Eugene P. Hughes Sr., 94, of Plymouth Meeting, who was a general surgeon at Chestnut Hill Hospital and the former chief of surgery at Roxborough Memorial Hospital, died Monday, Oct. 7, at Artman Lutheran Home in Ambler.
Born in Audubon, Camden County, Dr. Hughes was a 1942 graduate of La Salle College High School. He attended St. Joseph’s College before transferring to Franklin and Marshall College, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry.
He served in the Navy as a medical officer from 1944 to 1946, and was activated again during the Korean War.
Dr. Hughes graduated from Jefferson Medical College in 1948 and served a general surgery residency at the Philadelphia VA Hospital.
He was certified as a general surgeon in 1960 and was affiliated with Jefferson as an assistant clinical professor on its surgical teaching staff from 1972 to 1991. At least 150 surgical residents and 300 medical students received part of their surgical training under his tutelage, his family said.
Steven R. Myrick, a general surgeon in Bryn Mawr, trained with Dr. Hughes. “He was a mentor to me,” Myrick said. “He was very hands-on and practical. He didn’t quote a lot of literature, but he got the job done. He was very homey with patients. He would come in and sit down and go over things. He made you feel like family.”
Starting in the late 1950s, Dr. Hughes practiced general surgery at Chestnut Hill Hospital and Roxborough Memorial Hospital, where he was chief of surgery. He retired in 1993.
He was a founding member of Northwest Surgical Associates in Chestnut Hill. His son Eugene P. Jr., who followed his father into the medical profession, joined the practice in the 1970s.
Dr. Hughes was a member of the Philadelphia College of Physicians, Philadelphia Academy of Surgery, American College of Surgeons, and American Medical Association.
In 1990, Dr. Hughes was inducted into the La Salle High Alumni Hall of Fame for his achievements in medicine.
When not working, Dr. Hughes enjoyed the outdoors. He was an avid fisherman and an accomplished golfer. He was a former president of the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club and a lifelong member of the Lac Pythonga Fish and Game Club in the wilderness of western Quebec.
He fished in Quebec for northern pike and walleye. “Whether he caught any fish or not, what he enjoyed the most was the time spent with his children and grandchildren in the effort,” said another son, Edward.
His family said he instilled in his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren a love of the outdoors and an appreciation for the value of education, family, and hard work.
“The thing that I remember the most growing up was his work ethic. I would come downstairs at 4 a.m. and there he was, with a medical journal on his lap, learning more about something,” said son Timothy. “His work ethic was huge.”
Dr. Hughes married Jane Murphy Hughes in 1948. They had eight sons. “He and his wife were incredible in juggling home and work. She was instrumental in keeping his office flowing. They did a great job of managing the family,” Dr. Myrick said.
His wife died in 2010. Besides his sons, he is survived by sons Robert, Thomas, Christopher, Brian, and Donald; 17 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 18, followed by a life celebration until 2 p.m., at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club, 815 Thomas Rd., Lafayette Hill. Interment is private.
Contributions may be made to the Hughes Family Scholarship Fund at La Salle College High School, 8605 W. Cheltenham Ave., Wyndmoor, Pa. 19038.