Joy Beverly Hughes
Feb 02, 1928 - Aug 24, 2016
Joy Beverly Hughes
Feb 02, 1928 - Aug 24, 2016
Joy Beverly Hughes passed away peacefully at 88 years old with her family at her side on Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 at St Joseph’s Hospital after a brief illness. She was born on February 2, 1928 in Bellingham, Washington to Dietrich and Pearl Bengen. She lived her entire life in Whatcom County, attended Birchwood Elementary School, Nooksack Jr High School, and graduated from Mount Baker High School at 16 years old. As a young woman, she was a member of a String Trio in Bellingham, playing the cello, which she loved. She was raised on a dairy farm and married the handsome and charming milkman, Wilson (Bill) Tollum, with whom she had 3 children. They had a small farm at Bell Creek in Deming for several years. She acquired a degree from Bellingham Business School and (after her marriage with Bill ended) started working as a secretary at the General Adjustment (Insurance) Bureau where she continued to work for over 20 years. In 1973, she met Tom Hughes. They married and together created a wonderful life, family and business partnership. They operated Eastview Blueberry Farm for over 30 years. In addition to a few other successful business ventures, they also assisted her daughter and son-in-law – Debbie & Tom Cicchitti when they first opened Cicchitti’s Pizzeria on State Street.
She and Tom travelled across the U.S. several times and also did some travelling abroad. They went Christmas shopping once in Germany where they sadly discovered many of the gifts were made in Taiwan… In the late 80’s the U.S. government sent them to the U.S.S.R. on an Agricultural/Horticultural exchange where they spent a few weeks. They took their 12-year-old granddaughter, Niki, with them. Many stories have circulated through the family of those interesting trips. Upon retirement, they moved to a beautiful home at Birch Bay so she could realize a lifelong dream of living by the water and he could have a gorgeous view of his precious Mount Baker – his “Altar”, where they resided happily for the past 10 years.
Her family was her life. She was an amazing wife and mother and her grandchildren absolutely adored her. She was always ready to have the grandkids over for however long they wanted to stay. When she and Tom built their big, beautiful house on the blueberry farm, they built a walk-in closet in one of the bedrooms that housed a Barbie Doll apartment complex for the grandkids– dolls, clothes, furniture, cars, swimming pool, etc. Granddaughters Taria & Sarah and her much-loved great-granddaughter Nakasha practically lived over there. Some of the best times of their lives and hers and Grampa’s, too. She was a wonderful cook and was always available for cooking lessons, or just chats and phone calls at any time of day or night without criticism or judgement. She assisted them through college and supported them through various life and business decisions. She was sharp as a tack, always current on family and world affairs. During her last years, when she had great difficulty getting around, she became a voracious reader, reading over 400 books on the Kindle her husband had gotten her. A couple of years ago, they got a Chihuahua puppy she named “Loba” who quickly became her BFF, and who entertained and adored her. Joy was eagerly awaiting the birth of another great-grandchild (little Hazel Joy) who is due any day now. She leaves us with so many incredible and lovely memories as we try to cope with life without her.
She was preceded in death by her parents Dietrich and Pearl Bengen, infant daughter Merry Lee Tollum, and brother Fred Bengen. She leaves behind in the family home her loving and devoted husband Tom and sweet little Loba; children Bill Tollum Jr and his wife, LaWanda; and Debbie (Tollum) Cicchitti and her husband Tom, stepsons David Hughes (Leah), and Jack Hughes; grandchildren Kim Mason (Andy), Robert Tollum, Niki Shannon (Dennis), Tanna Anderson (Jeremy), Taria Byrd (Nolan), Sarah Cicchitti (Dylan), Josh Cicchitti (Christine), Katrina Foster (Richie), and Jenny Mietenkorte (Peter); brother Bob Bengen; special niece Janell Wilson (Leo); several more nieces and nephews and a wonderful bunch of step, great, and great-great grandchildren that she loved more than can possibly be imagined. Nakasha and little Anthony, Braxton, Braeden, Malakai, Natalee, Truman, Trinity, Axton, baby Hazel Joy, Portia, Tristian, Chris and little Liam, Skylar and little Max, Mitchell, Jourdyn, Bryleigh & Jacob. Her sweet life for generations to come….
Joy didn’t contribute to charities. She wasn’t at all opposed to them. She just felt that with a family the size of ours, the “charity” she wanted to contribute to would be her family, and she did so with warmth and generosity. In lieu of flowers, she would have loved it if you just got a little gift for a loved one or maybe went out to dinner together.
She also wasn’t big on funerals even if they were called “Memorial Services”. In fact, she really hated them. So, at her request, we won’t be having one. If anyone would like to share memories of Joy, or just stop by for a cup of coffee, her daughter Deb and husband Tom Cicchitti will be more than happy to visit and share at their home in Ferndale – 1070 W 58th Terrace on Saturday, September 3rd from 1:00 p.m. – 5 p.m. or so….