June Roberta Hughes, 81, of Sunnyside passed away Tuesday, July 15, 2008, at Hospice at the Chaplaincy in Kennewick.

She was born July 27, 1926 in Hoquiam to Peter Walter and Alina (Staaf) Kretz. She graduated from Hoquiam High School in 1944 and attended Grays Harbor Community College for two years. She graduated with honors from Washington State College in 1948 with a Bachelor of Arts in music education. She was a member of Mu Phi Epsilon music fraternity and Phi Kappa Phi honor society.

She married Donald Hughes on June 10, 1950 in Hoquiam. She was a music educator in Port Townsend and Mt. Vernon for three years. She and Don moved to Corvallis, Ore., where they lived for six years and started their family of three girls. In 1957 they moved to Sunnyside. She was the organist for the Sunnyside United Methodist Church for three decades and also taught piano lessons, along with her most important work - that of mother and homemaker.

She was a member of the Lower Valley Community Concert Association and was honored in 1992 for 35 years of continuous service. She continued working with them until shortly before her death, putting in over fifty years of volunteer service. She was also a founding member of the Lower Valley Musical Comedy Company and played piano for many of their productions. She was a member of Chapter L, PEO, in which she held numerous offices. She was an officer and a member of the United Methodist Women for many years. She played piano and held an honorary membership in the Sunnyside Rotary Club, from whom she received a Paul Harris Fellow Award. She served as a co-leader for Camp Fire Girls for several years.

She was a vital member of the music community in the Lower Valley, serving primarily as an accompanist for numerous choral groups, soloists, church groups and other gatherings. She played both organ and piano, and was in demand for both weddings and funerals.

She cherished time spent with her family; camping, canoeing, hiking and traveling together. She enjoyed gardening, especially her roses. And she shared her husband, Don, with the community. June said, "I want to be remembered for my deep love of music, my family and the out-of-doors, and my deep faith."

She is survived by her three daughters, Barbara Shadle of Spanaway, Wendy Riddle (Dave) of Burbank and Becky Albert (Steve) of Banks, Ore.; six grandchildren; one great-grandchild; one brother, Vincent Kretz of Mercer Island; and one sister, Margaret Blakely of Bellevue.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Don; two brothers, Roger and Alex; and one sister, Christine.

Viewing and visitation will be held Friday, July 18, 2008, from 1 until 7 p.m. at Smith Funeral Home in Sunnyside. Graveside services will be held Saturday, July 19, 2008, at 9:30 a.m. at Lower Valley Memorial Gardens. Memorial services will be held Saturday, July 19, 2008, at 2 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in Sunnyside.

Those wishing to honor June's memory may contribute to the United Methodist Church in Sunnyside. Those wishing to share their memories or sign June's on-line memorial book may do so at

Smith Funeral Home in Sunnyside is in charge of arrangements.


Comments are subject to moderator review and may not appear immediately on the site.

Please read our commenting policy before posting.

Any comment violating the site's commenting guidelines will be removed and the user could be banned from the site.

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment