Mrs. Hughes retired in 2003 from the library where she was widely known for the afterschool story hours she held for neighborhood children, instilling in them a love of books and reading.
Born in South Africa to parents who were missionaries, she attended grade school in Raleigh, N.C., and graduated from what is now Northfield Mount Herman school in Gill, Mass., where, as one of a few black students, she served as president of the student council.
She also was one of the first African American women to attend Wellesley College, but was forced to leave the school after her junior year when she contracted tuberculosis. Recovering in three years, she completed her undergraduate degree at Columbia University’s School of General Studies.
After raising three daughters, she earned a master’s degree in library science at Drexel University and shortly thereafter became a children’s librarian at the Northwest Regional Library.
Mrs. Hughes was active in several in several organizations for African American women. She was a Platinum Alumna member of the Philadelphia chapter of Links Inc. and served as its president during one of its National Assemblies. She also was president of the Philadelphia chapter of Circle-Lets Inc., presiding over the organization’s National Conclave in 2004.
She was an avid tennis player who took part in many tournaments at the Germantown Cricket Club. She was a member for five decades and an elder at Summit Presbyterian Church in Mt. Airy.
Her marriage to the late Duerward L. Hughes ended in divorce.
She is survived by daughters Brenda Hughes Miller and Diane Hughes-Webster; 13 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. A daughter, Susan Hayes, who also was known as Fatimah Ali, died in 2012.
Funeral services were held Dec. 30 with interment private
Memorial donations may be made to Summit Presbyterian Church, 6757 Greene St., Philadelphia, PA 19119. – W.F.