1923 – 2023
Norma Hughes at the age of 100 died peacefully at Wood Glen Hall on March 24th surrounded by her family and friends. All who knew Norma were touched by her grace, her peaceful presence, generosity, faith, and deep spiritual nature.
Born in West Hempstead New York to Scandinavian immigrants, Dora and Oscar Nelson Norma had four sisters. During World War II Norma worked nights for the Defense Industry along with her sister Anna at Grumman Aviation on Long Island where she wired electrical panels for military aircraft. She married her childhood sweetheart, Anthony Criado, who served in the War in the South Pacific. After the War, doing much of the labor themselves, they built their dream house in West Hempstead, New York. They had two children and together, Toni and Keith. Norma became a young widow when her husband died of a heart attack in 1956 at 36 years of age. With the help of God, she was able to raise her two children and work at the same time. In 1976 Norma moved to California and began a new career working for the Xerox Corporation. After retiring in 1986 she moved to Santa Barbara where she purchased a condo at Encina Royal. In Santa Barbara Norma met the second love of her life Jack Hughes. They married in 1993. They embraced life fully, travelling, spending time with family, and celebrating their anniversary monthly at a table for two at Harry’s. They had 8 wonderful years together before Jack passed in 2001. A Devout Christian, her faith led her to Veronica Springs Church. She was an active member of the Church and an had an integral role in the Church’s storied Healing Room. Noma’s prayers for friends, family, and strangers were a big part of her life and the lives of those she touched. She had quiet but powerful spirit that was rooted in her deep faith, and love of God.
The final years of her life were spent at Wood Glen Hall where she was lovingly cared for by their extraordinary staff.
Norma was predeceased by her son Keith who passed in 2014. Norma is survived by her daughter Toni Abatemarco and her husband Frank Abatemarco, of Montecito, Granddaughter Gina Abatemarco a New York filmmaker and aspiring vigneronne, and Grandson Christopher Abatemarco an Aerospace engineer who resides in Marietta Georgia. A celebration of Norma’s life will take place at the Veronica Springs Church at a date to be determined. In lieu of flowers contributions can be made in her name to the Veronica Springs Church and VNA Hospice Care of Santa Barbara.