Thomas F. “Tom” McHugh

May 13, 1932 ‒ November 27, 2019

Mount Vernon, Ohio

Thomas F. “Tom” McHugh, age 87, of Mount Vernon passed away peacefully on Wednesday, November 27, 2019 at the Knox Community Hospital with family by his side.

He was born on May 13, 1932 in Toledo, Ohio to the late James and Catherine (Ruddy) McHugh.

Tom was a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana where he received a full football scholarship, and later received his master’s degree from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.

He was a teacher and football coach at Central Catholic High School in Toledo, Ohio, his alma mater, where he was selected Ohio High School Coach of the Year in 1962; at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, and at Kenyon College from 1967 to 1983.  He was selected Ohio Athletic Conference Football Coach of the Year in 1981.  He also coached baseball and served as Athletic Director.

Tom served for three years as Director of Parks and Recreation in Mount Vernon.  He worked as a Deputy Administrator for the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and in sales for Habitec Security Systems.

He was chairman of the Knox County Democrats and served as a member of the Board of Elections.  He worked on fundraising campaigns for the United Community Fund and for Easter Seals.  Tom served on the Big Brother-Big Sister board of directors and was a key organizer in buildingthe Mount Vernon Colonial City Classic college basketball tournament.

He was a member of St. Vincent de Paul Church, The Knights of Columbus, The Notre Dame Monogram Club, The Old Homestead Club, The Moose, The Elks, and The Hiawatha Golf Club, where he was chairman of the round table.

Surviving are his daughter Kathy (Mark) Larkins and son Kevin (Mary Ann); seven grandchildren: Claire, Roy, Christie, Erin, Mark, Alyjah, and Savannah; three great grandchildren:  McKenzie, Aurora, and Benjamin; and sister, Margaret Gibney.

In addition to his parents, Tom was preceded in death by his wife of 51 years Ida McHugh; his brothers James and John; a sister Mary Doherty,and his infant daughter, Mary Pat.

The family will receive friends from 4-7 on Monday, December 2, 2019 at the Flowers-Snyder Funeral Home, 619 East High St., Mount Vernon.  A vigil service will follow the visitation.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 at Saint Vincent de Paul Catholic Church with Rev Father Mark J. Hammond as the Celebrant.  A private burial will take place in Mount Calvary Cemetery.

To share a memory or send an expression of sympathy to the family visit

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Alzheimer’s Association,, as a Tribute Gift to “Thomas Francis McHugh”.

The Flowers-Snyder Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Thomas F. “Tom” McHugh.

  • Kathy and Kevin,
    I am so sorry for the loss of your dad. Our families were intertwined in many ways. He gave me my first summer job in high school with the city parks, after college I taught at Pleasant Street with your Mom, and your dad and my dad (Art Packard) were great friends despite their different political affiliations. 😀
    Our community became a much better place because of all that both of your parents gave of themselves. I’m sure you can be comforted in all of your treasured memories.

  • Tom has really been missed at Hiawatha!! The “round table” hasn’t been the same without him. He always had an opinion about everything and sparked some “interesting “ conversations. I loved our one on one conversations. He always asked about my children and grandchildren, not just to be polite, but because he genuinely cared. I was always amazed when a total stranger would come in and by the time he left, Tom would know everything about him. He had quite a knack for pulling information out of people, often without their even realizing it. Tom is one of the most interesting people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. He will be greatly missed by many!

  • To the Tom McHugh family, it saddens me to hear of the passing of Tom. I was employed at the Knox County Board of Elections for several years and worked with him. You have our deepest sympathy at this time of sorrow. Many blessings and prayers. Husband at the Laurels and myself back problems and not able to drive , so very sorry.

  • I am sorry for your loss, it was a pleasure to serve Tom McHugh. I respectfully referred to him as Coach. He was always good natured, and grateful.
    Thank you for the opportunity to serve Tom McHugh

  • Kevin & Kathy,
    I played for your Dad at Central Catholic, Varsity years 1960 & 1961. He was tough but a good coach and teacher and most of all a good man. We played golf together a couple times in Toledo at outings for Notre Dame Scholarships. Neither of us was very good but we did share laughs. He will be missed greatly but long remembered. God bless him and you.
    Bob Kerstetter

  • Dear Kathy and Kevin,
    Like so many, I dearly loved your father! My dad was his coach at Central Catholic and they went on to become good friends. My dad died too young at the age of 46 and the love and grief shared by your dad was indescribable. Whenever I had the opportunity to spend time with your dad, we shared Pat McCarty stories and I could feel my dad’s presence as if he were right there with us.
    There is comfort in knowing that your dad and mom are reunited. He loved her so much and spoke of her often. You have the prayers and condolences of my entire family. May God rest Tom’s soul and comfort you, your entire family and the many, many friends who loved him.
    Mary McCarty Pierce

  • Dear McHugh Family,

    I want to convey my sincerest sympathy to you for the death of Coach McHugh. He will always hold that title to me. I deeply regret that my unchangeable patient appointments prevent me from coming to Mt. Vernon.

    I am sending you a copy of a letter that I wrote and gave to Coach at a lunch we had together not all that long ago. You may never come across it or he may have pitched it. Nonetheless, I want you to see the very special impact that he had upon my life…as he did countless others. My memories of Coach Tom McHugh will always stay deep in my mind and soul.

    Dear Coach McHugh,

    As I age and come to grips with the reality that I am in the “4th quarter” of life, I feel the urge to say and do some things before the game is over. As the clock is running down, I want to say certain things to certain people who have been very important in my life.

    Countless people have passed through my life and have influenced me in many ways. Some people have had a positive impact on my life in very important ways. A few people have virtually changed my life in a profoundly positive way. Whether you knew it or not, you are one of those few people who truly changed my life.

    In my profession, I have become expertly aware of how parents, family, friends, teachers, and coaches hold a very special place in peoples’ lives. My parents, family, friends, certain teachers and a few coaches molded my thoughts and values about myself and the world.

    In the very important formative years of high school, you and the game of football became “Central” pieces of my life. (Pun intended.) I remember clearly our first personal interaction, Fall 1958, as I entered Central’s lobby to go to a welcome dance in the gym before school even began. You were seated working the check-in table. You knew who I was, (“An OLPHer”), as I ticketed in. I felt proud but nervous that you knew I was there to play more football.

    For the next four years, how I succeeded at football and what you thought of me became critical to my self-worth and self-esteem. Your combination of pushing, teasing, challenging, harshness and caring had a lasting effect on me. You taught me things that I have used to cope with life all these years.

    Toughness, striving, pursuit of winning, playing it out, avoidance of complaining, humility, loyalty and enjoyment of team are just a few demands that you made. They were powerful lessons. Perhaps the most important experience with you was learning that someone could ride my ass very hard because they truly cared about me. My father and mother had taught me that already and then you carried it on into my beloved game and boyhood to young manhood.

    I can vividly re-live the evening that I got your call on the phone in our dining room telling me that I had made 1st Team All-City…and that you were proud of me. I know that you pushed that spot for me. Not sure I deserved it. And I realize that you fostered my college recruitment. Your support and efforts to do that for me virtually changed my life.

    I went on to play for a tough demanding sonnofabitch just like you. Coach Lauterbur carried the same intense demanding expectations and I again was driven to live up to them…to show him that I could do it. Through the years, to the day we buried him, I knew he loved me and vise versa.

    I was never a great football player but I continued to be as good as I had to be to play pretty well, especially for “my Coach”. It is interesting to note that I ran out of that special motivation with the Atlanta Falcons. No doubt in my mind that I could have played some more at that level. I was married, just lost our baby and wondered about the future. But most different than ever before, I didn’t have Coach McHugh or Coach Lauterbur to “prove it to”. Football was not what I really “needed to do” anymore.

    I ended football and proceeded in a life proving things to myself, and many others along the way, using what you taught me. And it has turned out extremely well.

    I want to thank you and tell you that you own a special piece of my heart, my self and my life.

    With sincere gratitude.
    Your old player,


  • John was such a kind, caring, thoughtful and generous man. My late husband, Jim Smythe, thought the world of him. Now they are together again telling all those great stories they often shared all over again! I’m so sorry for your loss.

  • To Tom’s Family,

    I want to express my deepest sympathy to you. I knew Tom from many sessions at the famous “Round Table” at Hiawatha Golf Course. He was one of a kind. You always knew where Tom stood on an issue. Tom came to visit me one winter when we both were in Florida. He also picked me up at Tampa Airport about 7-8 years ago and drove me to Sarasota. I considered him a good friend. Recent knee surgery prevents me from paying my respects in person. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.