William J. Hughes 1944-2021
William J. Hughes, 76, passed away on May 22, 2021 at Faxton-St. Luke’s Healthcare with his wife Janet at his side. He was born on September 22, 1944 in Utica to Mildred Rehm Hughes and received his education in Chadwicks Union Free School.
Bill proudly served his country from 1963 until 1968 with the U.S. Army and on June 22, 1968 was united in marriage with Janet Edwards in the Willowvale Methodist Church.
His working career included many years with Niagara Mohawk and the Town of New Hartford as a snow plow operator and village police officer, but his favorite job by far was as bus driver for the Sauquoit school district where he was affectionately known by the students as “Mr. Bill”.
He was committed to the service of his community both as a certified E.M.T. with Edwards Ambulance and as an exemplary member of the Willowvale Fire Co.
Bill joined the department in 1966 and moved his way up through the ranks from 1st Aid Captain to Chief, a position he was elected to in 1982 and served for 30 years until 2012.
During his time as Chief, he oversaw many equipment upgrades as well as the design and construction of the current fire hall.
Bill also served as the President of the Fire Chiefs Association in 1991.
He was an ardent fan of Ford classic cars and also enjoyed the time spent at their camp on Oneida Lake and the freedom of the road on his Harley.
Bill is survived by his loving and devoted wife of almost 53 years, Janet, his sister; Marion Gottuso, his brothers in law; Irving “Bud” Edwards and Evelyn Goodson, James and Patricia Edwards, Gary and Bonnie Edwards and Kevin Gaffney as well as several nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his sister; Helen Gaffney.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, May 26 from 3-7 at the Willowvale Fire Co., 3459 Oneida St. in Chadwicks. Funeral services will be there on Thursday, May 27 at 10:00 with Pastor Michael Ballman officiating. Interment will be in Norwich Corners Cemetery.
Bill’s family would like to thank the I.C.U. nurses at Faxton-St. Luke’s Healthcare for their compassionate care, with special thanks to Stephanie, Marie, Terri, Carol and Heather.
His family also requests donations in Bill’s memory to the Wounded Warriors Project (www.woundedwarriorproject.org). Donation forms will also be available at the fire hall.