January 1935 – August 21, 2009
by Jim Pugh CHS 1963 with
Peggy Randall-Martin

Gone Fishin’

At age 74, after multiple heart attacks, Carl Spencer Pugh, Jr. died peacefully on Friday, August 21, 2009. He was the eldest son of Carl Pugh, Sr. and Billie Bernice (Head) Pugh. Carl, Jr. was born in 1935 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His family moved to Cushing, Oklahoma in 1949 where he entered the Cushing public school system in the eighth grade at 14 years of age. In his 4 years attending Cushing High School, Carl excelled as a member of the Track team, was Track Captain 1952 and 1953. He was a 3-year member of the “C” Club, a member of De Molays; and still had time to be one of “Dora’s Kids”.

After graduating from CHS in 1953, Carl attended OSU and later received his Bachelors degree in Art and Education from Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma. Carl joined the Army in the late 50’s and after active duty, served in the Army Reserves in Cushing. June 1964 Carl married his wife, Linette. The couple made their home in Harrisonville, MO and had two sons, Eric and Gary, both in their 30’s.

Carl taught art at the local high school for 30-plus years and was a well-known artist. He was perhaps best known locally for his historical paintings of Oklahoma landscapes and artfully crafted ceramics.

Carl Pugh, Sr., Badge #91, was an Oklahoma State Highway Patrolman from the late 30’s to 1964 when he retired. Prior to his employment with OHP, he served our country proudly in WWII. Mr. Pugh passed away in 1981. Mrs. Pugh, originally from Muskogee, was a mother and homemaker. She preceded her husband in death in the late seventies. The Pugh’s youngest son, Walter James Pugh (Jan. 27, 1945 – ) served in the U.S. Army from 1966-1970 and was stationed in Viet Nam July 1967-1968. As a Helicopter Pilot. Jim was shot down 9 times over VN, was awarded the Silver Star and at the end of his tour of duty had earned the rank of 1st Lieutenant.

In the early fifties, the two brothers, Carl and Jim, went exploring north of Cushing at the old Duncan Bridge. During their exploration, Carl discovered the personal diary of a young girl. She described in great detail what it was like to try and survive in the Oklahoma ‘dust bowl’ days, how difficult it was at times to breathe and that her family was moving to California. Carl painted a wonderful rendition of the old house where the book had been left and long forgotten and used it and the diary in his senior project. Later, in the early sixties, Carl located the author of the diary in Kansas, returned it to her and made her a gift of his painting of the old house.

Saturday, August 29, 2009 a small gathering of Carl Pugh, Jr.’s family and friends will celebrate his life by spreading his ashes near his favorite fishing hole.

Carl’s family has suggested donations to the American Heart Association in lieu of flowers.

Gone Fishin’ … Be the one you want to catch …