Joan Newell Hughes, a resident of Foxboro for the last 25 years, was also a resident of Marshfield for 10 years prior. But Massachusetts residency aside, Joan was forever a New Yorker. She was born in Brooklyn on Oct. 20, 1936, and frequently returned to the city well into her 70s.
Singled out at a young age for being gifted in math, Joan skipped a grade in school, graduated salutatorian of her all-girl Catholic high school, and received a scholarship to Queens College.
After raising her four children, she returned to school and got a degree in computer science from Northeastern. She was truly a woman ahead of her time — and not just in matters of education and business. She was vocal about her pro-busing stance during the Civil Rights movement, even when it resulted in bomb threats to her home, and she encouraged her daughters and granddaughters to create lives of their own outside of what their partners might provide.
Joan was loving and honest, sharp and independent. She had incredible taste in clothes and a wicked sense of humor. She loved ice in her Chardonnay, rouge on her cheeks, and her grandchildren in her swimming pool. For all these things and more, she was loved. She had an irreplaceable spirit and will be greatly missed.
Joan is survived by her sister, Carol, her children, Janice and Jay Milender, Courtney and Pam Hughes, Christine Hughes and Paul Hughes; her grandchildren Parker, Schuyler, Morgan, Kendall, and Sean. She was a woman of deep faith through the very end, and it gives her family peace to know that she will be greeted in heaven by those she loved and missed on earth — her father James, her mother Pearl, and her brothers James and Gordon.
Mass will be said at 10 a.m., Sept. 11, 2021 at St. Mary’s Church in Foxboro. The family asks for donations to the Parkinson’s Foundation in lieu of flowers.