Charles P. Hughes

The life that remained in Charles Paul Hughes ebbed away today, March 17th, 2018.

Charles turned 79 this year. He left a rich legacy of memories in his wife of 53 years, Jay Ku, and his children, Robert, David and Michael Goo; Bronwyn and Anthony Hughes, daughter-in-laws Susan Doyle, Debbie Reed and Marianne McNeil; his grandchildren, Jessica Doyle (Mike Sauer), Philip Goo, Kira Goo, Fiona Goo, Allison Hughes and great grandchildren, Will, Ellie and Samantha Sauer. Charles had a life worth celebrating and he remains an example to us all of how to lead our lives going forward. And for those who have been with him in his final months, he has also taught us many important lessons about death with dignity and grace, and how to love each other in the face of our overwhelming loss.

Anyone who met Charles and spent time with him would always remember his strong, but calm and thoughtful presence. Those with the good fortune to spend an extended amount of time with him, or know him as a friend or colleague, came to admire and respect him as an extraordinary human being, unswervingly moral, rich in wisdom, with a wry sense of humor and an enormously understanding heart. He never deviated from a strong path of morality, at one point putting his professional career in jeopardy by objecting to fees charged patients.

Charles was a Renaissance man, who played many roles as a doctor, musician, researcher, and student of history, politics, and philosophy. A graduate of Yale University and Case Western University School of Medicine, he began his professional career at Washington University in St. Louis, then at worked at Memorial and Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, rising to be Chief of Staff at Erlanger Hospital. During his time as a researcher in St. Louis, Charles initiated, and later he and Leonard Berg further developed, the Clinical Dementia Rating or CDR, which, although it has been updated many times, remains today the standard protocol for objectively assessing a dementia patient’s clinical status. Prior to Charles’ work, no such method existed.

Charles was extremely modest about his achievements, being an Eagle Scout, serving in Vietnam, raising three rowdy step boys, his piano playing ability. He was a quiet man and was able to remain “his own person” no matter what situation he found himself: a chaotic home, a war zone, the Blair house, a hippie party, nude camping, a concert hall, hiking, or in a strange county, Taiwan.
A celebration of the life of Charles P. Hughes was held at the GRANFALLON 400 E Main St #120, Chattanooga, TN 37408 of Sunday April 22, 2018 from 3:30 PM to 8 PM. All were invited.