The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

John Packard Hughlett


February 1, 2018

John Packard Hughlett was born Nov. 22, 1930, in Wembo Nyama, Belgian Congo, to William and Violet Hughlett, missionaries to the African Continent. He spent his childhood in the Belgian Congo and Cocoa, Florida.

Violet taught him in the early years; he then attended boarding schools for the rest of his primary education. The family journeyed back to Clearwater, Florida, in 1947, where John graduated high school in 1948.

John attended Asbury College for one year; then, upon hearing the call to be a missionary, he transferred to Virginia Polytechnic Institute, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Agricultural Engineering in 1953.

Following a year of Seminary at Asbury, he joined his parents in the Congo where he used his engineering skills to build waterways, wells and various construction projects for the Congolese people. John was also fluent in French, along with three local languages: Otetela, Swahili and Tshiluba

While in the Congo, he met Mary Jane Curry, a fellow missionary. They married May 17, 1957, in Lodja. John and Mary Jane soon started a family and worked in the Congo until 1967, leaving because of civil war in the area.

After traveling in Europe, they moved to Pullman in 1968, where John worked as City Engineer.

In 1973, the Hughletts moved to Mary Jane’s family wheat farm near Lind. Mary Jane died in January 1976, and John married Janet Kinzer in April of 1977.

In 1982, John and Janet moved to Pasco where he started a roofing business while, at the same time, designing and building their home. He later maintained properties for The Tippett Company, worked in various ministries, and led adult Sunday school classes at Faith Assembly Christian Center in Pasco.

After admitting Janet to a long-term care facility in 2016, John sold his home and moved to a senior living community in 2017. He died Jan. 10, just two weeks after Janet’s passing on Dec. 28.

Through his personal life, professional life, and ministry work, John touched countless lives, locally and globally, and was loved by many. He was steadfast in his beliefs, and was known for his sense of humor and as a true gentleman.

In addition to Mary Jane and Janet, John was preceded in death by his parents and infant brother, William Hughlett, Jr.

He is survived by numerous cousins, his two sisters, Vera Fadely and Dorothy Ann Ethridge in Florida; his five children: Bill Hughlett of Seattle, Catherine Cleary of Denver, Colorado, Carol Curry of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Noel Harris of Tucson, Arizona, and Fletcher Harris of Moses Lake; also, numerous grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

A Celebration of Life for both John and Janet is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 17, 1 p.m. at Faith Assembly Christian Center in Pasco. His family would love stories and remembrances emailed to: [email protected] and cards sent to Catherine Cleary, 1172 Pontiac St, Denver, CO 80220.


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