TRAVERSE CITY — Eunice Loyer Hughes, a longtime Traverse City resident, died after a brief illness at Orchard Creek Supportive Care on Jan. 13, 2014. She was 94.
Eunice loved the Great Lakes, and she spent most of her life within view of them. Raised in Holland, Mich., she was the only daughter in a family of four older brothers, all of whom she adored. Together they spent summers swimming and sailing and winters skiing, skating and iceboating.
Her mother and father were of Dutch heritage, something Eunice was proud of.
Eunice attended Michigan State Normal College, now known as Eastern Michigan University. There she made lifelong friends who knew her as “Dutch.” She graduated with a degree in physical education and taught P.E. at the college level for many years.
In 1949 she married John L. “Jack” Hughes, of Traverse City, a World War II veteran who served as a ball turret gunner in the U.S. Army Air Forces. Living in Lansing, they had five children.
In 1959 they moved to Traverse City, which was home for the rest of her life. In 1964 she and her husband bought a turreted Victorian near the bay, built in 1905 for a lumber baron’s daughter. There they raised their children with much love and laughter.
When her children were older she began substitute teaching in all subjects, K-12. Retiring from teaching, she continued working at several shops downtown into her 80s.
Eunice enjoyed a devilish sense of humor. One Halloween Eve she dressed up as a witch, sat in a rocker on her front porch with a bowl of candy in her lap and, still as a wax dummy, batted away unsuspecting hands, playing her own trick on the trick-or-treaters.
And she had a way with words that amused the younger generation. A hot, humid summer day was a corker. People in their 50s were youngsters.