Mary Alice Hughes Beloved mother of six, formerly of Maplewood, 'loved to learn,' 80 Mary Alice Hughes, 80, passed away on Aug. 14, 2017, at the Center for Hope Hospice Center and Palliative Care in Scotch Plains, N.J., after a valiant, year-long fight with cancer. A Memorial Mass is planned for Oct. 7 at Our Lady of Mount Virgin Church, Middlesex, N.J., at 11 a.m. Mary was born Jan. 6, 1937, in Chicago, the eldest daughter and second eldest child of Clara and Bernard Fitzgerald. The family moved to Chevy Chase, Md., when Mary was age four. Growing up in Maryland, she helped take care of her six siblings. Mary loved to learn, and in high school she especially loved mathematics and chemistry classes. Having earned a full academic scholarship to St. Mary of the Woods College in Indiana, she ultimately graduated with a degree in dietary nutrition with a minor in chemistry from the University of Maryland. She married William Hughes on Feb. 4, 1961, and they lived in Maplewood, N.J., before moving to Rockville, Md., and later to Bound Brook and Middlesex, N.J. After returning to New Jersey, Mary worked full-time at a local insurance agency. She was a communicant of Our Lady of Mount Virgin Church. In her spare time, she loved to do crossword puzzles and sudoku, read about history and science, experiment in the kitchen, and browse L.L. Bean online. Mary lived a life of selflessness, graciousness, compassion, kindness, hard work, intellect, and bravery, and shaped the lives of all whom she knew. She will be missed greatly by her husband, her siblings, six children, nine grandchildren, and one great-grandson, all of whom she loved "lots and lots and a whole great big bunch." Donations may be made to The Center for Hope Hospice, 1900 Raritan Rd., Scotch Plains, N.J. 07076. Visit baileyfuneral.com.