"He got up and made a very impassioned speech about how blessed he had been by his children," said his brother, Kevin Hughes.
Atlantic Ocean quickly, and by Tuesday morning, family and friends were gathering to mourn.
"We had at least 50 people on my deck Tuesday evening, getting together, all in shock," said Kevin Brohawn, a close friend who had played in a band with Hughes since their teen years.
"We were all talking about him, crying about him, talking about him and laughing about him," Brohawn said. "That went on through the wee hours of the morning."
Hughes, a Ten Hills resident, was a proficient attorney, a big practical joker, a singer, a poker player and a lover of the show "60 Minutes," which he would watch each Sunday night with Kevin and Donna Brohawn, who considered Hughes a member of their family.
"He has the sharpest wit and could make you laugh in a minute or less," Donna Brohawn said. "If he didn't know you when you walked into a room, he knew you when you left."
Kevin Hughes said his large family — eight siblings and their father, Joseph Hughes, 92 — are in close contact with the Pain family in England and have also reached out to Brooks' parents in North Carolina.
The family will rally around Sarah and Angela, as well as their brother, Andrew Hughes, of Ellicott City; his wife, Erika; and their three children.
Brooks has had surgery on her arm but is recovering well, and Pain has been released from the intensive care unit. Both women are expected to recover fully, Kevin Hughes said.
Stephen Hughes would want his family to put all their energy toward helping his children and grandchildren, his brother said.
"That's going to be our focus going forward, trying to serve his memory best that way," he said.
Richardson called the extended Hughes clan "the typical Irish Catholic family.
"They are very accomplished and really great people," he said. "They will help each other through this."
The family has not made funeral arrangements yet.
Kevin Hughes said the family appreciates the support it has received, and the generosity showered on it reminds him of his brother.
"I thought the world of him because he's my big brother," Hughes said. "He's the most generous person I've ever known, and we're going to miss him a bunch."