SAN JOSE -- A memorial service for Joan Anne Hughes, the homeless woman known by many as "Gail" who was slain on a Midtown sidewalk in August, will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday at Westminster Presbyterian Church.
The memorial was organized by the church and Stacey Bardo, who started a collection to pay for a funeral and services for Hughes -- a well-loved denizen on San Carlos Street though no one knew her real name.
Last month, state officials determined her identity, and the Brooklyn native's family in New York will hold funeral services for her there on Dec. 14, Bardo said.
The $2,700 that was collected will be donated to Silicon Valley-based InnVision homeless shelter network, per family wishes, Bardo said.
Saturday's event will include a reading of words from her son Lawrence Hughes, who hadn't seen her in years after she became troubled after a divorce in the early 80s and broke contact. Family members will not be at the event, but have expressed gratitude to the San Jose community for not letting Hughes be forgotten. J.B. Smith, who befriended Hughes during her years on the streets will also speak, and there will be coffee and confections in honor of Hughes' fondness for sweets.
Bardo said she is still looking into the possibility of having a permanent fixture, such as a sidewalk bench, dedicated in Hughes' honor.
Hughes, 70, was killed Aug. 13 while sitting on the sidewalk on San Carlos at Meridian Avenue by a man
The church is at 1100 Shasta Ave. in San Jose.
Contact Eric Kurhi at 408-920-5852. Follow him at Twitter.com/erickurhi.