The Reverend Lolita Mae Hughes died unexpectedly on Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at Shasta Regional Medical Center in Redding, California. She quickly followed her beloved husband John Thurston Hughes, Jr. who passed on July 10, 2013. It seems keeping those two apart after 67 years of marriage was not an option. Theirs were two beautiful lives well lived.
Lolita Mae Hellwegen was born in Oakland, California on September 29, 1924 to Everett Henry Hellwegen and Lola Marie Masten Hellwegen. She lived in Southern California most of her adult life: Lakewood, Long Beach, Buena Park, Chino and Hemet before moving to Redding in 2000. Lolita was a devoted daughter, wife, mother and grandmother. She was a voracious reader and enjoyed tennis, gardening and painting. She was an ordained minister, spiritual practitioner and the author of 28 publications. She loved to entertain and set a beautiful table with fine china, silver and delicate tea cups.
During WWII Lolita worked as a civilian reporter for the Long Beach Naval Shipyard Digest. In addition to covering the news, she had a weekly column titled 'We Girls'. A pioneer in women's rights, she taught her children to recite the Lord's Prayer beginning with the words: "Our Father/Mother God, Who Art in Heaven…" She was very proud of her graduation from Long Beach City College, earning her AA degree over a period of 17 years, one class at a time, while she raised her family, provided childcare and taught piano lessons to the neighborhood children. During the 1960's and 70's Lolita worked as the Executive Secretary to the Treasurer of the Retail Clerks Union Local 1428. She retired from the Union in her early 50's with two pensions and full medical benefits for life, quite an accomplishment for a woman of her generation. Following her retirement from the business world, she graduated from the Ernest Holmes College of the United Church of Religious Science and was ordained by the Ministry of the Holy Name, Church of Christ Teaching in Pasadena, California in 1986.
The Rev. Hughes was a lifelong student and teacher of metaphysics, the New Age Bible, and comparative and world religions. Her studies in metaphysics originated as a member of the Christian Science Church in 1942. For many years she was a First Reader, Practitioner and Teacher in Christian Science churches in Long Beach and Bellflower, California.
Following her 1986 ordination, the Rev. Hughes grew her first United Church of Religious Science in Upland, California. Her spiritual growth and insights brought her to the Unity Church in Hemet, California, where she served as Assistant Minister for ten years. Following her retirement from formal church ministry, the Rev. Hughes became an earnest student and then a devoted teacher of the ancient mysteries as taught throughout the wisdom of all ages with specific courses that she authored on 'The Nature of the Soul' and 'The Bhagavad Gita'.
Lolita is survived by her three children, Cari Lyn Hughes Stanton (Happy), Glenn Thurston Hughes, and Paul Erik Hughes; eight grandchildren: Cami Stanton Coyle, Cari Stanton, Tori Hughes, Niki Hughes, Michael Hughes, Eli Hughes, Samantha Hughes, Katie Hughes, and three great grandchildren: J.T. Coyle, Hannah Coyle, Tristin Coyle. Lolita is also survived by her sister June Christensen, her brother-in law Harry Edwin Hughes and many nieces, nephews and devoted friends and her beloved dog, Honey.
A celebration of Rev. Hughes' life will take place on Saturday, December 7, at 11:00 am at the Center for Spiritual Living in Redding, California.
Please sign the guestbook.
Arrangements handled through Allen & Dahl Funeral Chapel in Redding. 243-1525.