Hugh Wray Duggins: ‘I’ve loved and been loved’
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His first job was at a box factory. It didn’t take long for him to realize that this was not the life for him. He quit; handed over the keys to the house and car to his soon-to-be ex-wife and hitchhiked out to San Francisco. In the true spirit of the ‘60’s, he grew his hair wild and began carving out a new life. A man of great curiosity and skill he collected books and tools, learning how to do anything and everything he needed and wanted. He was good at everything he did; was generous with his skills, helping out those in need of a Jack of All Trades.
He and I met 32 years ago and have been pen pals ever since. In his November 2015 letter he wrote “like I told the doctor, I’m not clinging desperately to this life, not scared of death; I’ve had plenty of fun; never had to work a 9-5 job much; got to have money beyond my wildest dreams a couple of times; had lots of great sex; I’ve loved and been loved; I can still walk and talk, think and work; got to ride this dirt ball around the sun 70+ years, you can’t expect much more than that. HA!” That is pure Hugh!
In light of his untimely and mysterious details leading up to his death, somewhere around January 20th, 2016, finding this passage offers me some solace that at least Hugh died with a peaceful view of his life so far.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Richie, and is survived by his sisters, Lynn and Ann.
A memorial service has yet to be planned, but some sunny Summer day soon, down by the river, we can lift a toast, and a toke, to Hugh. by Dana Speer Rosenbaum