A LETTER FROM MOM
The HHH Foundation Board has asked me to write a biography for Hugh for the Web site. I am finding that this is an extremely daunting task. How do I sum up the life of my precious and sweet little boy Hugh with a few words in a couple of paragraphs? An impossible task really. Words have yet to be invented to convey to you this simple message, and the words I do know are inadequate.
Hugh was born in Eugene, Oregon on January 22, 1980. We brought him home to Skyhawk Way in the snow. You all know how much he loved the snow. Even when he was going ‘thru some of his worst chemo treatments during his first year of illness, I found him outside, in the cold, all bundled up making a little snowman. That is how determined he was in everything he faced.
He grew up and was educated in Eugene. He attended O’Hara Grade School and graduated from the International High School at South Eugene High School. Hugh made so many friends where ever he was, and his friends were all so important to him.
He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the Charles Lundquist College of Business at the University of Oregon. This was a tremendous feat for Hugh, as he was being treated for cancer during much of his UO education. Our family was so very proud of him. We wanted everyone to know how difficult this accomplishment was for him, but Hugh would have no part of being singled out. He did not want special attention and always tried his hardest all during his illness to be as normal as possible.
This was his way, and he did it well.
After graduating he moved to Portland, Oregon in 2003. He worked in the golf division at the Nike Campus. Here Hugh added new friends, in addition to all his college friends. He was always on his phone. When his cancer returned, his friends were there for him, and remained a steady comfort and support for him. His phone was always ringing and was his lifeline to the world outside of those hospital rooms. He would even manage to use the internet to check on those fine automobiles he so loved. Of course, Hugh made new friends with the doctors and staff at the hospitals too, he always had a smile for everyone who came into his room, and his life.
Hugh never complained. He got up, suited up and showed up every single day, no matter how sick he felt, no matter how bad his day was. He inspired all who met him with his determined spirit and positive way he faced every day.
Hugh’s grave marker reads:
HUGH HOWARD HOUSEN January 22, 1980 - April 9, 2005
The “dash” in the date is the most important part. All we ever get, any of us, is what is in that dash. I believe that Hugh’s dash was an amazing one. He had so many friends whom he cared so much about. His family was so important to him. He had the ability to make the best of any situation. He had a positive attitude and awesome spirit and was always more worried about you, or me being worried about him than he was worried about himself.
I love you Hugh.