PJH Racing
Peter Jay Hughes
  • 86 years old
  • Date of birth: Nov 6, 1928
  • Place of birth:
    Los Angeles, California, United States
  • Date of passing: Dec 5, 2014
  • Place of passing:
    San Diego, California, United States
Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both. -Eleanor Roosevelt

This memorial website was created to celebrate the life of our patriarch, mentor and friend, Peter Jay Hughes. Born in Los Angeles in 1928, he lived vigorously and passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family and parish priest.  His compassion and joie de vivre shall carry on through all of us.

Celebration of Life Services at All Hallows Catholic Church in La Jolla, CA
6602 L Jolla Scenic Drive, La Jolla, CA. 92037
--Thurs 12/18 7 PM:  Rosary recitation and visitation 
--Fri 12/19 2 PM:  Memorial Mass and Reception
--TBD:  private burial at El Camino Memorial Park in San Diego, CA. 92130

Memorial Donations:
--Second Chance  www.secondchanceprogram.org
--Father Joe's Village  my.neighbor.org
--The charity of your choice


Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by lawrence goddard on 15th March 2016

"When I fired my lawyer Jack McCabe he owed me over $2K.  Later after he was elected the youngest president of the SD Bar Assc. at age 33 one week later he was in jail for receiving stolen property.  Since I had just been arrested for sales of cocaine in Laguna Niguel while on Probation from a 5 to life for sales of cocaine in San Diego I knew I needed a powerful attorney since I was now facing 10 to life.  First thing Jack McCabe did when he was in jail was call Peter Hughes asking to represent him.  Peter said, "Sorry Jack, got no time."  Now I knew the $2K Jack still owed me was paid in full.  I knew I had my lawyer.  I called his office and surprise!  The most powerful attorney in this town answered his own phone.  I told him about my case and explained the trial was up north, although Peter kept reminding me how much his travel expenses would add up to I wasn't daunted saying ""I want you."  So after a few minutes of conversation Peter suddenly spoke up and said, "You know, this sounds like a search and seizure case and a good friend of mine is  search and seizure specialist and he is in Santa Monica, let me give him a call for you."  Peters friends was Marshall Schulman, known as the "irracible" Marshall Schulman on 60 Minutes, Dateline, 48 Hrs, etc.  He was a heavyweight and I was found not guilty April 24, 1979.  I found God that day as well and I owe my life to Peter 100%!   I found out that Marshall cut his fee in half because of Peters recommendation. I made the biggest mistake of my life by hiring Bill Nimmo and making Peter my second choice.  Although I was found not guilty in less than 2 hours after a 3 week trial for multiple violent felony counts carrying a strike, one of only 23 acquittals from 16,000 convictions in 2004 Nimmo did not protect me nor follow thru on a lawsuit as promised and agreed upon before I gave him $67,000.  I was arrested 5 times over the next 7 years taken to court 77 times under penalty of immediate arrest and bled me dry financially and mentally.  Especially since they never told me why they kept arresting me and entered false arrest into the official police computer.  ADA  and SDPD Det.Holly Moore is worse.  If i had hired Peter Hughes instead of Bill NImmo Peter would have never taken the misuse and abuses of the law that Nimmo let go knowing he has to deal with the same DA's and Judges again. Peter had too much integrity,and ran this town from behind the scenes for 30 years.,  Why I did not hire him makes me sick and finding out he died made me cry.  I wanted to tell him while he was alive but I hope and pray that his family and friends can get a little comfort.from my words.  My father Capt Jack Goddard was a 23 yr old ensign aboard the USS Maryland at Pearl Harbor whose plaque is atop Mt Soledad War Memorial right below Bull Halsey. He fought at every major battle in the Pacific Theater and Bonnie Dumanis and Fiona Khalil tried to arrest my father!  Judge Susan Finlay should be ashamed for her actions regarding myself and my father and I had to face her in court close to 40 times so lets not act like i didn't learn the hard way what the truth is to San Diego.  Peter Hughes was on of a kind and I can run down a long list of highly paid well known lawyers in this town, (dozens) but Peter ran this town with the fortitude integrity and wisdom our forefathers exhibited founding this country and its laws.  Later after our initial meet some friends of friends heard about Peter and asked me to help turn themselves in from various places around the world, Yugoslavia to Europe all involved in the infamous Coronado Company during the 1980's.  98 tons of Thai Sticks were sailed into San Diego Harbor, and these big time boys all asked me to ask Peter if they could turn themselves in and not become abused or messed with and every time they called me I called Peter, he had given me his private number and every time he took the time to assure the lawyer they were given like Thomas Warwick was top notch and they would be in and out smoothly as possible. Peter never acted like he didn't want to listen and help, for no reason other than that is the man he is, today tomorrow and yesterday, the best the one horse town ever had. I am glad to say i knew him, god bless, Lawrence A Goddard"

This tribute was added by Mitch Patridge on 20th January 2015

"I had the great fortune to know Peter Jay and his family for 40+ years.  During the span of those four decades Peter was always ready with a smile, quick to tell a funny story and there to help someone in need.  

Peter’s great love for his wife and children was readily apparent and he cared deeply about his friends.

