Date of Birth
Date of Death
Alice Jeannette “Jean” Hughes, age 96, of Genoa, passed into the arms of her Savior, and was reunited with the love of her life, her husband Elmer, Sunday, July 21, 2019.
She was born on August 5, 1922, at the family home in Genoa, to proud parents Clarence and Edith (Seberg) Wager.
Jean grew up in Genoa and graduated from Genoa High School in 1940, where she played the grand piano at her own graduation.
Following graduation, she began working for Attorney Wayne Wilson in Genoa. Two years later, in 1942, she moved to Dixon, IL, where she took the civil service test for a job with the Green River Ordinance to make bullets. While there she worked for Captain Benjamin Pelton, Captain Hornbeck, and Major Tolson. During her time there, she made the transition from Jeannette to Jean and has been called Jean ever since. She returned to her parentsâ€™ home in Genoa a year later and worked for Bobâ€™s Royal Blue for a short time before she resumed working for Attorney Wayne Wilson until his passing. Attorney Ron Klein purchased the business and kept Jean as a legal secretary until her retirement in 2010.
Jean and Elmer Hughes attended a football game on their first date, October 17, 1947. In January of 1952, following a four and a half year courtship, Elmer proposed to Jean at his home in Sycamore. On the 29th of June they were united in marriage, but they always celebrated their anniversary on October 17th because of that special first date. They lived in Sycamore for a short time, but when they found out Jean was pregnant, they decided to move to her hometown of Genoa, IL. They moved into the house her family owned and lovingly called “The Little House.” Patricia Jean was born in August of 1953 and their family of two became three. In 1964, they moved from “The Little House” to a house they built right next door.
For many years, Jean was a member of the Ladies Genoa Kingston Fire Department Auxiliary where she and fellow “fire wives” would take refreshments and food to the firemen as needed. This same group was also instrumental with the planning and execution of fundraisers for the department as well as the annual Christmas party. Jean and Elmer were instrumental in starting the Booster Club
Jean and Elmer were inseparable and so wherever Elmer was, Jean was close behind, if not right beside him. In their spare time, Elmer and Jean loved to travel and go on vacation. They never went to the same place twice and saw everything from New York City and the East Coast to California and the West Coast. Both were eager to stop and see places off the beaten path. In 1967, Jean began keeping score for the various basketball teams at Genoa High School while dutifully watching from the bleachers and keeping detailed records of every shot attempted and made. Th following school year, she was asked to become the official score keeper, so she and Elmer traveled to every game, home and away. In an interview with the local paper, Jean reportedly shared that when she saw the players outside of the school and basketball court, she didnâ€™t know any of their names because they had their clothes on! Despite the ensuing misunderstanding and not a little embarrassment at having meant they didnâ€™t have their jerseys on, she was inducted into the IBCA hall of Fame as a Friend of Basketball for her many years of volunteering. Only a few years later, she was also one of the first inductees into the Genoa-Kingston High School Hall of Fame. When she wasnâ€™t on the court, she took her attention to detail on family vacations where she itemized every detail down to the penny in a steno notebook. It only took a glance to see perfect penmanship despite the bumps and rolls of the road. Her family was the ultimate prize in her eyes, and you could see the love that was born for grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Jean never turned down a bowl of ice cream and made pancakes from scratch that would make you swear off all other pancakes as poor imposters. She loved to garden and took in the yearly harvest of fruits and vegetables and had encyclopedic knowledge of a number of card games and all the tricks of the trade which she passed down to her grandchildren. Holidays were made for decorating and Jean had an artistâ€™s heart. She would draw elaborate holiday scenes on a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood and after Elmer had cut out the shape, Jean would add the colors to make it come alive. Every birthday came complete with a singing phone call from Jean and every drink was in danger of being halved when she asked for “just a sip”. Jean was the picture of “prim and proper” but she also had a penchant for uttering a string of words that belied her angelic demeanor. Jean was unforgettable in every sense of the word and will always be remembered.
She is survived by her daughter, Pat Clauss; three grandchildren: Natalie (John) Seper, Nathan (Kelly) Campbell, and Clint (Hope) Clauss; seven great-grandchildren: Christopher, Ian, and Kevin Seper; Nolin and Wade Campbell; Jacob Arnold and Levi Clauss; her sister in-law, Blanche E. Carlson, several nieces and nephews and a family of friends.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Clarence and Edith Wager; her husband Elmer T. Hughes, a son-in-law, Brian K. Clauss; in-laws: Ray F. and Jewel Hughes, Eugene and Laura Hughes, Glen Carlson and a nephew Greg L. Hughes.
Visitation will be Saturday, July 27, 2019, at the Faith United Methodist Church, 325 S Stott St., Genoa, IL, 60135, from 12-4 p.m. with a service to follow at 4 p.m. Private family burial will follow cremation at a later date at Genoa Cemetery, Genoa, IL.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Jeanâ€™s name. Checks may be made to either the “Genoa-Kingston Fire Protection District” or “Genoa-Kingston High School Athletic Department” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address, the Conley Funeral Home Facebook Page, or at www.conleycare.com.
Visitation will be Saturday, July 27, 2019, at the Faith United Methodist Church, 325 S Stott St., Genoa, IL, 60135, from 12-4 p.m. with a service to follow at 4 p.m.
Private family burial will follow cremation at a later date at Genoa Cemetery, Genoa, IL.