Martha Hughes

Obituary of Martha Jean Hughes

Martha Jean Hughes, born April 15, 1945, in the Gridley, California, Stork Retreat to Mary Bozzo Hughes and Jack Hughes, was the surprise "Baby B" twin to her sister Mary Jane Hughes. Martha passed away unexpectedly and quickly Monday, February 12, 2024, at Adventist Rideout Hospital in Marysville, California, from complications related to cancer.

Martha's early years were spent growing up with her parents, older brother Joe, twin Mary, and younger sister Kathleen surrounded by a large array of Hughes and Bozzo relatives in the Manzanita area of Gridley and later at the Hedger Road ranch and farm in Live Oak. Many heartfelt stories have been exchanged revolving around family gatherings in Manzanita, the Five Dot Ranch in Susanville, California, and family visits to Medford, Oregon. From Hedger School, Martha matriculated to Notre Dame High School and graduated from Yuba College before taking off to San Francisco where she and sister Mary worked for ATT/ Pacific Bell, first as operators, then rising through the ranks to management. Martha specialized in engineering management. A second career after ATT/ Pac Bell was time spent as administrative assistant to the principal at Luther Elementary School in Live Oak, California.

The heart of this wonderful human being was family. Although she never had biological children, she mothered all her nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, showering them with profound and unconditional love and support. Each of them has been blessed and impacted by her unforgettable focus and the time she gave them by her presence, kind words, and listening skills. Whether attending volleyball games at Yuba City High, wrestling matches at Live Oak High, soccer games, baseball and football games at Gridley High, traveling regionally and nationally to goat and sheep shows, as well as cheerleading and parking spot painting events, Martha was always there for them. She also was not afraid to tell them to change course if this needed to be said. They are all better people due to her presence and influence.

A welcoming and gracious hostess, Martha made people feel "at home" in her home. Guests looked forward to her remarkable old fashioned cocktails and delicious salads…and this from a person who rarely drank and didn't think she could cook. A lover of animals, Martha nursed baby bunnies to adulthood and showed the greatest of patience to them and her pet dogs as they rampaged through and damaged her garden. Much like her mother, Mary Bozzo Hughes, Martha loved the never ending peace and solace of the yard and the evolving beauty created when flowers were well tended. She was the type of in-law one would love to imagine having; supportive, loving, and always positive. To friends she was kind, loyal, and always ready to go on with them to the next adventure. Martha's loving dedication and commitment to her sister Mary were evident on a daily basis as they shared laughs, work duties, commitments, and prepared for family gatherings. As Martha mentioned just before passing, they were " a team". Her silly sense of humor was tolerated just because it was a story from Martha as she giggled and laughed at recalled ridiculous situations.An adventurous, fun-loving and full-of-life person, Martha was also incredibly strong, as evidenced in the fortitude and courage she displayed in her final days. A huge hole is left in the hearts of her family and friends with Martha's passing.

She is survived by her twin, Mary Hughes, brother Joseph Hughes (Margaret) sister Kathleen Key (Malcolm); nieces Elise and Amy Hughes, nephews Bernie and Philip Hughes, great-nieces Grace and Ella Hughes; and great-nephew Bryce Hughes. Loving nephew Nathan Key(Carie); great-nieces Avery and Claire Key and great-nephew Jack Key; niece Sarah Bissell (Drew), great-nephew Brooks Bissell and great-niece Nico Bissell; niece Mary Carolyn Barker (Ron) and great-nephew Ames Barker and great-niece Margot Barker; and especially great-nephew Tyler Key, son of the late Brooks Key and Natalie Upton, will profoundly miss her presence.

Martha is predeceased by her parents Jack and Mary Hughes, nephew Brooks Key, and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins. A private family mass will be held for her at Sacred Heart Church in Gridley followed by burial at the Gridley-Biggs Cemetery. May this very good woman rest in peace.

Arrangements entrusted to Gridley-Block Funeral Chapel.

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