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William McHugh May 27, 1936 - September 14, 2020

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William Brennan McHugh

With a focused passion for life, humanity, history and Americana, William Brennan McHugh DDS, passed from this life, September 14, 2020, following a prolonged illness. A great student and teacher of life, he leaves behind his family of four children: Bryan McHugh DVM (Sandra), Laura Brozka (Thomas), Sharon Scott (John), Mark McHugh (Carrie), former wife of 36 years, Mary S. McHugh, and eight grandchildren: Jeffrey McHugh (Marsha née Mains, MD), Matthew McHugh DDS; Madeline Brozka and Grace Brozka; Katherine Scott, Daniel Scott, Jack Scott, and Mark Scott, and his staunchly loyal canine companion of 14 years, Maggie.

Born May 27, 1936, Bill (“Doc”) was raised in South St. Louis City, attended parochial school across the street from his childhood home at Our Lady of Sorrows, and graduated from St. Louis University High School in 1954. After attaining his bachelor’s in History from St. Louis University in 1959, he graduated from St. Louis University Dental School in 1964 – marking the beginning of a career in dental medicine spanning four decades and two continents, as he was a frequent missionary Dentist with the Washington (Mo.) Overseas Mission to Honduras.

Always one to believe that an artist’s reach must exceed his grasp, Dr. McHugh was a mentor and dear friend to many, embracing all challenges and those he met, whether they be endurance of academic trials and long nights of study in professional school, the mourning in the wake of being predeceased by his parents, William Owen McHugh DDS, Anne McHugh (née Brennan) and his beloved younger sister, Mary Anne. He is survived by his older Brother, James L. McHugh, of St. Louis.

An avid participant and adherent of myriad interests, Dr. McHugh defined the term, Renaissance Man. With a capacity for unsatisfied curiosity, he was a skilled jeweler, musician, restorer of automobiles (with a personal fascination for Studebakers and Lincolns), carpenter and renovator of several period piece buildings, including the log cabin he called home for the last 3 decades of his life.

He was a global traveler, his most recent favored destination was New Zealand, a place he visited almost half a dozen times.

Because of his sophisticated world view and understanding of history, he was a learned and accomplished student of humans and humanity. These two facets were embodied in his compassion, strict attention to detail, and calm demeanor when approached by others, whether they be patient or friend. “Treat people the way you want to be treated,” he would say.

With his departure, Life will be a less colorful enterprise without him, but the World all the better for it.

Services:  Visitation and funeral Mass will be held Mon. Sept. 21 at St. Patrick’s Old Rock Church, 150 Rock Church Rd, Catawissa, MO 63015.  Visitation at 11:00 AM with the Mass to follow at 11:30 AM; Interment following Mass.

Visitation and funeral Mass will be held Monday, September 21 at St. Patrick’s Old Rock Church, 150 Rock Church Rd, Catawissa, MO 63015.  Visitation at 11:00 AM with the Mass to follow at 11:30 AM; Interment following Mass.


  1. REPLY
    Mary Ann Eckmayer Farrar says

    Dear Family of Dr. McHugh, My heart was filled with sadness when I read of your Dad’s passing. My Mom was a patient of your Grandfather’s, then your Dad as was my husband and I. He was such a treasure and person so full of life. He shared so much of himself with everyone. When I read the tribute it brought so many memories of my visits and conversations with him. He was one of a kind and left all of us much better for knowing him. All of you have my deepest sympathy.

  2. REPLY
    Anonymous says

    This is a wonderful tribute to his father by his son, Mark McHugh
    Mark joined his father on a missionary trips to Central America.
    Mark now services in the administration of the Governor of the State of
    Virginia. This loving memory is here for all to appreciate and understand
    the complex and wonderful life of his father..Dr.Willam B McHugh

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