John J. McHugh, 86 of Point Pleasant, died peacefully at home on October 10. Born in Scranton, PA to the late Peter and Mary McHugh, and raised in a large Irish family in East Orange, NJ, he met his future wife, Irene DiBiase while attending Upsala College.
Known as Jack to his family and friends, what followed was a life of near constant action. He served his country in Korea, returned to NJ and married his college sweetheart, Irene. Answering a small ad seeking teachers for a tiny school district at the Jersey Shore, he began teaching sixth grade in a firehouse. As his newly adopted hometown of Point Pleasant quickly grew, his wife joined him as a kindergarten teacher.
As the district grew, he grew with it, advancing from teacher to guidance counselor to becoming the first vice principal of Point Pleasant Boro High School in 1963. When Nellie Bennett Elementary School opened in 1969, he was its first principal and when the "new" Ocean Road Elementary School opened in 1993, he was its first principal as well. After retiring, he spent several years supervising student teachers at Georgian Court University.
As a man incapable of rest, he needed a summer job so he and a couple of fellow educators opened a summer camp on a lake in Maine in 1965. Jack and his family went on to enjoy 53 glorious summers, on that lake.
Jack was beloved by all who knew him for his warmth, decency, generosity and sense of humor. He always kept busy; working, helping with any job that arose, talking to friends and strangers alike, whistling, and at the end of the day having a beer on the front porch while listening to his old favorites. His dreams kept him going, and until the end he always had something on the horizon.
In addition to his wife Irene, Jack is survived by three children and their spouses, Jack McHugh Jr. and Michele Jasionowski of Point Pleasant, Tom McHugh and Kate Kerrane of Woodstown, NJ, and Kristin McHugh and Andrew Schmidt of Bloomfield, NJ. He is also survived by four beloved grandchildren who gave light to his life until his final days, Sheila McHugh, Colin McHugh, Aidan Schmidt and Stella Schmidt. In addition, he is survived by two sisters, Marylyn McTernan of Stony Brook, NY and Grace Rosa of Naperville, IL along with many nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be Saturday, Oct. 14th from 2:00-5:00, followed by a Memorial Service 5:00-6:00 PM at Pable Evertz Funeral Home, 901 Beaver Dam Rd., Point Pleasant, NJ 08742.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a donation in Jack's memory be made to the Point Pleasant Foundation for Excellence in Education, PO Box 3171, Point Pleasant NJ 08742.