Timothy Pat Pugh of Bastrop TX, a Vietnam War veteran, beloved husband, and friend to many, passed away January 14, 2022 after a lengthy period of health challenges leaving behind an admirable legacy of service to his country, the public, and his family and friends.
Born on June 3, 1948, Pat was second of two sons born to Ray and Barbara Pugh in Jefferson, TX. Growing-up in Longview, TX, Pat and his brother Mike, spent their childhood together learning to hunt, fish, camp and become ardent outdoorsmen.
At the age of 17, Pat graduated from Longview High School. As U.S. military involvement in the Vietnam War grew, Pat responded to the call of duty enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps where he rose to the rank of Sergeant and became a combat radio operator as part of the 1st Battalion 9th Marines, known as The Walking Dead after establishing the highest casualty rate in action in the history of the Marine Corps. During his tour, Pat’s unit experienced heavy action in Khe Sahn during the Tet Offense as well as fighting in the Quang Tri Province.
After his nearly three-year tour of duty in Vietnam, Pat returned to Texas where he enrolled at Kilgore Junior College. He took a job in water development with the City of Longview. His interest in water and waste-water systems would result in a long career first with the Texas Department of Water Resources followed by the Texas Water Development Board. His work in developing systems to protect water sources and assure water quality for Texans gave Pat what he wanted most – a chance to be outdoors. Pat loved hiking and backpacking with his brother and friends spending treasured time on the trails across the Southwest. Always ready to offer a helping hand to others, Pat participated in volunteer efforts that included work for Habitat for Humanity, the U.S. Special Olympics, and as a Master Angler teaching children the art and love of fishing.
Pat’s loves included his wife, Charla Ann King, and his inclusion in the Witosky family, who encouraged him to take-up golf. This family support led to a Hole-In-One at the Colovista Country Club. He also came to understand that just because a family gets loud doesn’t mean it stops loving one another.
After Charla Ann’s retirement, Pat and Charla Ann also dealt with tragic adversity when the couple lost their home in the Bastrop Complex Fire of 2011, which resulted in their moving to Tahlequah, OK, to live on family land allotted to the King family prior to Oklahoma statehood.
As usual, Pat found that overcoming adversity had its benefits as he brought his love of gardening and working on the land to a place that felt to him like a wonderland. His adventures in walking King Mountain, fishing on the Illinois River, sticking a bulldozer deep in mud, building hunting stands on the wooded property, and acquiring one of the largest personal collections of tools and heavy equipment in Cherokee County, was the result of his strong affection for the life he led within the Cherokee Nation. It was also a place where Pat could visit the local casino and enjoy a cigar and a sip of whiskey every now and then.
Even as illness hampered his life, Pat and Charla Ann returned to Bastrop to build a home and ranch, which gave him land to love as he worked on it even into his final weeks.
Pat was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Mike. He is survived by his wife Charla Ann King (née Witosky); sister-in-law Cathy Pugh, niece Sally Pugh Collier and her husband Wade Collier, and their children Sophie and Jack; and nephew Charlie Pugh. He will be sorely missed by his brothers-in-law Matthew, John, and Tom Witosky and his wife Diane; his nephews Luke, Walter, Charlie, Willem, Adam, niece Racheal and grandnephews Damek and Talon Witosky.
A lifelong lover and keeper of all creatures great and small, Pat was preceded in death by canine pals Buttons, Ryder, Shiner, Royal and Hardy; and equine companions Mickey, Be Bell, and the wise donkey Mr. Bedonkus. He is survived by and will be terribly missed by Sadie, Lucky, Faithful, Dice, and Charlie.
Memorial contributions may be made to the DAV, Disabled American Veterans Charity, at www.dav.org
Visitation will be from 4:00pm to 7:00pm on Friday, January 21, 2022 at Marrs-Jones-Newby Funeral Home. The funeral home is located at 505 Old Austin Highway in Bastrop, Texas.
A memorial service will be held at 1:00pm on Saturday, January 22, 2022 at the Calvary Episcopal Church. The church is located at 603 Spring Street in Bastrop, Texas.