Bay resident celebrates 104th birthday

Mina Hughes in 1927, when she entered Mt. Holyoke College at the age of 18.

If it’s true that one wish accompanies every birthday candle, Mina Hughes will have a lot of requests to make on Sept. 25.

On that day, she will be surrounded by her son Dave, grandson Scott and his wife Melissa, great-grandson Avery, and niece Beverly as they celebrate her 104th year of life. Also present will be the many friends who consider her to be an extended part of their own families.

Her incredible memory of people, dates and events has provided most of the information that I am honored to share about her long and interesting life.

Mina Rose Lyle was born on Sept. 25, 1909, in Logansport, Ind., during the presidential term of Robert H. Taft. It was the decade of World War I, the Titanic and Prohibition.The average life expectancy was 50 and the average yearly salary was $750.

Her father purchased the first family car in 1921, and it was manufactured in our hometown by The Cleveland Automobile Co.

She recalls with a smile some of the necessary things that accompanied her to Mt. Holyoke College in 1927. The list included a Victrola, several leather hatboxes that matched her luggage, a typewriter and a wardrobe trunk that had to be shipped. Seventy-five years later she and one other classmate returned to the college to attend a reunion and to relive many nostalgic memories.

In 1938 she married Benjamin (Ben) Lowe Hughes and in 2003 they celebrated their 65th anniversary. Son Dave was born in 1942 and he graduated from Bay High School in 1960 where he excelled in many sports.

The family moved to Bay Village in 1951, and became members at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church. Mina still cherishes the memories of a Bible study group that originated there, and resulted in many lifetime friendships. Church has remained a major part of her life, and when circumstances allow, she can be found in the front row at Christ Church Westshore, where she is rightfully regarded as the Grand Matriarch. She is grateful that with the help of her devoted caregivers, she is able to remain in her comfortable home on Russell Road.

Her pleasant personality is obvious even when circumstances aren’t the best, and I can attest firsthand to the following incidents: When she was in the hospital because of a broken hip, the nurse asked her if she had ever taken any medication to help her relax. She immediately replied, “Yes dear, it’s the generic version, and I’ll spell it for you.” Another time she was a patient in a rehab facility, and her hairdresser casually appeared to perform his weekly routine, just as if she were in the salon. These are only two examples that express the appeal of this special lady.

Her flair for fashion was evident when she recently attended a formal wedding wearing a beautiful new black dress with matching trendy ballerina slippers.

Mina says that she is prepared to accept whatever the future holds, and I have no doubt that 104 years from now, Mina Rose Hughes will be celebrating another milestone in a Heavenly place, surrounded by a throng of other angels.

Happy birthday, Mina dear, from everyone who knows you and loves you.

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Volume 5, Issue 19, Posted 10:22 AM, 09.17.2013