Obituary: Elwyn Hug
January 27, 1936 – May 15, 2022
Elwyn (El) Hug, long-time South Lake Tahoe resident and schoolteacher, passed away on May 15, 2022, at the age of 86.
El was born in La Grande, Oregon on January 27, 1936 to Bernal and Carmi Hug. He and his 6 siblings (including his twin brother, Edwin) were raised in Elgin, a small farming community in northeast Oregon. El will be remembered as someone always willing to help others, and as a gentle, patient and beloved member of his community.
Growing up, El and his brother played football, basketball and baseball for Elgin High, and he was named “Mr. Football” his senior year. El went on to earn his undergraduate degree in mathematics from Oregon State, and his master’s in education from Eastern Oregon College. After serving in the U.S. Army, El began his teaching career, first in Joseph, Oregon and then in Bermuda, where he met his future wife, Helen Bowka of Syracuse, New York. They were married on December 26th, 1964, and had three children.
After living, and teaching, in upstate New York and Livermore, California, El and his family moved to South Lake Tahoe in 1972. Many will remember “Mr. Hug” as their 7th or 8th grade science or math teacher at South Tahoe Intermediate School, where he taught until 1998. Unfailingly patient and even-keeled, even during the most challenging of situations, El was an ideal junior high school teacher. His family will attest that they regularly heard “your dad was my FAVORITE teacher” from former students, even decades after they’d been in El’s class. Throughout his teaching career, he also coached various sports and led outdoor education groups at his schools, and participated for years in an “Over 40” (quite significantly “over 40” by the end of his participation!) basketball league, which he greatly enjoyed. El could fix or build anything (or at least was willing to try), and was incredibly generous with his time; co-workers, neighbors and his family knew that they could give him any project and he’d figure out a way to accomplish it. El was also a long-standing member of Lake Tahoe Community Presbyterian Church, where he served as a deacon for many years.
After Helen died in 2001, El married another long-time Tahoe resident, Carol Haase. El and Carol enjoyed outdoor life in Tahoe – hiking, kayaking, cross-country skiing, and evening beach picnics with fellow retired teachers and other friends – as well as travel, particularly to visit family. The Hug/Haase house was filled with activity, which El loved. He was always up for anything, and contributed his supportive, steady presence to any adventure. In his later years, El suffered from dementia, but remained his positive, good-natured, and loving self throughout that struggle.
El is survived by his wife, Carol, children Gretchen (Steve), Eric (June) and Michael (Michelle), grandchildren Ryan and Ethan Hug, Catherine and Ella Debenham, and Julia and Lauren Hug, sister Caryl Dawes, and many nieces, nephews, and step-children and step-grandchildren.
A celebration of life will be planned for a later date.
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