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James M. Hughes, 68

James Michael Hughes, age 68, of Darwin, passed away Monday, Jan. 19, 2015, at Meeker Memorial Hospital in Litchfield.

He was born May 15, 1946, in Litchfield, the son of John and Gladys (Nystrom) Hughes. James was baptized as an infant, and was later confirmed in his faith as a youth at St. John’s Catholic Church in Darwin.

He received his education in Litchfield, and was a graduate of the Litchfield High School class of 1964.

James entered active military service in the United States Navy in June of 1964, and served his country during the Vietnam War. He was honorably discharged in May 1968.

James was united in marriage to Lorelei Gassman Aug. 29, 1970, at St. John’s Catholic Church in Darwin. James and Lorelei resided in Darwin. They were blessed with two sons, Tony and Kraig, and shared 44 years of marriage.

James was employed at the Hutchinson Telephone Company (Nu-Telecom) for 40 years as a telephone switch operator. He retired in 2008.

He was a life member of St. John’s Catholic Church in Darwin. He was also a member of the Hutchinson American Legion Post 96, the Litchfield, American Legion Post 104, and the Darwin Rod and Gun Club.

James enjoyed hunting, fishing, woodworking, snowmobiling, and four-wheeling. He was a handyman around the house.

James loved his family, friends, and church.

He is survived by his wife, Lorelei Hughes of Darwin; sons Tony Kerssen and his wife, Kathy of Rochester, and Kraig Hughes and his wife, Jill of Kimberly, WI; grandchildren Adrianna Romero and her husband, Osvaldo of Chaska, Breanna and Megan Kerssen of Rochester, and Fiona and Gwen Hughes of Kimberly, WI; great-grandson Yael Romero of Chaska; sisters Mary Cozad and her husband, Charles of Olney, MD, and Frances Christensen of Plymouth; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.

James was preceded in death by his parents, John and Gladys Hughes.

Mass of Christian Burial took place Friday, Jan. 23 at 10:30 a.m. at St. John’s Catholic Church in Darwin, followed by interment at St. John’s Catholic Cemetery in Darwin. Military honors were provided by the Litchfield Military Honor Guard,

Visitation was Thursday, Jan. 22 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the church, with parish prayers at 4 p.m.; and continued Friday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., with a rosary at 9:45 a.m., prior to the Mass.

Arrangements were handled by Hantge Funeral Chapel, Darwin; www.hantge.com.

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