James Edward Hughell was born in Boise, Idaho. He graduated from high school in Meridian, Idaho, and served as an electronic technician in the US Coast Guard during World War II.
After discharge, he returned to college and graduated from Oregon State College in 1948. He received his Medical Degree from the University of Oregon Medical School in Portland in 1952. He spent three years in internship and residency at Fresno County Hospital before starting a family practice in Atascadero in 1955.
Ed married his high school sweetheart Louise (Peggy) Towne in December 1946. He was a devoted husband to his wife of 75 years, and they had five children. He was very proud of his family.
After 17 years in family practice in Atascadero, Ed became certified by the American Board of Family Practice and became the founding director of a Family Practice residency training program started by UC Davis Medical School at Merced Community Medical Center.
From 1979 to 1982, Ed and Peggy served as missionaries for the United Methodist Church at Ganta Hospital in Liberia, West Africa. While there, he was in charge of an 80-bed hospital and a Methodist mission station. In 1982 he returned to the Merced residency program and directed it until retirement in 1995.
Ed was a proud member of both the Atascadero and Merced Rotary Clubs. He was also a faithful member of the United Church of Christ, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches, depending on the community where he lived.
After retirement Ed and Peggy moved to a home in Cambria. Ed greatly enjoyed the beauty of the area and the many friends they made there. He was active in the Presbyterian Church, Cambria Adult Resources Education & Support (CARES), and served on the Cambria Community Healthcare District (CCHD) board. In addition, he participated in tennis, bridge, bike and dance clubs, and the community chorale.
Ed and Peggy then moved to Santa Maria, where they were active in the community for ten years. In 2020 they moved to Rohnert Park to live with their granddaughter Celia and her husband, Enrique. It was a wonderful place to spend his last two years.
Ed had four passions in his life that gave it meaning: his family, the practice of medicine, teaching this to younger doctors, and his worship of God.
He is survived by his loving wife, Avil Louise (Peggy) Hughell; his children, Jim (and Alice) Hughell of San Ramon, Ca; Barbara (and Paul) Rose of Atascadero, Ca; David (and Edith) Hughell of Turrialba, Costa Rica and Celia (and Jeff) Scachzenski of Whitehall, Mt; as well as ten grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held on March 19 at 11 AM at Daniel’s Chapel of Roses Funeral Home 1225 Sonoma Avenue, Santa Rosa, California 95405. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org for the reception following the service.
In Lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Cambria Adult Resources Education & Support (2700 Eton Road; Cambria, CA 93428 ) or First United Methodist Church of Santa Maria (311 S Broadway, Santa Maria, CA 93454).