Alan C. Bugbee ’48 died on March 12, 2019, in West Simsbury, Connecticut.
(The following was published in The Hartford Courant on March 17, 2019:)
Alan C. Bugbee passed away early March 12th at his home in West Simsbury after a slow decline due to congestive heart failure. He leaves behind his adoring family and a host of friends and admirers that he gathered during his nearly ninety-two years. He was the son of Percy and Wilhelmina Bugbee and was raised in Winchester, Massachusetts. He graduated from high school at age sixteen and attended Bowdoin College until he was old enough to join the Navy. He served as a gunner’s mate on the light cruiser USS Fargo in WWII. After the war, he resumed his education at Bowdoin and during a summer job in Atlantic City met Patricia Towle from Allentown, Penn., on a blind date. They married in 1949 and had a truly wonderful partnership. She died in 2000 and he missed her the rest of his life. Alan worked for Penton Publishing Company for forty-two years selling advertising space in Machine Design magazine. He chose Simsbury as a home base in 1954. He was respected as a man of brilliance, honesty and integrity not only by his customers, but by his competitors. He had many and varied interests and hobbies, often centered around woodworking. He designed and built a dream workshop in the woods behind his house and filled it with machinery he got from industrial auctions. He used it to craft everything from furniture, to kaleidoscopes, to intricately carved stamp holders. He collected over 4,000 samples of rare woods from all over the world. He was involved in many clubs and was so trustworthy he was often elected treasurer. He especially enjoyed the Ornamental Turners International, the New England Model Engineers Society, the International Wood Collectors Society and the Cruiser Sailor’s Association. He attended and worked at the Retired Men’s monthly luncheons. He was a voracious reader and absorbed several books a week. He had an astonishing breadth of knowledge. Alan’s generosity was legendary. He volunteered for Meals on Wheels for over twenty years. He was an Investor Angel at the Simsbury Public Library and used his woodworking skills to make carts for the annual book sale, the wooden blocks for the children’s library, and the base for the antique dollhouse cabinet. He donated money to myriad worthy causes, usually anonymously. In their younger years, he and Pat were founding members of the Hopmeadow Country Club and the Hopbrook Tennis Club. He was generous even after death, as he has donated his body to the UConn medical school to help train future doctors. He was predeceased by his beloved wife Pat and his brother Richard. He leaves his son Alan, Jr. (“Ace”) and wife Pam of Lewes, Delaware, his daughter Nancy of Simsbury, his son Peter of Glastonbury, his sister Margery of Plymouth, Mass., and several nieces and nephews. Alan was brilliant yet modest, successful yet generous, practical yet fair, a true gentleman and member of the “Greatest Generation.” He was an exceptional human being who will be sorely missed.