Shermer; IL– All government offices will remain closed today as local citizens continue to cope with the loss of their most treasured son. John Hughes Jr. died Thursday of a heart attack while visiting family in New York.
Shermer Mayor Jake Ryan decreed that flags at all city buildings be flown at half staff until further notice.
“It’s the very least we could do to honor Mr. Hughes,” Ryan said. “I encourage all Shermerites to do the same at their businesses and homes.”
Ryan said he was taking the news especially hard. “I’ve known Mr. Hughes since my glory days at Shermer High School. He’s always been there to offer inspiration and guidance.” Mayor Ryan learned about the sudden death of Hughes during a family gathering. “I was out back grilling when Samantha ran out and handed me the phone. Stunned, devastated, those were the immediate reactions.”
“After we had a moment to ourselves, we started spreading the word,” Ryan said. “I called Ted and Caroline immediately, while Sam rang up Ginny, Mike and even made an overseas call to Long Duk. It’s amazing the reach of Mr Hughes’ influence.”
“I’ve told people about him everywhere I’ve gone,” said Del Griffith, Director of Sales for American Light and Fixture, Shower Curtain Ring Division. “After Marie died, I was going to give up the traveling salesman business, then I ran into Mr. Hughes at a diner one morning. We had a couple of slices of pie and he told me it was what I loved and what I was supposed to do. Had it not been for that conversation, I never would have met Neal, and I wouldn’t have a best friend.”
Hughes’ memory will live on in many ways. Lisa Inc co-founder and CFO Gary Wallace said the company planned to endow a John Hughes scholarship. “Me and Wyatt did not even come up with the idea, our wives, Deb and Hilly actually brought us the plan.” It will be a company wide effort Wallace added. “Everyone at Lisa Inc will be contributing. From me and CEO Donnelly, all the way down to our limo driver Ian, our currier Max and even our custodian Chet.”
Many other of Shermer’s wealthiest residence made plans for honoring Hughes as well. “I am thinking a parade,” said Ferris Bueller. “I mean, if I can’t use my lottery winnings to throw a big party in his memory, then what good is the money?”
The funeral for Hughes has people coming to Shermer from all over the globe. “Me and the family are currently in Abu Dhabi,” said local food additives researcher Clark Griswold. “I have a new bar-b-q sauce I have been trying to market in the Middle East. It hasn’t been going well and we have been wanting, and encouraged, to get back to Illinois soon anyway.”
Local law enforcement is prepared for the possible surge of people coming to town to pay their respects to Hughes. “We have a contingency plan in place,” said Shermer Police Chief John Bender. “I spoke with Kevin Mcallister, who as you know runs the top private home security business in the nation, and he has told me he will provide his employees at no cost to help with crowd control.”
The service is expected to take place in the Andrew Clark Gymnasium at Shermer High School, according to Principal Carl Reed. “I’ve already have Dick Vernon and the rest of the maintenance staff setting up the chairs.”
Local artist Allison Reynolds has donated one of her paintings to the Hughes family, and award winning writer Brian Johnson is expected to contribute an essay.
Some residents were obviously more affected than others. “Well, that’s not very nice. I’m sad,” said Phillip F. Dale, owner of Duckie’s, Shermer’s only upscale men’s clothing boutique. “Well here’s… here’s the point. I’m not particularly concerned with whether or not he liked me, because I lived to like him and… and I can’t like him anymore. So… so when I’m feeling real low and… and dirty, and my heart is splattered all over hell, I can’t look to him to pump me back up cause… cause… cause maybe for the first time in my life he won’t be there!”
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Northwestern University School of Medicine, Arthritis Research Fund, 300 E. Superior St., Lurie Building, 7th Floor, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Info: 847-234-0022.
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