Andrew McHugh – October 6, 2020

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          SOUTH BETHLEHEM – It is with broken hearts that the family of Andrew McHugh announces his passing.  Andrew entered eternal life on October 6, 2020 at the age of 23.  He was born in Albany, New York on January 9, 1997 to the proud parents of Joseph and Amy McHugh.  While being raised in South Bethlehem, New York, Andrew built life-long friendships, cultivated a strong brotherhood and learned to love and respect the outdoors and nature.  He was an avid hunter and fisherman and would rather be outdoors than in, although he thoroughly enjoyed watching any type of sport, especially football. Recently he had expanded his hobbies in carpentry and small engine repair.

Andrew graduated in 2015 with a NYS Advanced Regents diploma from the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk (RCS) Central School District. Andrew consistently achieved academic honor roll status, was a three season athlete (golf, football, indoor and outdoor track and field) and was the captain of the varsity football team, as well as captain of indoor and outdoor track teams during his senior year.  He participated in a multitude of clubs and activities throughout high school, including band and chorus. 

In the fall of 2015, Andrew furthered his education by attending SUNY Maritime College (Fort Schuyler). He participated in the structured Regiment of Cadets, was a Regimental Officer, a Residential Advisor and a member of the school’s rugby club.  While attending Maritime, Andrew’s leadership skills and exceptional character were further solidified and refined. In 2019, Andrew graduated from Fort Schuyler with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Transportation, earning him a Third Mate Unlimited Deck Officer licensure and Person in Charge endorsement through the United States Coast Guard.  These qualifications permitted Andrew to navigate vessels, manage cargo and devise voyage plans.  Andrew’s love for the water and shipping launched his direction and career goals with Coeymans Marine Towing aboard the Daisy Mae tugboat.

In the early days of World War II, General Douglas MacArthur penned a prayer to his own son.

          “Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.

Build me a son whose wishbone will not be where his backbone should be; a son

who will know Thee and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge.

Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail.

Build me a son whose heart will be clean, whose goal will be high; a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men; one who will learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.

And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength.

Then I, his father, will dare to whisper, “I have not lived in vain.”

This prayer embodies Andrew’s character up to the last moments of his life here on earth, as he lived his life with the upmost integrity.  First and foremost, Andrew was always a gentleman, and he lived his life with vigor and compassion.  Because of these qualities, Andrew’s touch was far-reaching.  Andrew brought out the best in people and for those who knew him, they are better for it.

 Andrew leaves to cherish his memory, parents, Joseph and Amy (Misuraca) McHugh, his brother and best friend, Matthew, maternal grandparents Robert and Laraine Misuraca, and paternal grandfather, George McHugh.  Andrew is also survived by his uncles Robert Misuraca (Audra), George McHugh (Rosemary), Albert McHugh (Candace), great aunts and uncles, and his very special cousins. In addition, Andrew is also survived by his life-long and childhood friends, as well as his Fort Schuyler brothers.  Andrew was preceded in death by his paternal grandmother Anne McHugh and his adoring great aunt, Mary Beverly Dommer.

 His family would like to thank everyone that Andrew touched for their support and compassion during this very difficult time.  A private ceremony will be held at a later date to celebrate Andrew’s incredible life. 

In lieu of flowers, a scholarship fund has been created on Andrew’s behalf so that his touch can further support students at SUNY Maritime (Fort Schuyler) and in the RCS School District.  Donations can be made to:  Amy McHugh and Joseph D. McHugh in care of the Andrew McHugh Scholarship Fund at any KeyBank Branch location.