His Life

A Brooklyn Childhood

Hugh was born in Brooklyn to Margaret Mulholland Rooney and Matthew Patrick Hand. He was the older brother to sisters Joan, Margie, Helen, and Irene. As an adult, Hugh reminisced fondly about his Brooklyn childhood; going to Dodgers games (without tickets!), visiting Prospect Park and the zoo (also without tickets! :), and diving for coins at Sheepshead Bay were a few memories he mentioned often.

Hugh's NYC upbringing also sparked his love and passion for the New York Giants! Watching the G-Men games are some of Amy, Matt, Karen's fondest memories with our dad.


After graduating from Brooklyn Tech and dedicating 2 years of service to the military, Hugh began a career at AT&T that lasted 35 years. The AT&T community provided Hugh with some great memories: he played softball on a company team for many years, and he was proud to have been part of the work force that wired the phone lines for the World Trade Center. Karen, Matt, and Amy fondly remember the AT&T office Christmas parties at Basking Ridge and East Brunswick. Hugh retired from AT&T in 1995.

Hugh the Father

Hugh and Susan had three children: Karen, born in 1975; Matthew Patrick, named after Hugh's father and born in 1976; and Amy, born in 1980. After Susan and Hugh separated, Hugh stayed close and lived just a short walk away. 

Hugh's children were his biggest source of pride. In our school days, he was our biggest fan - coaching soccer teams, attending sports practices and games, coming to every music concert, and cheering on our academic achievements. When we became adults, he took great joy in telling others about Karen's career as an English teacher, Matt's as a lawyer, and Amy's as a school administrator. In Colorado, one of his fondest memories was getting to see Matt argue a trial case in court.

Hugh also loved the spouses of his three children: Dave Slater, married to Karen in 2006; Libbie McCarthy, married to Matt in 2009; and Erik Bowie, married to Amy in 2010.

Colorado Days

Hugh moved to Colorado in the last years of his life, in order to be closer to family. Though he missed his family and friends out East, he loved the Colorado mountains and enjoyed drives up the passes with his children. 

In Colorado, he also got to spend more time with his first grandchild, Ella June Hand, born in 2010. When Amy and Erik moved to California in 2019, he also got to see his two other grandchildren - Angus Bailey Bowie, born in 2014, and Winona Margaret Bowie, born in 2016 - more easily. 

Hugh's Passing

Hugh passed away in Colorado on April 10, 2021. Knowing the end was near, his children, his sisters, and their husbands were able to surround him with love and be by his side in his last few days. He was in a wonderful facility with nurses who were kind and caring, and who expressed how much they loved getting to know him. 

The night before his death, most of Hugh's immediate family was in town and able to gather to celebrate his life and to share each other's company: Karen and Dave; Matt, Libbie, and Ella; Amy; Susan; Margie and Eli; Irene and Tom; and Helen. Though we mourn his passing, we were happy to spend time together and were grateful that Hugh waited for his loved ones to say goodbye.