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Richard W. Hughes

Richard W. “Rick” Hughes, 70, of Salisbury, formerly of Billerica and Malden, July 1, 2020, surrounded by loved ones after a 20-year battle with cancer. He was the beloved husband of Dorothy “Dotty” (Willcox), father of Bryan Hughes of Salisbury and Bridget Mello and her husband Bill of Billerica. Loving Papa of Bryan Jr., Kiley, Faye, Maeve Hughes, and Drew and Luke Mello. Brother of John, Stephen, Michael, Joseph, Carolyn Hughes and Maura Helfer. Also survived by many cousins, in-laws, nieces and nephews. 

Rick was born January 21, 1950 in Elmira, NY to Mary (Cieri) and Francis Hughes. After the passing of his mother, he attended Milton Hershey School in Hershey, PA, graduating in 1968. He then enlisted in the US Navy, during which time he met his love Dorothy Willcox. They were married in 1972 and an amazing love story began.  In 1980 he was appointed to the Malden Fire Department. During this time, he also worked as a carpenter and continued this trade even after his retirement from the Malden Fire Department in 1991. Following his retirement he began his air duct cleaning business “Duct Dusters.”

He was known for his love of physical fitness, completing numerous road races, triathlons, and the Boston Marathon on a few occasions. His unique sense of humor helped to define him as the life of the party. His passion for life was evident in his work ethic, his positive attitude, his compassion for others, his deep spirituality, and his love for his family and friends.  

Interment, with US Navy Honors, at Puritan Lawn Cemetery Peabody, MA. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Rick’s memory to the Disabled American Veterans, which can be made online at

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