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Mr. Cornelius J. "Connie" McHugh
October 28, 1921 ~ October 7, 2023 (age 101) 101 Years Old
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Cornelius J. “Connie” McHugh Sr, 101, of Lehighton, passed away on October 7, 2023
surrounded by his loving family in his home where he spent many years gardening, winemaking,
and cooking. He always had a jar of homemade sauerkraut or tomato sauce, a bottle of concord
from his grapevine, or a plate of rigatoni and meatballs(his specialty) to share with visitors.
He was predeceased by his beloved wife, Eleanor(Roesch) McHugh, who died on March 5,
Born on October 28th,1921 in Summit Hill, he was the son of the late James McHugh and Clara
(Young) McHugh. During the Great Depression, he spent his teenage summers working on an
onion farm in upstate New York. After graduating from Summit Hill High School in 1939,
“Connie” served in the Civilian Conservation Corps in both New Mexico and Promised Land
In 1941, the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, proudly
serving on several islands in the South Pacific, including Guadalcanal, Tulagi, and Guam.
Following World War II, he worked as a crane operator at Bethlehem Steel for 34 years.
Additionally, he drove a school bus for the CLIU 21 for over 15 years.
Known for his sharp wit, he had a joke for every occasion, and enjoyed spending time at his
second homes- the American Legion Post 314 and the Lehighton Fire Company-where he
shared many stories and shots of his favorite drink, Christian Brothers brandy, with his friends.
In addition to the Legion, he was an active member of the Marine Corps League and the Toys
for Tots program. He was also a member of the VFW, Disabled American Vets, Beaver Run Rod
and Gun Club, and Andreas Sporting Club. He spent his mornings completing the crossword
puzzle and ended his days with Jeopardy. As an avid reader, he always knew the answers! He
played bocce ball at the Aqua Bella, earned his private pilot’s license under the Montgomery GI
Bill, and liked to dance (even at his 100th birthday party). One of his favorite sayings was, “Any
day that you’re breathing is a good day!” He sure knew how to enjoy life.
Surviving are daughters, Ann Harleman, wife of David, of Lehighton; Kathryn Strohl, wife of
Chris, of Lehighton; grandsons, Cornelius(CJ) McHugh III, and his wife, Laura, of Lehighton;
Matthew Harleman, of Lehighton; a granddaughter, Tiffany Fritz, wife of Tyler, of Lancaster and
a great-grandson, Maverick Fritz; nieces and nephews.
In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his sons, Cornelius (Corny) McHugh Jr.
and Frederick(Freddie McHugh); brothers Charles McHugh and James McHugh; sisters Dolores
Martienssen, Mary Yurick, and Kathleen Gulla.
Calling Hours Thursday October 12th from 6:00 until 8:00 PM at Andrew P. Ovsak Funeral
Home, 190 S 4th St, Lehighton, PA 18235. followed by a prayer service by Father Christopher
Zelonis of St. Peter and Paul. Additional calling Friday, October 13th at 10:00 AM. Funeral
Service at 11:00 AM at the same location with the Reverend Robert Johnson officiating.
Interment with military honors to commence at 11:30 A.M. at the Lehighton Cemetery N. 4th St., Lehighton, PA 18235.
In Lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Carbon Schuylkill Marine Corps League Det. 626 Toys for Tots Program, 25 Mantzville Rd., Tamaqua, PA 18252 or the American Legion Post 314, 314 Veterans Ave. Lehighton, PA 18235. Online Condolences can be offered at www.ovsakfh.com.