Nancy Jane (Brabec) Hughes

December 15, 1935 ~ October 27, 2020 (age 84) 84 Years Old


Nancy Hughes (née Brabec), 84 (December 15, 1935) at peace October 27, 2020, after succumbing to complications from COVID-19. Devoted wife of 50 years to the late Charles Hughes. Beloved daughter of Clarence (d.) and Marguerite Brabec (d.). Sister to Thomas (Paula), Barbara (d.) and David (d.). Mother of Julie (Robert), Scott (Tamara), Marcia (Larry), Cindy (Dwight). Grandmother to Alyssa (Roman),Charlie, Harry, Aaron (Brittany), Will, Jessica (Brian) and Jason. Great-Grandmother to Brooks, Stetson, Dallas, Ryder, Khloe, Rylee, Olivia, Owen, Landon and Carter. She was a good friend to many.

Known for her bold personality and exceptional sense of humor, Nancy filled her family’s West Chicago home of 42 years with things that brought laughter and delight to all who visited. Both Nancy and her husband Chuck took meticulous care of their much-loved five-acre property, where“Whimsy Garden” was Nancy’s pride and joy and she spent countless hours curating her artful garden with found objects and colorful perennials, creating surprise at every bend and turn. Lovingly nicknamed “da boid” (the bird) by her closest of friends, motivated Nancy’s collection of chicken objects, artwork, and ephemera, which lined the walls of her dog boarding and training business – Trails End Kennel. A lifelong dog-lover and noted breeder of Border Terriers, Nancy established Trails End Border Terriers in the mid-1970’s, importing several dogs from England to develop a long line of champions through her breeding program. Closest to Nancy’s heart was her cherished “Robbie” who won three National Championships and sired a history of subsequent champions.Through her celebrated kennel and decades of involvement with the Border Terrier Club of America, Nancy is attributed to advancing the popularity of the breed in the United States.

In her retirement, Nancy had little patience for TV and possessed a particular distain for world news. Instead, she directed her energy to positive activities that challenged her mind. She was a card shark and an especially savvy bridge player throughout her life. There was always a puzzle in motion on Nancy’s dining room table, where family gathered for nostalgic conversations about the good old days.Nancy was a shrewd investor and enjoyed discussing the stock market, while proselytizing about the importance of saving for the future and sharing this wisdom with her children and grandkids. She preferred the phone to social media, which helped nourish and sustain her treasured friendships near and far. Generous in spirit, Nancy was thoughtful in her support of family and friends, living frugally to put the needs of others before her own. A virtual celebration of Nancy’s life is planned for December 15, 2020, on what would have been her 85th birthday.

Contributions in her memory can be sent to Border Terrier Club of America, Inc., either by mail to
Border Terrier Club of America, 4808 West Sunnyslope Rd, Edina, MN 55424-1167 Or

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