The wife of former Gov. Harry Hughes died in Denton early Wednesday morning after suffering for years from Parkinson's disease, according to the governor's campaign manager. Patricia Hughes was 79.
Joseph Coale, who worked on Mr. Hughes' staff in the 1980s and served as his campaign manager in 1978 and 1982, called Mrs. Hughes a strong-willed woman who counseled the governor on a variety of topics.
"She was always willing to provide" advice, Mr. Coale said. "Her standards were high, and she strove for perfection."
Mrs. Hughes served as a teacher for years before moving into the governor's mansion with her husband in January 1979. Mr. Hughes served as governor for eight years.
During that time, his wife was known for her community service and making Government House accessible and welcoming.
"She thought the mansion was a little pretentious," Mr. Coale said. "She arranged all of the public rooms to represent different periods in Maryland history. It was a tribute to Maryland art, Maryland history and interior design."