Harold J. Hughes Jr.

Harold J. Hughes Jr.

Harold J. Hughes Jr.

ALTAMONT — Harold J. “Hal” Hughes Jr. of Altamont, who was devoted to the law, died peacefully at Albany Medical Center on Thursday, June 30, 2022. He was 92.

Born in Albany to Harold Sr. and Mildred Vunk Hughes, Mr. Hughes attended Christian Brothers Academy, Union College, and Albany Law School, where he graduated valedictorian. In earlier years, he served three years in the United States Army, was Guilderland Town Justice and Town Councilman, as well as Altamont Justice of the Peace.

“His devotion was to the law, which he began practicing in 1954,” his family wrote in a tribute. “He served as Assistant Attorney General for the State of New York, and Assistant and Deputy Clerk for New York Supreme Court’s Appellate Division, before being elected a Justice of the New York Supreme Court, Third Judicial District, in 1972, a role which he faithfully held for 28 years, including several years as Administrative Judge. He retired in 1999.

“During his many years on the bench, Harold’s decisions earned him great respect from his peers and colleagues, along with a reputation for being careful, unbiased, and tough.

“In addition to the law, Harold’s other great loves were reading, sports (especially golf), the outdoors (particularly the Adirondacks), his church, his family, and his lawn (not necessarily in that order). Hal and Mary lived together in Altamont for more than 65 years and spent many happy winters in Tequesta, Florida.

“A wonderful husband and father, he was a private man, loved by many and admired by all who knew him, for his kindness and his integrity.”


Beloved by his family, Harold J. Hughes Jr. is survived by his wife of 69 years, formerly Mary Rickard; his son, Charles and his wife, Kelley, of Voorheesville, daughter Meg and her husband, Mike, of Altamont, and daughter Jurian and her husband, David, of the Berkshires; as well as by four grandchildren: Nellie, Conor, Ivy, and Tucker; eight great-grandchildren: Jet, Cailey, Sullivan, Harrison, Audriana, Miles, Mila, and Winston; and by his sister, Mary Faith Scherer, of Dennis, Cape Cod.

A funeral service will be held at the Altamont Reformed Church, at 129 Lincoln Ave. in Altamont, on Friday, July 8, at 10 a.m., with a reception afterward at the church.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Altamont Free Library, Post Office Box 662, Altamont, NY 12009.

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