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Obituary: Dr. Hugh Edward McGuigan

Hugh McGuigan died peacefully in his home on St. Pete Beach in Florida, which he shared with his wife Nancy. Hugh is survived by his mother Iola; son George McGuigan; daughter Debra Seabers and her children, Abigail Seabers, Adam Seabers and Katherine Lehman and her daughter Trinity Lehman; his wife Nancy; daughters, Beth Murphy and Lynn Mask; and their children, Joe Lamb and Jade Mask. Hugh celebrated life every day. He was blessed to have found Nancy after the death of his wife Kathryn. Nancy cared for him in their home until the end.

Hugh served our country in the Army from 1947-1950. He was in active duty in Bamberg, Germany, and also served as a school teacher at the literary school for GIs and was an entertainer for special services to entertain soldiers. He became a trainer in the Army and honed the skills later used in his profession.

Upon returning to civilian life, he enrolled at Adelphi College and studied to become a teacher. He earned his BA and then master’s at Hofstra while teaching school in Farmingdale. He moved quickly up the ladder to become an elementary school principal and the superintendent of schools in Connecticut, Illinois and returning to Long Island. He was hired as a school superintendent in Port Washington where he served the community and our children for the next 18 years. While working, Hugh earned his doctorate from NYU in 1981. He retired in 1985 and move to St. Pete Beach, FL, where his parents lived as well. Upon retirement, Hugh was designated as “Superintendent Emeritus,” one of two individuals so named in the state of New York at that time. His dedication to education led him to join Guidelines, Inc., a national educational consulting firm. He went on to further his reputation as a keynote speaker at many station and national education conferences.

He continued to give of his time and talent in St. Pete Beach. He served as president of Starlight Towers until 2007 and was chairman for the City of St. Pete Pension Board.

Hugh will be missed as a wonderful son, productive and energetic member of the communities in which he lived and served, a generous and trusted friend, an involved and loving husband, father and grandpa.

Hugh lived life with enthusiasm and an eye for talent. He will be best remembered by those who love him, by his beautiful blue eyes, the glimmer he got whenever he was getting away with something, his sarcastic humor and fantastic singing voice. His favorite performance song was Birth of the Blues, but the song that best describes him would be My Way. He has left a legacy of love. It will be paid forward, everyday.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to the Hugh E. McGuigan Scholarship Fund, which will benefit students in Port Washington who choose to further their education in the area of performing arts. Donations may be sent to Debra McGuigan Seabers, 9375 Hildebrandt Rd., San Antonio, TX 78222.