Martha Lorraine Hughes, aged 98, passed away of natural causes on Thursday December 13th, 2018 at the Southington Care Center. She was the daughter of Anthony Lyss and Martha (Lutskie) Lyss.
Martha was born on September 16, 1920 in New Britain, CT where she lived most of her life. She was a 1939 graduate of New Britain High School. In her later years she lived in Southington, first at Spring Lake Village, then at The Orchards and subsequently the Southington Care Center. Martha, a Registered Nurse, had a long career with New Britain General Hospital. She was a 1942 graduate of the New Britain General Hospital School of Nursing. Shortly after graduation she enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served as a nurse during WWII, first at St Albans, Queens, NY, and later at Camp Lejeune, NC. In 2018 Martha was recognized by Governor Malloy for her wartime service to the country.
Following her military service, Martha matriculated at Columbia University on the GI Bill where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in 1950. Upon returning to New Britain, Martha began her long professional career at New Britain General Hospital first as a nursing educator, later as shift supervisor, and culminating in the position of Vice President of Nursing Services, the position she held at her retirement in 1982. She was very proud of her nursing career and especially of her service in WWII.
Martha had lots of friends and engaged in many outside activities. Chief among her interests was her “Bridge Club”. Her friends in the Bridge Club, and her interest in the game of bridge, were a big part of her life. An avid opera fan since her time as a student in New York, Martha had a season’s subscription for many years to the New York Metropolitan Opera. Martha was also very active with the New Britain Women’s Club, the Shuttle Meadow Garden Club and the New Britain General Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association – serving terms as President of the Garden Club and President of the Alumni Association. In her later years, Martha was a volunteer docent at the New Britain Museum of American Art where she spent many enjoyable Sunday afternoons.
A blind date turned out to be pivotal in Martha’s life. On that blind date she met Thomas Hughes, a New Britain banker, whom she married in 1952. With Tom, Martha raised 3 sons: Thomas, Patrick and Jeffrey. Tom passed away from cancer in 1974. After many years as a widow, Martha married a second time to Richard (“Dick”) Ahern in 1992. Dick, a widower, was a boyfriend from her youth. Martha and Dick remained married until his passing in 2001. She was fortunate to have two wonderful husbands, three dedicated sons, and many good friends in her life. She lived a very long, rich and full life.
Martha was pre-deceased by her sister, Henrietta Lyss, and her brother, Leonard Lyss, both of New Britain. She is survived by her sons and their families: Thomas and his wife Andrea Hughes of Eastford, CT, and their children Andrew and Emily; Patrick and his wife Renee Hughes, of Simsbury, CT, and their children Tian, Skylar and Cody; Jeffrey and his wife Barbara Hughes of New Castle, NH, and their children Moura McGovern and Jonathan; Donald Ahern and his wife Lorraine of Mt. Pleasant, SC and their children Anne Marie and Sean; and Gary Ahern and his wife Tricia of New Brunswick, NJ. Martha also had the fortune to see the birth of 2 great-grandsons – Caleb, son of Tian and Rachel Hughes of Pittsburg, PA; and Finnegan, Son of Jonathan and Katy Hughes of Reston, VA.
The family wishes to thank the nurses and staff at both The Orchards and the Southington Care Center for their care and compassion.
Calling hours will be 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19, at the DellaVecchia Funeral Home, 211 N. Main St. Southington. The Funeral Mass will be held 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 20, at St. Maurice Church, 100 Wightman St. New Britain. Burial will be with Military hours at St. Mary’s Cemetery in New Britain. In lieu of flowers, donations are welcome in her name to the charity of the donor’s choice.
For online condolences and directions please visit www.dellavecchiafh.com