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Originally published: 2013-07-30 14:13:35
Last modified: 2013-07-30 14:14:18

Walter Hugh Hagaman

Walter Hugh Hagaman, 81, of Sugar Grove and Mooresville, left this earth for a better place on Monday, July 29, 2013.

The son of the late Henry and Anna Hagaman, Hugh served in the U.S. Air Force, returning to Boone to earn his degree from ASU. Hugh and his young family relocated to Mooresville, where he worked as a Math Teacher, Principal and Assistant Superintendent of Schools before pursuing his EdD at the University of Virginia. He spent the next 26 years at UNC-G, first as a Professor in the School of Education, then as Director of the McNutt Center of Learning Resources. While he enjoyed his teaching career, his many and varied avocations also enriched his life. His hobbies included watch collecting, photography, gardening, the serious art of barbecuing, collecting first editions, genealogy, and a lifelong enjoyment of woodworking. Hugh was always starting a project or two, with two or three more that he was sure he'd finish sooner or later.

More than anything else, Hugh valued his membership in the mountain community, whose ethics and integrity were central to his life. He never tired of the beauty of this special place and, since returning to his family home in Sugar Grove, he enjoyed giving something back by volunteering and serving on the board of Habitat for Humanity, as well as the boards of the Watauga County Library and the Appalachian Regional Library.

He was active in the establishment of Cove Creek Preservation and Development, working with the late Miriam Simpson to have the Cove Creek High School building placed on the National Register of Historic places. Hugh and his barbecue buddies Jack, Andy, Wink, Stu and Tommy Joe, along with many others, worked tirelessly raising thousands of dollars for the renovation and maintenance of the old school.

Although he would have enjoyed more time, Hugh never complained about his illness. Instead, he called himself lucky to have had so many years filled with special occasions, worldwide travel, myriad projects, fine wine and joyful living. He was never happier than when he was sharing one of his passions with his loving family and cherished friends.

He would have wanted us to thank the nurses and doctors who cared for him at The Seby Jones Cancer Center. Hugh said they were angels, and they were unfailingly caring and supportive to him and Peggy, his wife of nearly 60 years.

Hugh is survived by his wife, Peggy; daughters Terri (Tommy Rinehardt), Susan (Brian Loveman), Mary Gayle (Scott) Miller, Elizabeth (Dan Papadopoulos), and sister Mary Ann (Raymond) Overcash. Hugh also leaves an extended family including grandchildren, Anna Dare, Grace, and Nicholas Phillips, Ben and Zoe Loveman, Eli, Lucas and Rachael Driggers, Josh, Skylar and Izabella Miller, and Alexa and Daniel Papadopoulos, as well as nephews Walter (Wendy) Overcash, and Chad (Jennifer) Overcash. He loved, and was loved by, them all.

Funeral services will be held 2 p.m. On Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013, at First Baptist Church of Boone. The family will receive friends at the church following the service. Memorial donations may be made to the charity of your choice, or one of Hugh's favorites: the Cove Creek Preservation and Development fund ( http://www.covecreek.net), and the Watauga County Habitat for Humanity ( http://www.wataugahabitat.org).

Online condolences may be shared with the Hagaman family at http://www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com.

Austin & Barnes Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the Hagaman family.