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Owain Hughes, 75

Wed, 11/27/2019 - 12:09

Owain Gardner Collingwood Hughes of Water Mill, an author and entrepreneur, died on Nov. 19. He was 75.

He was born in November of 1943 in Bath, England, to the writer Richard Hughes and the former Frances Bazley. There had been confusion about the actual day of his birth, since it occurred in the midst of World War II, so he used to celebrate for three days, from Nov. 19 to 21. He grew up in North Wales, and earned a master’s degree from the University of Oxford.

Mr. Hughes came to the United States in 1970, and settled in Bridgehampton to work as an assistant to Jack Youngerman, a painter and sculptor. He built a house between Mr. Youngerman’s home and the Channing Daughters Winery. An enthusiastic sailor, he kept a small boat in Sag Harbor.

He later moved to New York City, where he managed the Denise René Gallery. He married Elisabeth Brandon, and the couple opened La Bagagerie, a store on Madison Avenue. He also developed loft buildings in SoHo.

 After his marriage ended, and after being diagnosed with cancer, he met Kimberly Goff, an artist and the daughter of Elaine Benson, who ran the Benson Gallery in Bridgehampton. The couple were married in 2006, even as his doctors had told him he did not have long to live. In 2013, he published a memoir of his early life, “Everything I Have Always Forgotten.”

He loved brightly colored clothing, and would often combine a lavender jacket with coral shorts and a yellow, teal, or orange shirt. “He was an exotic bird with a British accent,” said Ms. Goff.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, Nisian Hughes of Paris, and a daughter, Melissa Hughes of New Haven. A brother, Robert Hughes of North Wales, and two sisters, Penny Hughes Minney of Dunham, England, and Katherine Wells of Normandy, France, also survive, as do three grandchildren.

A celebration of Mr. Hughes’s life will  be held on Dec. 8 at a place to be determined in Bridgehampton. Those interested in attending have been asked to email [email protected].

Memorial donations to any hospice care provider have been suggested.



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