Peter J. McHugh Obituary

Post date: Aug 7, 2017 12:36:31 PM

We regret to inform you of the passing of LCBA member, Peter J. McHugh. His obituary is below.

Peter J. McHugh(1963 - 2017)

(News story) Peter J. McHugh, a lawyer for nearly 29 years and president of the Toledo-Lucas County Police Athletic League who made and held friends across decades and occupations, died Tuesday in ProMedica Ebeid Hospice Residence, Sylvania. He was 53.He learned he had cancer early this year and underwent intensive therapy."His outlook was generally so positive, and he had very strong faith and really felt he lived a blessed life. And he did," said his wife, Mary, who took care of him in their Sylvania home after he was released from the hospital in February. "This happened, and he handled it with grace, and he was surrounded by so many who loved him."To honor Mr. McHugh, his stepdaughter Hilary Parlette, with the support of the family, came up with a T-shirt to benefit PAL. The bright green shirt bears the word "Peace" in his handwriting across the front - his way of closing any correspondence - and the PAL logo on the back.

"She felt that wearing the shirts supported the program Pete loved," his wife said. The family also hoped that those who wore the shirt would see others in the shirt whom they didn't know, approach them, and ask, "'how do you know Pete?'" his wife said. "It would spark the chain of friendship that he was all about."

Mr. McHugh was in practice for more than 20 years with Chuck Sallah and Chris Jasin, mostly handling criminal defense cases.

"But he was willing to do other things for his clients," said Sheldon Wittenberg, a lawyer who took on some of Mr. McHugh's criminal defense cases in recent months. "He did his job well. He cared about his clients. When you care about doing a good job, you do.

"He was respected and loved by everyone, whether they were judges, prosecutors, his clients," Mr. Wittenberg said. "He was a criminal lawyer who was totally civil."

Mr. Sallah recalled that he and Mr. McHugh saw each other daily in the office, including on Saturdays, and spoke at least twice a day otherwise.

"He loved what he was doing," Mr. Sallah said. "He was a sincere and decent guy. He had a certain innocence, not in a naive way, but he was interested in what people were doing and took a genuine delight in it."

An early job was as a bailiff for the late Melvin Resnick, then a common pleas judge. He later was an assistant Lucas County prosecutor for several years.

Wherever he sat, he cared about the case, said Judge Dean Mandros of Lucas County Common Pleas Court, a former assistant prosecutor.

"He cared about the victims. He cared about the legal issues," Judge Mandros said. "He was very conscientious and very dogged."

His humor could be droll, even sharp, Judge Mandross said. He could be sarcastic, his wife said, and he was "loads of fun. So much fun."

He was born Aug. 11, 1963, to Margaret and James McHugh and grew up in West Toledo. He was a 1981 graduate of St. Francis de Sales High School, where he ran cross country. He received a bachelor's degree from Miami University and his law degree from the University of Toledo. He was admitted to the Ohio Bar on Nov. 7, 1988.

"He was so well suited for law. He ultimately wanted a fair resolution for everyone," his wife said.

He was a fan of the Detroit Tigers and of University of Notre Dame football.

Surviving are his wife, Mary, whom he married Oct. 18, 1997; son, James McHugh; daughter, Jane McHugh; stepdaughters, Hilary Parlette and Claire Parlette; mother, Magaret McHugh; sister, Ellen Angeles, and brother, Joseph McHugh.

Visitation will be from 2-6 p.m. Sunday at Walker Funeral Home, Sylvania Township. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Joseph Church, Sylvania, where he was a member.

This is a news story by Mark Zaborney. You can contact him at or 419-724-6182.

Published in Toledo Blade on Aug. 3, 2017