In Loving Memory of Rose Marie Hughes

November 21, 1925
London, England
January 30, 2019
Southport, CT
Funeral Home

Spear-Miller Funeral Home

39 South Benson Road,
Fairfield CT US 06824


Southport Congregational Church

Memorial Service

524 Pequot Avenue,
CT 06890

Tuesday, February 5, 2019 2:00 p.m.


Family Gathering


Southport Congregational Church

524 Pequot Avenue,
CT 06890

Rose Marie Hughes

Loving mother of four, proud grandmother of six, devoted spouse and cherished friend of many on both sides of the Atlantic, Rose died peacefully on January 30, 2019 at the age of 93 in the Southport, Connecticut home she loved. She was born in London November 21, 1925 the daughter of Hugo and Reine Pitman (nee Ormond) from whom she inherited a lifelong appreciation of fine art and music. Her father, managing partner of a brokerage firm in The City was also a much respected collector of works by contemporary English artists, and for many years, a trustee of The Tate. Her mother, a niece of and sometime model for American painter John Singer Sargent, studied at The Slade and was a skilled amateur watercolorist. Until the age of fourteen Rose was educated in England and lived at home. However, in June 1940 Hitler’s troops having defeated the British at Dunkirk were poised to cross The Chanel and invade England and her parents gratefully accepted a generous offer from Junius Morgan to send Rose and Jemima, her younger sister, to live with his family in the safety of the United States. The two girls arrived in New York City on July 9th. (Their ship was later sunk by a German U Boat.) They would not return until late spring 1943. While in America Rose attended Chapin, a school for girls in Manhattan, where she made lifelong friendships and also with young men she met, among them the one she would eventually marry. When she returned home London was still being bombed with Germany’s V-1, V-2 rockets but she moved in to her parent’s bomb damaged house in Chelsea, and for one year, studied at The Queen’s Secretarial College and then was hired by The American Embassy in London. In spring 1947 Rose accompanied her father on business to New York where she renewed her friendship with Larry Hughes who had initiated a four year correspondence with her starting after she left America and he was in the Marine Corps. Their reunion kindled a romance. They were married in London November 27th. The couple’s first home was in New Haven, Connecticut where Larry was still a Yale student. The following year his first job took them to Glen Cove, Long Island. In 1957 they moved to Fairfield, Connecticut and 1962 to Southport, Connecticut. A quiet person with a gentle personality she also loved laughter and a good party. Although she participated in many local civic and charitable organizations as well as being a regular volunteer in the registrar’s office at The Morgan Library in New York, Rose’s focus was on family raising her four children. She was an excellent cook and hostess helping her book publisher husband entertain authors, agents and foreign visitors. Rose loved flowers, was a whiz at crossword and jigsaw puzzles and always beat her husband at backgammon. She was a very fast and voracious reader of novels, enjoyed movies, theater and concerts. She treasured her summers in Vinalhaven, Maine and winter visits to LaQuinta, California as well as vacations in many parts of the world. In May 2016 Rose was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and placed in home hospice care. Previously she had been diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s. Confined to her bed until her passing, she remained a happy person. She had lost her health and memory yet she never lost her enchanting smile. She is survived by John Lawrence Hughes, her husband of 71 years; a younger sister, Jane Jemima Pitman of Switzerland, a daughter, Alexandra Ormond Hughes of Paris, France and her husband, Neal Fiertag and step children, Stephanie and Eve Fiertag and by three sons and six grandchildren: Timothy Kelly Hughes of Medfield, MA married to Annie Thomas, parents of Wesley and Emma; Christopher Pitman Hughes of Newtown, CT married to Kate and father of Tyler and Kelsey, Ian Hugo Hughes of NYC married to Holly, parents of Johanna and Henry. A memorial service will be held Tuesday, February 5, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. at Southport Congregational Church, 524 Pequot Ave., Southport, CT. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Southport Congregational Church.

Sign the Guestbook

Print Guestbook

1 Guestbook Entry for Rose Marie Hughes

  1. I would like to express my condolences in the loss of your dear loved one. Death is such a hurtful thing that the bible calls it our enemy. [1 Corinthians 15:26]. But the bible also gives us hope of seeing them again in the promised resurrection to come according to [John 5:28-29] and [Acts chapter 24:15]. There is further hope found in scriptures like [Isaiah 25:8] and [Revelations 21:3-5] which says in part that Jehovah God will wipe out every tear from our eyes and death will be no more, because God will swallow up death forever. I hope these scriptures will be of some comfort.
    With Deep Sympathy.