Gary A. McHugh, 85, of Cedar Rapids, passed away Wednesday, September 8 at St Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids while battling kidney cancer. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.
Gary was born August 23, 1936, son of John and Evah (O’Leary) McHugh in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Gary enlisted in the Marine Corps at the young age of 17, served honorably and carried his love of “the Corps” with him for the rest of his days, almost always wearing something with “Marine” on it.
Gary married Kaye Demmel in 1966, having and raising two children together, son, Scott and daughter, Kelly. Not long after, Gary was one of the first 6 people hired at General Mills, circa 1970, retiring after 40 years at G.M.
Gary led an “adventurous” life, escaping several close calls with death; one time, falling 80’ from a water tower, breaking many bones, necessitating an extended hospitalization. Gary also survived his boat being broadsided by a drunken boater, an accident that killed his twin brother, Gene. Gary loved people and was generous to a fault and when “out and about” would buy drinks for friends and strangers alike, never expecting or wanting anything in return. Gary loved boating, fishing and sharing a cold beer with friends and family. Gary’s biggest pleasure though, the thing that gave him the most joy was taking his grandkids fishing.
Gary leaves behind his son, Scott; daughter Kelly (Ron) Stearns; eight grandchildren, Ryan (Gina) McHugh, Jacob Stearns, Brandon Stearns, Jessica (Justin) Allen, Sara (Cody) Warson, Rachel Stearns, Christian Stearns, Kaitlin (Eric) Dice; ten great- grandchildren; half-sister, Mary Kathryn, half-brothers John and Dennis and many loving friends.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Kay; twin brother, Gene, half-sister Margarette Anne and half-brothers, Bob and Dan.
Our family would like to thank all the doctors, nurses, and EMTs, along with especially Don King for all their help and support.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to American Veterans (Am Vets) Post 6 in Cedar Rapids.