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Published: Saturday, 9/8/2007

Hancock ex-auditor was flier for Navy

FINDLAY - Edward K. Hugus, a former Hancock County auditor who completed his first - and only - marathon at 62, died of cancer Aug. 30 in his Scottsdale, Ariz., home, two days before his 83rd birthday.

He and his wife, Joan, moved to Arizona shortly after he retired in 1987.

A Republican, Mr. Hugus became auditor in 1971. He was county welfare director for 14 years.

"He would be the last guy you'd think who'd run for a political office," his son Tom said. "He was a quiet guy and was honest and had a lot of integrity. He did a really good job and people seemed to like him and kept returning him to office."

He knew how to make people "feel valued in their positions," said Bill Alge, a Findlay lawyer and a longtime friend. "It was his style of dealing with people that made him popular, regardless of what your politics would be."

Mr. Hugus was known for attention to detail and his focus on meeting goals he set, his son said. Those traits served him well in office - and as he became a runner in the 1970s, encouraged by son-in-law Greg Stewart, his son said.

Mr. Stewart set out a training schedule, the end of which prepared Mr. Hugus to run a marathon. And he did, at 62, completing the run in Columbus in just over four hours. It was a goal completed, and he didn't run another, his son said.

Mr. Hugus was a graduate of Cory-Rawson High School. He served in the Pacific Theater during World War II as a Navy aviator. He re-enlisted for the Korean War.

Always skilled, he built two of the family's homes.

In retirement, when not hiking the desert with friends or playing tennis with his wife, he was the neighborhood handyman, zipping from job to job on his Honda Helix scooter.

"They couldn't have had a better retirement," his son said.

Surviving are his wife, Joan Hugus, whom he married Sept. 27, 1946; sons, Scott and Tom Hugus; daughter, Nancy Stewart; sister, Mary Jane Pearson; brothers, Floyd and Ned Hugus, and four grandchildren.

There will be no visitation. Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Sept. 15 in Messinger Pinnacle Peak Mortuary, Scottsdale.

The family suggests tributes to the Hospice of the Valley, Phoenix.

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