and Danny Hughes. He is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews, as well as many cousins that were close to him.
Visitation for Robert will be held Tuesday, June 11th from 3-9 pm at the D.S. Temrowski & Sons Funeral Home, 30009 Hoover Road at Common (12 1/2 Mile Rd) in Warren. He will lie in state on Wednesday, June 12th from 10:00 am until time of the Funeral Service at 11:00 am at North Warren Free Will Baptist Church, 30003 Chicago Road in Warren.