Karin Maren McHugh, 70, our vivacious and incredible mother, passed away peacefully Sunday morning, May 10, 2020 at her Fernandina Beach, FL residence while surrounded by her family after a fierce five-year battle against Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia.
Mrs. McHugh was born in Helmstedt, Germany and married American Army soldier George D. McHugh in 1965. She and her husband (d. 2006), had 41 years of incredible adventures and a rich life filled with friends and family. Karin never met a stranger that stayed one for long. The life of the party, she was an amazing social hostess known by many for her parties and events. Her quick wit, delicious cooking, and lively conversation never failed to draw people in, and she nurtured friendships ranging from her last months to her earliest childhood. Her annual Christmas cookies will be missed by many.
She moved to Fernandina Beach in 2004 from Columbia, MD when George retired from the government. Transitioning from her role as a military and government spouse, Karin established herself in the local community, becoming a member of the First Coast Shag Club and the Red Hatters Society. She was a life member of the NRA and a proud member of the Republican Party, campaigning locally for her favorite candidates. Mrs. McHugh was an active volunteer with the ALS and Red Cross Organizations, but her love for her community went beyond organizations. She looked after the elderly in her neighborhood to keep them safe, calling many every day for years, taking them shopping, and driving them to their hospital appointments. She was always willing and ready to help those in need, never expecting anything in return for her generosity.
Her goal to reach 80 was unfortunately not possible, although she stubbornly refused to ever believe that to be the case. She was a beacon of courage, determination, and hope to so many on the cancer floors and at Gabriel House, earning the appellation “German Strong” among the staff for her charisma. She literally astounded the medical community with her ability to not only defy her illness, but to remain so positive throughout her fight. There was grace and beauty in everything that she did. She credited the care of Bernard Atkins, her sweetheart over the past 10 years, Dr. Gorak’s (MD Anderson) and Dr. Karfan’s (Mayo Clinic) teams with giving her another 5 years.
She was the beloved and only child of Wilhelm Zimmermann (d. 2015) and his wife, Erna Zimmermann (d. 2005).
Anyone that knew Karin understood that her entire life revolved around her children and grandchildren. She is survived and dearly missed by her son, Demitrius McHugh; two daughters, Judith and Jennifer McHugh; sons in law, John Rauh and Andy Robinson; two grandchildren, Clara Migala and Kyle McHugh; and her sweetheart, caregiver, and friend of 51 years, Bernard Atkins.
A Memorial Service will be held August 8, at a time yet to be determined in the Stephens Chapel at Green Pine Funeral Home with long-time friend, Rev. Dwight Eppler officiating.
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