Duane Pugh

Obituary of Duane T. Pugh

Duane T. Pugh—August 4, 1936 to December 22, 2020 Duane Pugh—the loving husband for 51 years to the late Margaret "Peg" (Schofield) Pugh; the devoted father and father-in-law of Jacqlynn "Jacqi" and Francis McGarry of Brooklyn, NY, and Hemlock Farms, PA, and Duane Jr. and Cynthia Gurnee Pugh of Bethesda, MD; and the adoring grandfather to Claire (24) and Peter (20) McGarry, and Cordell (21) and Eleanor "Ellie" (16) Pugh—died Tuesday evening at Wilson Hospital after a brief illness. Duane was born and raised in Scranton, PA, and loved tales of life in Scranton and keeping up with family, friends and acquaintances from long ago. He met the love of his life, Peggy Schofield, at a dance at Lake Winola, PA, where his sister Aline and Peg's parents had summer cottages. After graduating from Scranton Technical High School, he volunteered to serve his country in the U.S. Army for six years, stationed in West Germany in 1955-56. A good conduct medal was a source of pride for this Private First Class. His romance with Peg continued through her years at Marywood College and some for him at the University of Scranton, while he worked for a bank in Scranton and Washington, DC. They were married on July 13, 1963, at Holy Rosary Church in Scranton. They built a family together, living at 9 Chadwick Road, Binghamton, for more than forty years. They loved hosting family, friends, a terrific bunch of neighbors, a Dinner Club of legendary duration, Peg's teacher colleagues and Duane's golfing friends at their home, especially at their pool in summers. Duane had a great combination of optimism, faith, confidence, determination and persuasive charm that enabled him to be an outstanding salesman. Starting with Fuller Brush, most of his career was with State Chemical Manufacturing Company of Cleveland, OH, until he eased into retirement keeping his sales techniques sharp with Electrolux vacuum cleaners. Winning many fun trips for Duane and Peg from State Chemical was a regular highlight of his career, along with frequent recognition of his successful sales record. He had an astounding memory: he could meet adults and remind them of their own high school football plays that they had long since forgotten. Even recently, he recognized a fellow Hilltop resident as a former customer from 1965, recalling her name, address, and frequently ordered products. Yet, he was never able to remember which light switch controlled which light in his own living room. An avid golfer, he was a long-time member of the Binghamton Teachers Association Golf League and the Broome County Graphic Arts Golf League, although he was neither a teacher nor a graphic artist. And he would not mind at all mentioning his round when he scored a 78 at State Park. He was an enthusiastic fan of the NY Giants, the Binghamton High School Patriots (especially the State Champion Basketball team under Coach Corgel), and his alma mater Scranton Tech. He loved watching "the golf on TV," usually routing for the "new young guy." With courage and strength, Duane willingly accepted the role of devoted primary caregiver to Peg as she declined with Alzheimer's disease, a role he surrendered that role only when a stroke on Thanksgiving 2013 required him to do so. Both then moved to United Methodist Homes Hilltop Campus, where his beloved Peg died in October 2014. Since then, Duane showed his life-long optimism and determination by rebuilding a life with joy—keeping up with family, innumerable visits and calls from long-time beloved friends of his and Peg's, and finding connections with his new Hilltop neighbors and staff, even serving as President of the residents' association. He regularly tested the patience of his family and friends with his stories of his children, their spouses and his grandchildren. Looking forward to when he recovered and moved out of Hilltop, he told one Dinner Club veteran that he would miss the people at Hilltop when those days came. It was not to be. His family of origin was quite large with his seven sisters and four brothers. He is survived by his brother Robert and sister-in-law Linda (Miracle) Pugh of Scranton and his sister Nancy Gulakowski of Clarks Summit, PA. He was predeceased by six sisters and three brothers and their spouses: Winifred and Joseph Judge of Chester, PA; Edmund Jr. and Mary (Henning) Pugh of Scranton; Mary and Ralph Wingate of Baltimore, MD; Catherine and Thomas Regan of Scranton; Aline and Thomas Ford of Scranton; Donald who died in childhood; Elizabeth "Betty" and Leo Karner of Satellite Beach, FL; Kenneth and Barbara (Parker) Pugh of Tunkhannock, PA; Joan and Donald Jankouskas of Clarks Summit; and Richard Gulakowski. He had 27 nieces and nephews on the Pugh side. He lost his mother, Aloysia "Aline" (Thorne) Pugh, when he was only 14, within a few days of losing both maternal grandparents, and then later lost his father, Edmund Pugh, a retired coal miner, when Duane was 31. The tremendous early loss was echoed with the loss of his sisters Aline and Joan and his niece Jeanie each far too young, and the permanent total disability of his nephew Joseph Judge Jr., a member of Duane and Peg's wedding party. He enjoyed reminding everyone he was the favorite son-in-law of William and Margaret Schofield, parents to Peg and her three brothers, which reflected his relationship with his parents-in-law of mutual respect, love and good humor. On the Schofield side of the family, he is survived by brother-in-law John and Elizabeth "Bootsie" (DeMartino) Schofield and sister-in-law Caroline "Cookie" (Loss) Schofield, all of Scranton. He was predeceased by brothers-in-law William II and Robert Schofield. He was a dutiful and faithful Catholic, first at Holy Rosary Church in Scranton, for decades at St. John the Evangelist in Binghamton, and then lately at St. Vincent de Paul Blessed Sacrament Church in Vestal. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the United Methodist Homes Foundation, 10 Acre Place, Binghamton, NY 13904 www.unitedmethodisthomes.org/umh-foundation/ or American Cancer Society, 204 Washington Ave., Endicott, NY 13760 www.cancer.org. Arrangements will be private immediately, with a summer commemoration of Duane's life planned.

Final Resting Place

Calvary Cemetery
501 Fairview St.
Johnson City, New York, United States
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