We mourn the loss of our beloved son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and dear friend, Robert Orlando Alvarez Hughes, who died Sunday, January 31, 2021, at the age of 26. Born October 5, 1994 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Robert was the son of Laura Josefina Alvarez and Bret Anthony Hughes and brother to Gregory Luis Hughes. Robert’s smile, love of people and positive energy will be greatly missed. He was a truly kind soul; his bright smile was matched by a sparkle in his eyes, prompting his family to call him "Sparky." Throughout his life, including as a young child, he loved to be around people, particularly among his large extended family. He was proud of his Venezuelan heritage and was known by many as "Roberto." Despite great physical distance, he maintained close bonds with his extended family members, some of whom stayed at the Hughes house for months at a time.
In his short life, Robert traveled extensively with his parents and brother to spend holidays with the Alvarez family in Venezuela and Hughes family in the San Francisco Bay Area. He also enjoyed reunions with both family branches in a host of countries in the Americas and Europe. He was fortunate to travel to destinations such as Aruba, Brazil, Canada, Curaçao, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, St. John, Venezuela, Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, New York, Washington, Wyoming, Denmark, England, France, Scotland and Spain.
Robert loved the outdoors and hiking. As a child, he spent summers at YMCA, Blue Lake, and soccer camps. In 2016 he attended Outward Bound in Colorado, the Florida Keys and Brazil and through this experience he had the opportunity to be outside as well as gain leadership skills, restore trails and assist with the construction of a house for a Brazilian family.
Robert was a natural athlete and took part in many outdoor activities such as soccer, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing. As a child he taught himself snowboarding, hiking up the hills behind his house to enjoy the ride down. At ski resorts, he flew down the black diamond runs with impressive skills and strength. Robert had a strong work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit; while completing his degree in Business Administration at Eastern Michigan University, he worked several jobs and pursued his interest in the visual arts (which started with videos of his friends’ skateboarding tricks in middle school) by producing music videos of local artists.
He is survived by his parents and brother of Chelsea; his grandmother, Carmen Teresa Alvarez; his maternal aunts and uncles, Tulio (Odeth) Alvarez, Zaida Alvarez, Mariela (Jose Luis) Alvarez, and Magaly (Ramon) Alvarez; his paternal aunts and uncles, Juliane (Mark) Wallace, John (Mayumi) Hughes, Dana Hughes, Kent (Debra) Hughes, and Erin Hughes. He was preceded in death by his maternal grandfather, Tulio Alvarez and maternal uncle, Orlando Alvarez; both of his paternal grandparents, Joan and Robert Hughes; and paternal uncle, Mark Hughes.
A kind and caring person, he befriended many people and touched the lives of all who knew him. He deeply cared about other people, especially those less fortunate. He always opened his wallet to help others in need on the sidewalk or at freeway exits. We will miss Robert, a beautiful and vibrant person whose smile lit every room he entered.
Private funeral services were held on February 4th at Cole Funeral Chapel, with Deacon Wayne Slomiany officiating. A Mass for Robert was held in Laura’s hometown of San Cristobal, Venezuela. We will have a private celebration of life to honor our beloved Robert in the future. Memorial donations may be made in Robert's name to the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School (www.hiobs.org), Habitat for Humanity Huron Valley (www.h4h.org), or a charity of your choice.
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