Jonathan Henry Hughes ’12, Feb. 28, 1990 – Dec. 20, 2014. His early years were filled with building things, playing in the dirt, lots of adventures to the levy with Mom, Kayte, Zack and Ben. Wading in the creek and exploring all the life, both large and small, were marvelous times – isn’t it interesting, the creek and the pond are where he found his greatest joys of late as well.
Jonathan & Katelynn were great buddies and did everything together. We home-schooled, the kids played multiple sports – Jonathan thrived on it, they all did. At age 4 or 5, he knew the names of every player on the Atlanta Braves and Chipper Jones has long been one of his favorite players. There were those evenings, with nothing else to do, when the kids were all just silly – Jon & Ben, with underwear on the outside of their pants and belts as headbands, whooped it up as “Quailman”- you remember the small things.
By junior high, baseball was Jon’s passion, his God-given talents were continuing to grow. Dad had long been Coach, Confidant and Biggest Fan. Jon had already made so many great friends through both baseball and soccer, but so many more were to come. We prayed about a venue for him to continue to play ball and were led to Valley Christian. When he entered “school” for the very first time, in the 8th grade, his sister and brothers knick-named him “school boy” since he had to go TO school for his studies and they did not.
Anyone who knows Jon knows his passion for baseball, his knowledge of the game, his continuous and competitive drive to play at the highest level. Did anyone else know he played an entire season with a broken catching hand? He refused to be out and miss any part of this wonderful road he was on. Coach John Diatte took him there, to the top of his game – this man pulled more out of Jon and his teammates, than anyone else ever could have – they were like a machine, and he became one of the most influential people in Jon’s life.
Highlights of the years: a triple play in t-ball, the TOC with Little League, PONY baseball City Championships, numerous Bulldog club ball championships, Section and Zone Championships, the PONY Baseball Colt World series, WCAL league titles, Back-to-Back CCS Championship wins, naming as Northern California Player of the Year, EA Sports High School All-American and a 90% scholarship to Santa Clara University. Wow, what a ride!
Jon’s life wasn’t perfect, and he made some poor choices; we all have things we regret or that we wish we could have done differently. His days as a scholarshipped athlete at Santa Clara University were short-lived and painful, and he paid a huge price.
But his story doesn’t end there. By God’s grace, Jon returned home, on the night of his 21st birthday, 2011, and began the long process to rebuild his life. Through this last 3 ½ years, Jon fought back from addiction and devastation. By God’s grace, and the intervention and guidance of Coach Mike Perez, Jon began to put his baseball career back in order. But most importantly, he was putting his life back in order. Many long days at the pond and the creek, brought peace to his heart. He would sometimes find his sister, Kayte and ask her to take the bikes and the dogs and go to the creek with him. There he would fish and she would draw and struggles would be forgotten. Jon also attributed credit for getting through these toughest times of his life to the love and stability of his girlfriend, Amy.
His last few months were some of his best, one of the best semesters of college, considering he hates the classroom part of school, loved his housemates and team, his Coach Walt White and he shared their excitement for the upcoming season and the possibilities of where that may take him.
God is always good, so we trust He knows and has Jon in the cleft of His wing right now.