Robert Ernest McHugh passed away peacefully in his sleep from natural causes at 1:44 a.m. on Friday, July 29 th surrounded by his loving family.
Bob was born on November 12, 1946 to Charles and Beatrice McHugh in Albany, NY. When he was only 17 years old, a girl named Sally captured his heart. Until the day he passed away, he would happily tell anyone about the moment he first saw her and how he immediately knew he would marry her. He proposed on their first date, and they became husband and wife in March 1967. They honeymooned on Cape Cod, and lived in Albany together before moving to Ohio in 1972. Bob was married to his bride for nearly 52 years until her passing in March 2019. In late 2021, he moved to Massachusetts to live by the sea with his youngest daughter and his son-in-law.
Bob was a big teddy bear who wore his heart on his sleeve (Hallmark commercials would get him nearly every time). He loved Winnie the Pooh and read the stories to all three of his daughters when they were little. He spent much of his career as a long-haul truck driver, sometimes pulling doubles and triples, and traveled across all of the lower 48 states. His CB radio handle was “Stopwatch” because he used one to check the accuracy of the speedometer of every truck he drove. He particularly loved driving out West with the mountains and desert views.
Even though he returned to the Cape every year with his wife and daughters, Bob never learned how to swim. As a redhead with freckles, you’d find him on the beach with a book and his pipe, his cowboy hat on, a flannel, and a fading pair of old cutoff jean shorts so he could wade in the ocean with his daughters. Years later as a Lions Club Member he’d wear those same cutoff jean shorts to win a “World’s Ugliest Legs Contest” by raising the most money for a local charity. (He always did have very pale chicken legs!)
Bob adored wordplay and was very quick-witted. He would get a mischievous smile and a twinkle in his eye whenever he was being playful. He loved getting lost in movies, enjoyed country and big band music, and would never turn down an opportunity to put peanut butter or cheez whiz on any snack. (And he would always give any leftover treats to whatever four-legged furry friend was nearby.) He enjoyed puttering in the kitchen and invented the “Turkey Shmerkey” sandwich after Thanksgiving, a creation thoroughly his own. He was often mistaken for Santa Claus because of his long white beard, round belly, suspenders, and cowboy boots. And he never missed an opportunity to tell his daughters how much he loved them and how proud he was of them.
Perhaps other than his love for his wife and his daughters, nothing could match Bob’s love of connecting with people. He loved chatting and telling stories to everyone he met whether in grocery store lines, or fellow diners at the table nearby in a restaurant, or at his CB radio club. More than once, his wife Sally would gently nudge him along, saying “Come on Bob, it’s time to go home” as he began chatting with just one more person.
In the three years after she passed, Bob met Sally in his dreams every night. And it’s hard not to imagine her patiently waiting for him and saying “Come on hon, you’ve done well. It’s time to come home now.” Now that he’s joined her, they can be together again every day and every night. He can show her sunsets over the mountains out West, and she can show him secret coves on Cape Cod. And they will both always be there together in our dreams.
Bob is survived by his three daughters – Sheila, Seana, and Jessica with his son-in-law Timothy whom he loved very much as a son – and his two brothers, Rick and Tom. Grandpa Bob will be fondly remembered by his five grandchildren whom he loved dearly – Joseph, Michael, Alicia, Danielle, and Jacob. He leaves behind many friends (and grandpuppies and grandkitties!) who will always love him, and his very plump cat Marmalade who was his constant companion.
Bob’s family would like to thank Father Dave who was always a great comfort to him, and his wonderful care team who always knew how to make him smile and showed him such love and friendship (and who also helped to lovingly fatten up his beloved cat Marmalade to a whopping 23 pounds with extra treats!).
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to your local animal shelter or to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Bob's honor.