Editor's Note: The Hughes family prepared this obituary, which was provided by and edited by Patch.
William Robert Hughes, of Southampton, the co-founder of Sandy Hollow Day Camp in North Sea, died Aug. 26 in Manhasset.
Born March 1, 1929, he was 83.
Hughes was an extraordinary family man, sportsman, scholar, educator and coach. With his beloved wife, Benita, Hughes founded and directed Sandy Hollow Day Camp, the longest consecutively run family owned and operated day camp in the Hamptons area.
Hughes is well known and loved by thousands of children, parents and friends who attended Sandy Hollow across generations. Hughes created a family atmosphere at his camp. He infused life at Sandy Hollow with his strong values, passion for sports and activities, sense of humor and exceptionally kind and loving heart. Bill Hughes's special qualities impacted many lives and his work at Sandy Hollow contributed a large and profound piece of Hamptons history since 1969.
Born in Ozone Park in 1929 and raised in Forest Hills, Hughes was the son of Edwin Hughes, an Irish detective, and Nicolind Carupella. His parents, his older brother, Edwin, and members of his extended family lived on the same street and raised him lovingly.
He was a strong student and athlete who attended the University of Alabama . He earned a Bachelor of Science degree and later a Master of Science at Hofstra University.
He played a variety of sports including minor league baseball. As a coach of baseball, basketball, soccer and field hockey, his eyes saw every nuance of the players’ interactions. His expert coaching at the Garden School and various gyms and fields in the metropolitan area was fueled by intense passion and strong leadership of his teams, as athletes and human beings, and pure “love of the game.”
Hughes dedicated his life to children working as a classroom teacher, physical education teacher and eventually a school administrator. He became the headmaster of the Garden School, a private college prep school in Queens where he worked since 1958.
At The Garden School and at Sandy Hollow, Hughes loved people and guided them wisely. He helped people and influenced lives.
Hughes loved his two daughters, Beth and Eileen, who adored their father. His grandchildren, Will and Fiona Barrie, were the light of his life. Hughes loved how his family spent all of their time together and enjoyed each other’s company. He taught his daughters and grandchildren to love each other and to be as close as a family could possibly be.
Hughes passed away in the loving arms of his family on Aug. 26 at 8 a.m., on the weekend after the post season week of Sandy Hollow’s 43rd season. He coached camp sports until the last week of his life.
On the day before his final hospitalization, Hughes sat inside the gates of Sandy Hollow eyes closed, smiling, with his face up to sky. He said that he was “feeling the air and enjoying the children.”
Daughters Beth and Eileen and their families will continue to live and love together, and to work side by side as they always have, continuing the magnificent legacy of Sandy Hollow Day Camp in the tradition of their mother Benita and her extraordinary husband William Hughes.
Visitations were held at in Southampton on Aug. 28 and 29. The funeral was Aug. 30 at in Southampton.