Bruce was born in Swampscott, Massachusetts and remained a “Bay Stater” his entire life, most recently in Wilmington. At Princeton, Bruce was a History major and member of Charter Club. At Charter, he was Bicker Committee Chair and a central figure in intra-mural sports, playing softball and coaching the powerhouse Charter hockey team. He also played and lettered on both the Freshman and Varsity Princeton Soccer teams. Bruce roomed at Princeton his junior and senior years in Patton Hall with Jim Hart and Jeff Engler.
Bruce came to Princeton from Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, which he attended for four years. He was an excellent student and a fixture on both the Varsity Soccer and Baseball teams. Remembered by all his Andover classmates as a great friend and high-spirited classmate, he was known and respected by his peers and teammates. He served his alma mater faithfully as an alumni volunteer and leader for many years, including chairing the Phillips Academy Bicentennial Reunion.
Professionally, Bruce was a lawyer, earning his JD at the New England School of Law and an LLM in Taxation from Boston University. He practiced in the greater Boston area, for the General Court, as Associate Counsel to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and in private practice, most recently at his own firm in Wilmington.
In one of his more significant cases, he was able to help protect his treasured Boston Red Sox from leaving Boston when the longtime owner, Tom Yawkey, died, followed shortly thereafter by his wife, who had inherited the team. When one prospective new owner gave a hint that the team might get moved, Bruce wrote an opinion that his boss took to court to prove that the tax implications of the proposed sale/acquisition would violate the terms of Mrs. Yawkey's will. The sale was not allowed and the “Sawx” stayed in Boston and went on to greater glory.
Bruce had a lifelong passion for golf, and invested time in advancing youth sports as he coached numerous soccer teams for his children. His love of history was put to good use traveling the world and building an impressive family tree (over 11,000 names!), finding deeper connection with his beloved Irish roots.
Bruce was deeply patriotic and an ocean lover, enjoying naval and maritime history and boating. As a consequence, Bruce and Lisa enjoyed great travels across the United States and globally. Their creative approach to the initial COVID isolation was to take a driving tour of the United States, keeping to themselves, but visiting all the interesting historical sights they both loved so well.
Bruce was an iconic “raconteur”. He had a phenomenal memory of history, anecdotes, family heritage, Boston sports teams, and Princeton - Andover events that always delighted and enthralled his audience. He possessed the great ability to seamlessly weave one story into another, like some winding road between two Irish villages of his proud heritage.
Bruce was incredibly and rightfully proud of his two lovely children. He wrote about them for his 50th Reunion Essay. “My proudest contributions are my children:
· Daughter Alanna, Phillips Academy ’04, Georgetown SFS ’08, MIT Sloan ’16, Harvard Kennedy School ’16, veteran of the Peace Corps and other social enterprise endeavors, who continues her altruistic interests as a senior vice-president of a non-profit and dutiful volunteer for her schools.
· Son Brendan, Bowdoin ’12, two-time all-American lacrosse player, led the Polar Bears to the NCAAs. He also played for Melbourne, the world’s oldest active team. Working in private equity and M&A, he mentored inner city youth, served his alma mater, engaged in “iron-man” events and completed the Boston Marathon for charity under the most inclement conditions in history.”
Due to his failing health, Bruce was unable to attend our 50th reunion in May, 2022, but wore his Reunion Jacket proudly to his son’s graduation from MIT/Sloan.
In addition to his wife and mother, Bruce is survived by his son, Brendan Hughes, of Beacon Hill; his daughter, Alanna Hughes, and her husband, Andrew Smith, of East Boston; a brother, Dana G. Hughes, of Wilmington; a sister, Kathryn Hughes, of Winchester; niece Hilary Hughes and partner, Andrew Visnovsky, of Los Angeles; nephew Jimmy Hughes and his wife, Kate Lowell, of New York City; as well as his beloved poodle, Charlemagne.
The class extends its heartfelt sympathy to Bruce’s family. Their loss is our loss as well.