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Wilmot (Wimp) Patrick Hughes
November 7, 1936 ~ November 13, 2023 (age 87) 87 Years Old
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It is with profound sadness that the family of Wilmot (Wimp) Patrick Hughes announces his passing on Monday, November 13, 2023. We had just celebrated his 87 birthday six days before.
Willy was predeceased by his older sister Sheilagh (2009). He is survived by his little sister Sandy Zangbell (Ken); his loving wife Betty; his children, Garth, Gavin (Brenda), and Lorrae (Lindsey); and grandchildren, Laura, Connor, Justin, Madison, Jordan, and Cas.
Willy was born on November 7, 1936, in Lloydminster and was proud of his Northern Irish/English heritage. His father was an accountant (and part-time artist) who moved the family to Vancouver, then Kelowna (where sister Sandy was born), and finally to Calgary in 1951. Throughout his life, Willy was fearless. “My name is Wimp but I’m not one,” was his proud introduction. He took on every sport, activity, and adventure, and every effort was 110%. Army cadet. Tap dancer. Baseball. He played a lot of baseball, playing on recreation and company teams into his late 20s. He loved working on old cars and driving fast. He souped up a sports MG with a high-end Chevy engine that he could race in time trials and even tried drag racing.
His fast-paced life took a new turn when Willy met Betty through friends in May 1960. Betty had moved from Kelowna the year before seeking new adventures. She found Willy and Willy found her. They were married on July 23, 1960, and began to build a family life together. With Garth born in 1961, Gavin in 1963, and Lorrae in 1965, Willy focused on building his career. Willy loved to work. He started working as a teenager and didn’t stop until he was 83. With his great sense of humour and big smile, Willy found his calling in Sales, working with a variety of major heavy equipment companies. In the early years, his career took the family to Kelowna, Revelstoke, back to Calgary, then Grand Prairie, until finally settling in Calgary in 1968. After a brief period in Glenbrook, the family lived for 32 years in the wonderful West Gate neighbourhood (in southwest Calgary), walking distance to nearby schools, lots of sporting activities, and great neighbours; it was an ideal setting for raising three kids. He discovered new sports throughout his life, trying cross country and downhill skiing late in his 40s and taking up golf. He could not skate but helped with the boys’ hockey teams. Fearless. Electrician. Plumber. He loved war movies, action novels, and MASH. Willy and Betty loved to travel and regularly vacationed with the family in Kelowna and Christina Lake (boating). Other memorable trips included Barbados, Mexico, Hawaii, and San Diego, often travelling with Sandy and Ken. Willy formally retired from sales in 2005, the next year he and Betty moved to High River, however, Willy never stopped working. He kept busy for another 13 years driving elementary school buses and delivering cars for a rental company. Betty and Willy enjoyed the slower pace and made many new friends. That slower pace turned upside down in the Great Flood of 2013, when waters overtook the town of High River, and Betty and Willy had to be rescued from their home by boat! In 2018, they moved back to Calgary to be closer to family and eventually moved into the Prominence Way retirement community.
Willy’s family would like to express their deep gratitude to the wonderful team at Prominence Way for their great care, dedication, and patience in supporting Willy (and still Betty) over the past two years. We are grateful also to the caring team at Rockyview Hospital.
There will be a Celebration of Life for Willy Hughes in early 2024.
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