Jan Cathleen McHugh
Jan Cathleen McHugh – Born March 23, 1950 – Died March 23, 2015. Diagnosed a year and a half ago with stage 4 melanoma, Jan chose alternative treatment options that enabled her to maintain a pain-free, activity-filled lifestyle to the very end of her life. Born in Hollywood, California as Jan Bird, she excelled in a number of areas in her life. At Hollywood High, she was a cheerleader, a surfer, and the only female member of a popular local band. Later, while attending UCLA, she met Harry McHugh, who she would marry in 1969. During their marriage, they moved to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where Jan opened a music store, Jan’s Music Box. Jan’s musical talents were not limited to retail selling; she was also the singer and guitarist in a popular trio called Rosewood. Jan and Harry were an active couple, participating in sports together and, at one point, visiting Europe and climbing the Alps. They divorced amicably after ten years. After the divorce, Jan moved to Durango, Colorado where she became a guide, cook, and guitar-picking entertainer for San Juan Outfitters, doing hunting and fishing trips. Around 1985, she moved to the Lake Tahoe area. She fell in love with the easy access to hiking, skiing, and kayaking and put down some lasting roots there. She also began the first of two stints working for the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office in Truckee, California. She later took a leave of absence from the department to travel in Mexico with her life partner of 18 years, the late Kris Reeder. Jan and Kris moved to Libby, Montana during the mid-nineties to live in a wilderness cabin together. After three years, Jan began to miss her friends and the active athletic life in the Tahoe area. She moved back to Tahoe, resuming her job at the sheriff’s department. She worked another 11 years as a much loved and respected dispatcher. When she retired in 2012, she had a total of 23 years on the job. “Retirement” to Jan meant more time to pursue her love of the outdoors. She hiked the Tahoe Rim Trail, and went on numerous skiing and hiking trips. Even after being diagnosed with cancer, Jan fully embraced life to the fullest. She had a full day of skiing the day before she had the stroke that ended her joyous and active life two weeks later. Jan McHugh was many things during her too brief life, a loving sister and daughter, a talented musician, an astute businessperson, an athlete and, above all, a good and inspiring friend to a wide array of people. She is deeply missed by all who knew her. She is survived by her sister, Jerilyn Bird Douglass and many, many friends in the Tahoe area and across the country who love Jan and hold her memory in their hearts. Jan’s life will be celebrated on June 7, 2015 at the North Tahoe Events Center, 8318 N Lake Blvd, Kings Beach, CA 96143, from 5 to 7 PM.
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