Gerald Hughes

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Gerald L. Hughes passed away on March 21, 2021. This page is about Gerald, and his surviving wife Annabelle

Gerald and Annabelle attended Goshen College in Goshen Indiana. They met in at Goshen College, and while in Cleveland while working on Mennonite Voluntary Service, and fell in love.

They were married in Ohio in 1954. As I have heard it, the clerk had to go check the law to see if it was legal (it was in Ohio)

Long before the Loving v. Virginia case, Gerald and Annabelle experienced racism in their church and life. Upon getting married in 1954, Gerald was refused ministerial credentials by the Mennonite church. Furthermore, Gerald was fired from his position at Hawthorne Hospital as a result of contact from a Mennonite church official.

This prompted a lot if discussion in the Mennonite church which like nearly all of the mainstream denominations was against interracial marriage (Most cited scripture as the reason). In 1955 the Mennonite church removed previous scriptural barriers to interracial marriage.

Students as Goshen College are taught about this.

Gerald went on to become a school teacher, and then an elementary school principal in the Cleveland School system

He was a founding member of the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus and sang with them for 53 years. He traveled with the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus multiple times across the USA, Europe, and Russia.

He served as vice president of the Mennonite board of education and was Music Minister at Lee height Community Church in Cleveland for 35 years.

Gerald and Annabelle have 4 daughters, Jeri Ann, Eleanor Rose, Carla Joy, and Sharon Elaine

They were married 66 years.

Obituary - Gerald Hughes (

Obituary - Gerald Hughes (Anabaptist World)

Reference: Daily Demonstrators: The Civil Rights Movement in Mennonite Homes and Sanctuaries By Tobin Miller Shearer

Goshen College Bulletin - Gerald Hughes