I will miss Peter very much and feel lucky to have had him in my life.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his wonderful family."

This tribute was added by Kris Miserendino on 30th December 2014

"There will always be a place in our hearts for Peter.  We shared many hours with Peter at the races. When the cars weren't out on track, we'd be in the garages working on cars, sharing stories, developing race strategies, a camaraderie that may never be duplicated.  He is a man who touched many ... Peter will be missed, but never forgotten."

This tribute was added by ronald noya on 17th December 2014

"Peter Hughes is permanently ingrained in my memory.  In December 1977, I was a recent law graduate working for a law firm that had an affiliation with Peter. I answered the phone on a Saturday morning -- all new lawyers worked Saturdays -- and it as Pete looking for one of the partners. He asked with whom he was speaking and I told him.  His response “Ron, you passed.” At this time, all new associates were waiting for a letter advising of Bar results which were due out any day. I didn’t have to wait for mine.  I received notice personally from one of the most respected members of the legal community San Diego has ever seen. I was so happily blindsided by the good news I remember the event clearly to this day.  Through the ensuing years, Pete was always cordial whenever we met and interested in what was going on in your life.  There is no doubt I am one of the many thousands that sincerely say that it was an honor to have known him."

This tribute was added by michael lewis on 16th December 2014

"I only knew peter from the race track.  He was very comfortable there and i always envied the fact no matter what kind of day he had racing he always had a smile and kind word.  A man who definitely knew his priorities and stuck to them.  I had heard of his exciting life away from the track  but he never brought it up and everyone respected his wishes in that regard.  A true gentleman.  We often say that they 'don't make them like that anymore'.  Well in Peter's case, it couldn't be more true!  green flags and clear track for you my friend...."

This tribute was added by Linda Haneline on 16th December 2014

"Peter was a wonderful man! We knew him from racing and always enjoyed talking to him. We met him at Riverside in the early 80's and he always had time to stop and talk and ask how we were doing. When I was was in a racing wreck he called to see if there was anything he could do for me. I looked forward to his latest Christmas card each year with the latest picture of the grandkids! He will be missed. RIP Peter,"

This tribute was added by Seiko Tran on 15th December 2014

"Peter was a good man who helped me with my legal issues in the late 90s.  We have kept in contact since then by exchanging letters, Christmas cards and photos.  He has been a good influence in my life and he will be missed.  May our Father in Heaven welcome Peter into his arms and use his skills to build his Kingdom in Heaven.  Our family sends our condolences and prayers to you all."

This tribute was added by David Mulvaney on 14th December 2014

"Mr. Hughes (Peter) was one of the finest men I have ever been honored to know. I have known him since I was a little boy which spans almost 50 years. His Son Peter was a class mate and a dear Friend to this day. I spent allot of time at the Hughes home and he always made me feel very special and Mrs. Hughes (Doris) did as well. He and Doris are also dear friends of my Mom Ruth, and late Dad Jim. Mr. Hughes was also a very cool Dude. He drove a Corvette, and raced cars. He was also considered one of the best Criminal Defense Attorney's in San Diego History. He was a smart, kind, fun and generous person. I love him and will miss him dearly. RIP Mr. Hughes, and I hope to see you in heaven. With Love, David Mulvaney...."

This tribute was added by Therese Pflaum on 11th December 2014

"I am so fortunate to have grown up getting to know my grandpa. Not many grandchildren get to live so close and see their grandparents on a regular basis. Papa J has to be one of the greatest examples of a grandparent that there could ever be. I don't think I have seen anyone light up more than when Papa saw one of his grandchildren walk into a room. For the past 6 years or so I was away at school, but every time I called I could hear the enthusiasm in his voice and his joy hearing about all of my adventures.

I am beyond blessed that last weekend, when their caretaker didn't show up, I was able to pick Papa and Dodie up from Mass, join them for breakfast at Harry's Coffee Shop, and bring them home. God works in mysterious ways. Our family will not be the same without you Papa, but we are all better people because you were in our lives. I am missing you already.

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” ― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Therese Pflaum
(Peter's Oldest Granddaughter)"

This tribute was added by Chuck Sevilla on 11th December 2014

"Peter’s death is a huge loss for us.  Personally, Jack and I lost a kind and dear friend, a mentor, a colleague, office mate, and companion.  I know he was that to many in our community as well.

There are so many things in which Peter participated, whether with his church, his family, his law career.  He did it all with great enthusiasm and a smile on his face.  His obituary will fill a full newspaper page in fine print.  We will learn much in those reports and they will fill us with awe at the full life he lived.

He was the shining example of what a human being should be:  kind, compassionate, generous, family, friend and people oriented.  He was so dedicated, especially to those in need  -- whether it be a client, a young attorney seeking advice, a child, or someone who just walked into the office.  If you needed help, he was there to give.  

That is what makes his loss so hard.  The fine qualities Peter embodied were unique.  I think his like may not come again.  But as long as he remains in our hearts, his great spirit lives with us.  Peter lived a long life. A productive life. A good life. Emerson defined the successful life:

"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

Many have breathed easier because Peter Hughes shared his life with us.  He was a success by every measure."

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This memorial is administered by:

Dana Irwin
Lee Stokoe
Lyn Pflaum


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