Henry Randolph Hughes, Jr., universally known as "Randy", passed away on November 10, 2020 at the age of 67. He died after a courageous battle against the imperfections of our flesh that cause sickness, suffering, and death. Randy was born on April 16, 1953 in Jersey City, NJ. He was the only child of the late Henry R., Sr. and Evelyn Hughes. Randy spent his early years in East Orange, NJ until the family moved to Scotch Plains, NJ. While attending Scotch Plains High School, Randy, who was a shy young man, found his niche on the basketball court where he became a fearless competitor. Randy's successes on the basketball court led to a full scholarship to attend the University of Rhode Island in 1971 where he played the position of small forward and was also co-captain during the 1973-74 school year. Randy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Rhode Island with a major in Psychology and minors in Sociology and English in 1975. While studying at the University of Rhode Island, Randy accepted an offer to study the Bible with Jehovah's Witnesses. He made rapid progress and was baptized in May 1975. He also arranged for his future wife, Gerunda, to have a Bible study and she was baptized in January 1976. Randy and Gerunda were married on June 19, 1976 and from this union four children were born – three sons and one daughter. Randy loved to preach and teach to others about God's Word, the Bible; and he did so to family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, clients, health-care professionals, strangers whom he met in the field ministry, and anyone else who would listen. He was not shy when it came to talking about the Bible. His zeal for sharing the truth of God's Word motivated him to reach out for privileges to serve others and help them come to an accurate understanding of God's Word. He served as a pioneer for several years, and as an Elder in the local congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses until his death. Most of Randy's secular career was in the insurance business. He first served as a claim's adjuster and then as an insurance agent for State Farm. Randy worked regularly in the insurance industry from 1975 until 1999 when he retired because of chronic kidney failure. He continued to be an insurance adviser to many friends because he loved helping people with their insurance questions and needs, especially since he had worked in both claims and sales. In 2018, Randy started his own insurance company, H. R. Hughes and Associates, which focused on final expense insurance plans. Randy's hobbies included dreaming about playing basketball, ham radios, and photography. He enjoyed art, music, the theater, a good meal, peace and solitude, and talking about the coming paradise. Randy is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 44 years, Gerunda B. Hughes and their four children: Henry Randolph "Randy" Hughes, III (Renèe) of St. Elizabeth, Jamaica; Michael Jacob Hughes (June) of Bowie, MD; Bryan David Hughes of Miami, FL; Tamara Michelle Lake (Willie) of District Heights, MD. Four grandchildren: Jayden Hughes and Jillian Hughes of Bowie, MD; and Lauren Lake and Lania Lake of District Heights, MD; His aunt and mother's twin sister: Ethel Scott (Kenneth) of Plainfield, NJ; His father-in-law: Dr. Gerald C. Burke (Myrtis-deceased) of West Palm Beach, FL; A host of beloved cousins, nephews, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, and many other family members and friends.
Published in The Capital Gazette on Nov. 19, 2020.