John M. Hughlett, Jr., always known as Jack, passed away in the peace of his own home in Lancaster, PA on May 16, 2017 at the age 84. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Kay, their son Christopher Hughlett, his wife Amy and granddaughter Sequoia; also by step-daughter Melanie Carroll, her husband Michael and their two children, William and Charlotte; and step-daughter Deborah Spranger, her husband Tilo, and children Jordan and Austin.
Jack was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and grew up in Summit, New Jersey. He graduated from Swarthmore College with Honors in English Literature; but it was his extra-curricular involvement in writing musicals and plays that led to his being hired in 1955 by Armstrong Cork Company of Lancaster in the section that wrote and produced the company’s films, sales meetings, and conventions. The next year he was drafted into the Army, where he served in the Washington, D.C. area.
His subsequent career in Armstrong Advertising and Marketing Services led to managerships in Special Promotions, the Building Products and Floor Sections, and as General Manager for all residential product advertising and retail services. He felt his most important contributions were creating and overseeing the advertising and merchandising of two of the company’s most successful products, Solarian Floors and Anything Goes Carpet, and his four years as General Manager of Advertising & Promotion for Armstrong Europe Services, coordinating the work of the ad departments in England, France, and Germany.
On his return to Lancaster, Jack served as General Manager of the department until his retirement from Armstrong. He then became General Manager of Jeanne Clemson’s Actors’ Company of Pennsylvania for three years followed by six years as Senior Writer for the Kelly Michener ad agency.
For over 35 years, Jack was active in the Lancaster area theatre scene. He directed or performed in twenty musicals and plays, most at the Fulton Opera House. His original musical “For the Love of Ike” enjoyed three productions – by the Actors’ Company, Theatre of the Seventh Sister, and the Ephrata Performing Arts Center.
He served as an officer on the Boards of the Actors’ Company, Gretna Theatre, and LEADS, the volunteer group responsible for the flower baskets and holiday decorations in downtown Lancaster.
Jack and Kay were both active in Emmanuel Lutheran Church on West Walnut and First Reformed UCC on East Orange. They also travelled extensively, including the U.K., Europe, Africa, Hong Kong, and India.
His grandkids and immediate family know him as “Oupi” (nickname of the German word, oupa, meaning grandfather), but all of his friends and relatives call him Jack. Jack was a jack-of-all-trades — composer, writer, lyricist, director, pianist, trombonist — but most importantly he was a gentleman and a scholar of the highest order. His kindness and love for his family was second to none.
Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend a Memorial Service at First Reformed United Church of Christ, 40 E. Orange St., Lancaster, PA 17602 on Saturday, May 20, 2017 at 2:30 p.m., with the Rev. Wade Pond officiating. Family will greet friends at the church immediately following the Memorial Service. Private interment will be held at the convenience of the family.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be sent to: First Reformed U.C.C at the address listed above.