News and EventsMonday, May 18, 2015
Springdale resident to be inducted into Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame
Council on Aging congratulates Springdale resident John Hughes for his induction by the Ohio Department of Aging into the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame.
The Hall of Fame celebrates outstanding older Ohioans for their achievements and contributions to others; for the roles they play in their communities, state and nation; and for what they do to promote productive and enjoyable lives.
John and the rest of the 2015 class join more than 400 individuals who have been inducted since 1977 for contributions toward the benefit of humankind after age 60, or for a continuation of efforts begun before that age. They will be inducted Thursday, May 28 at 1 p.m. at a ceremony in the Ohio Statehouse Atrium in Columbus.
John’s 38,000-mile journey to the Hall of Fame started 45 years ago with one man, a bicycle and the dream to improve the lives of his neighbors while taking charge of his own health. John has always taken fitness and physical activity very seriously. At age 87, he continues to log as much as 100 miles per week on his bicycle and participates in as many charitable fundraisers as he can.
John has travelled the U.S.A. and abroad on his bike for various charities including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Fuller Center for Housing, Habitat for Humanity and others. His efforts have helped further diabetes research and provided housing for those in poverty. He made a personal financial contribution to the Maple Knoll Village to create a cycling room at the senior complex to promote health and wellness among his neighbors.
John's trek began with a diagnosis as an adult with type 1 diabetes. "My doctor said I ought to exercise," he said. "My son had just taken a bicycle trip and had a leftover bicycle. I 'inherited' it from him and started riding to work and on various kinds of trips." Since then, John has pedaled in Germany, Belgium, Holland, England, Switzerland and more.
He uses the Internet, particularly YouTube, to identify new cycling opportunities. Most recently, in March 2015, John completed about 100 miles of the 300-mile spring ride down the Natchez Trace Parkway with the Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure.
John has volunteered to participate in a study to gauge the benefits of mentors in helping others with type 1 diabetes monitor their glucose levels and effectively manage the disease. John hopes he will be able to help someone else learn to manage the disease and live a healthier lifestyle.
To further efforts to improve the lives of his neighbors, John made a $250,000 donation to help open the Richard Neubauer, M.D. and John Hughes Hospice Center on the Maple Knoll campus. While Maple Knoll offers a full spectrum of care, John saw the need for a hospice center through caring for his wife Marjorie in her final days. "When one half of a couple's health declines more rapidly than the other, they are often separated. Yet, that's when they really need to be with each other most," John said. "Difficulties with transportation could make it hard to see each other." With the addition of the hospice center, Maple Knoll residents now need only to walk across campus to be with their loved ones.
John has also volunteered with Meals on Wheels and with the Independent Transportation Network, which helps seniors and people with disabilities remain independent in their communities by providing them with a safe driver to carry them to medical appointments and other places.
John is a life-long learner. After the age of 75, he took lessons and learned to play the trumpet, trombone, saxophone, clarinet, flute and keyboard. He says, "If I run out of something to do, I pick up a musical instrument and have a try at it." He also is known for his woodworking skills and makes desks and other wooden creations for his family and friends.
His proudest accomplishment is his family, consisting of Bart and Sandy Hughes, Ginny Hughes and grandchildren Jordan Hughes and Katarina Hughes.
Source: Ohio Department of Aging