In Memoriam: James Huguley
James Huguley died June 24, 2017, in Unalaska, Alaska,where he'd lived for the past 33 years. He perished from cancer at age 69, and is remembered as a man of considerable occupational versatility, and who was well-known to many in various walks of life.
He was born in Athens, Georgia, the second of ten children of James and Frances Huguley. They moved to California, and then to Newport, Oregon, while he was still in school.
At a memorial service last week at the Unalaska Christian Fellowship, Pastor Ken Johnson recalled many lively discussions with James during lunch at the Unalaska Senior Citizens Center. While they didn't always agree on politics, religion and history, they shared a belief in God. He regularly attended local churches, including UCF and St. Christopher by the Sea Catholic Church.
At the service attended by about 30 local residents, his old friends remembered him fondly, including Hariet Berikoff, Corey Nelson, Frank Kelty and Nancy Luff. Mayor Kelty sadly noted his passing during an Unalaska City Council meeting, and at the church service recalled often seeing James working on the city building maintenance crew at city hall. The services were announced at the council meeting by Public Utilities Director Dan Winters.
Also attending were recycling entrepreneur Hal Lewis, and church official Greg Peters, who video recorded the service for James's relatives in the Lower 48. His brothers Steven and Paul traveled from Oregon to the Aleutian Islands community to help with their brother's final affairs. Former local taxi driver Sheila Taranto grieved from afar via Facebook in Williston, North Dakota. His remains will be cremated.
Huguley was a longtime entrepreneur. While in high school he detailed cars and hung drywall, and later planted trees for reforestation for about eight years. He owned a home, an auto repair shop and a bakery in Newport, and later, when legalized, a marijuana store and consumed the product to cope with the pain of his terminal illness.
James was drafted in 1969, but before he went into the service, he married Frances Bougo. While in the military, he broke his leg and was honorably discharged on disability. In 1976, experiencing difficulties, he moved to Alaska and settled in Anchorage where he worked as a custodian and maintenance man at a Catholic church. In 1984, he became a Bering Sea commercial fisherman, and later worked for the Unalaska Department of Public Works until 2012.
James is survived by brothers David, Steve, Paul and Dennis; sisters Suzie and Cindy; son David and James; grandsons Devin, Ethan and Tyler; and grandchildren Daniel and Emily. A daughter, Misty Dawn Huguley, died several years ago in Unalaska.
Live music was performed at the memorial service by Zaf Simbajon, and Pastor Johnson expressed high hopes for James for all of eternity. He was further recalled around snacks afterwards in the church lobby, where photos of his life were on display.
Jim Paulin can be reached at email@example.com