Leota Bender Hughes, age 93, of Canton went home to be with her Heavenly Father with family beside her on August 21, 2019 at House of Loreto in Canton.
Leota was born at home in Canton on July 29, 1926 to Faith and Ray Bender. She was a 1944 graduate of Lehman High School. She married the love of her life, Edward Hayden Hughes, in 1946. They were married 55 years until his death in 2001. Her beautiful singing voice was a gift she shared with others as the lead in Canton Civic Opera’s La Traviata at age 19, the Festival Choir, and as a soloist, choir member and director of children’s choirs at John Knox Presbyterian Church. Leota was a faithful servant of God. During her life, she was a member of John Knox Presbyterian Church and First Friends Church, where she actively participated in Bible Study Groups and senior activities. She was a member of The McDowell Club and PEO Sisterhood Chapter BB, where she had many friends.
Leota’s family brought her so much joy. With her family, she played bridge, Double Solitaire and Scrabble. She laughed passionately and was generous with her love and hugs. She listened well and supported her loved ones with her presence and encouragement. From the basketball stands to her seat in the theater audience, her winks, smiles and deliberate head nods were powerful support for her children and grandchildren. She left a trail of encouragement and compassion for others. Her family will miss her immensely.
In addition to her parents Leota was preceded in death by her brother, Ray Bender and his wife, Gerry, and her loving husband, Edward Hayden Hughes.
She is survived by her brother, Tom (Jan) Bender of Florida; daughters, Nancy (Bill) Maddox of Canton, Constance (Les) Cornwell of Athens; Son, Tim (Jennifer) Hughes of Michigan; 8 grandchildren: Laurel (Darryl) Browman, Stephen (Julie) Maddox, Sara (Shawn) Johnson, Anne Cornwell, Kris (Bo Marrs) Cornwell, David (Jenny) Cornwell, Alek Hughes and Jack Hughes, 15 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
Warm thanks to the Sisters and nursing staff at House of Loreto who compassionately cared for Leota and treated her with dignity, love and kindness. Funeral Service will be 11:00a.m. Monday in the Spiker-Foster-Shriver Funeral Home 4817 Cleveland Ave. N.W. with Pastor Paul Johnson officiating. Friends may call one hour prior to the service (10-11). Interment in North Lawn Cemetery will be private for the family. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to House of Loreto, 2812 Harvard Ave. NW, Canton OH 44709. Please sign the guest book.