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Former Winchester Police Chief John 'Jack' McHugh Dies at 84

McHugh passed away on Valentine's Day.

Former Winchester Police Chief John "Jack" McHugh died on Valentine's Day Thursday at his home.

McHugh, 84, served as Winchester Police chief from 1976 until his retirement in April 1989. He spent four decades with the local police department, and also served in the Army from 1946 to 1948.

Police Chief Recalls His Boss, Friend

Current Police Chief Kenneth Albertelli, who worked about 17 years with McHugh, said McHugh was a lieutenant when he joined the force in 1972.

"He was a very thorough, competent and educated man," Albertelli said of McHugh. "He was a strong voice for the police department. He was very instrumental in getting this current police station built in 1985."

McHugh served as a past president of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, and "he was very well respected around the state and in his field," Albertelli said.

"He was a very knowledgeable guy and taught me a lot in my early days," Albertelli said. "When I first started working for the department, he was a night commander and we worked midnight shifts together a lot."

For the past several years, McHugh had been sick and spent time in the hospital being treated and Albertelli visited him during that time.

"My vision of him was he was still very alert and interesting to talk to and he was just a great guy to listen to," Albertelli recalled. "He was a very big storyteller. He had a story for everything. They were good stories that had some reflective meaning (to them)."

Family, Friends Remember McHugh Fondly

Karen McHugh, one of McHugh's eight children, posted her thoughts about her father to the Book of Memories on the Lane Funeral Home website.

"Dad/Bumpa....you will be forever in our heart," she wrote. "We will miss your smile, your laugh and your stories. You were an inspiration and a mentor for all, we are all blessed to have had you in our lives."

"Dad, we are forever going to miss your smile and that special twinkle in your eye," wrote Peg and Peter on the site. "We love ya baby! We miss you already!"

Kym Marshall-Moulaison added, "Uncle Jack you will be deeply missed by so many. I have great memories of you and Aunt Kay. You always made me laugh, no matter where we were, even if it was not appropriate at the time to laugh, haha! I love you very much and miss you!"

McHugh was born and raised in Winchester, according to his obituary.

"...Falling in love with his childhood sweetheart, Catherine 'Kay' O’Donnell, he was her devoted husband for 48 years, lovingly raising eight children together," reads the obituary. "He enjoyed spending time at his second home in Maine, known as 'The Camp.'

"Jack took pride in all that he did; especially in the home he built with his own hands and the help of many friends. He had a profound love of gardening and a passion for family—his motto being 'family first.'"

When Will Services Be Held?

Two visitation services have been scheduled for McHugh at Lane Funeral Home for 2-6 p.m. Sunday and 4-8 p.m. Monday, respectively. A funeral service is slated for 11 a.m. Tuesday at Cavalry Cemetery.

McHugh's obituary is posted on the Lane Funeral Home website.

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