Some 300 people attended the memorial service Friday for Jimmy Hughes, Jr., an Eagle Rock resident who died in a car accident after suffering a heart attack while driving to work on the 134 Freeway.
An employee of the Department of Recreation of Parks, Hughes died on Sept. 14, just two weeks before his 38th birthday. A single father, he leaves behind two sons and three daughters whose economic vulnerability prompted a family friend to set up a fundraiser for the children on youcaring.com.
You may see the page and contribute here. (As of midnight Saturday, the fundraiser had $14,241 in contributions, well above the initial target of $5,000, which, in light of the generous response, was subsequently raised to $25,000.)
Hughes had suffered a heart attack in 2011 and had a doctor’s appointment this past week, according to his younger brother, Danny, who works for the Port of Los Angeles. He had complained of some discomfort a few days before his Chevrolet Suburban SUV overturned on the freeway, evidently after he lost control following another heart attack, Danny Hughes said.
Jimmy was a likeable man who grew up in Eagle Rock and, along with his brother and sister, went to St. Dominic's Elementary School. Friends, colleagues and family members of Jimmy filled the pews at St. Dominic’s Church for his memorial service, which was held by Father Jerome Cudden. (Danny Hughes estimated that about 100 of those who attended were from Eagle Rock.)
When he asked the Hughes family how many people they expected for the service, Father Cudden told the crowd just before the ceremony began, the answer he got was “about 150.”
The pastor evoked laughter from the gathering when he joked that the sight of the church filled to capacity had tempted him to ask for contributions.