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Gunnar Clark Jude Hughes of Kansas City, Missouri, passed away Dec. 22, 2011 at Kansas City Hospice House surrounded by his immediate family.
Born on July 15, 1952, Gunnar was raised in Swarthmore. He graduated from Penn State University in 1979, where he earned degrees in journalism and economics. His college years were interrupted when he was drafted and he spent two years in an engineering battalion in Frankfurt, Germany.
Gunnar was known for his truthful yet respectful nature. He knew no strangers. Gunnar was genuinely curious about everyone and everything. He cared about each individual he encountered and treated them like a friend, not a brief acquaintance. Gunnarâ€™s first love was spending time with his wife Gianni and two daughters, Cameron (9) and Kenna (7). His hobbies and interests included watching classic movies, reading and discussing well-written books, drinking a vodka on the rocks or good cabernet, any time Penn State football was on and the crisp feeling of holding and reading the New York Times.
Gunnar was the ultimate communicator. He began his professional career in Washington, D.C., where he held varying positions for telecommunications companies. He later joined American Century in 1986, shortly after moving to Kansas City. During his almost 25 years at the company, Gunnar held various writing and communications roles. He remained ever-current on all aspects of the financial industry. More important to him, Gunnar served as a mentor and liaison to countless employees throughout the company, always with a sincere interest in their personal and professional development. His curious and genuine approach to any personal communication left a lasting impression on everyone he met. He was both interested and interesting.
Gunnarâ€™s wife and two young daughters will greatly miss his very inquisitive nature, his infectious laugh, his quirky sense of humor and his unconditional love and support for his family. Gunnar was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in August of 2010 and he fought a long and arduous battle. His courage and determination in the face of his terminal illness inspired many to write him very touching letters of how his battle impacted them personally.
Gunnar was preceded in death by his father, Donald Hughes.Survivors include his wife of 12 years, Gianni; his two daughters, Cameron and Kenna; his mother, Helen Dixon Hughes of Ridgway; his brother, Cory Hughes of Charlotte, N.C., (Janet and son Ryan), his brother Kurt Hughes, of Putney, Vt., and his sister Kim Lindhard (Bob) of Chang Mai, Thailand.
Visitation will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27 St. Peterâ€™s Catholic Church, 815 E. Meyer Blvd. A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28, also at St. Peters. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions go to the Kansas City Hospice House at 120000 Wornall Road, Kansas City, Missouri.