Cover photo for Dr. J.B. Duke McHugh's Obituary
Dr. J.B. Duke McHugh Profile Photo

Dr. J.B. Duke McHugh

November 13, 1951 — December 15, 2022

Monroe

Dr. J.B. Duke McHugh

 

Johnny Bruce Duke McHugh passed into eternal life on December 15, 2022. His visitation will be held Sunday December 18, 2022, from 1230PM until 2:00PM at Mulhearn Funeral Home Sterlington Rd. Monroe and memorial service will follow at 2:00PM in the chapel with Rev. Tom Lowe officiating. Reception to follow at Aubrey Hall, 130 Art Alley Monroe, LA 71201, 3:30-5:30PM. Please come celebrate Duke’s life by sharing stories with friends and family.

Duke McHugh was born on November 13, 1951, to his loving parents, Louis Robert McHugh and Elizabeth Ruth Benoit McHugh.

Duke spent his childhood growing up in Orange, Texas. He attended Stark High School where upon graduation received a full baseball scholarship to attend Rice University. Duke declined the offer to play ball to pursue a career in medicine at the University of Texas-Galveston. Duke was never accused of being a “star student” until he entered UT@G School of Medicine. There, having discovered his passion, his M.D. Ph.D. in Cardio Physiology came easy to him.

Duke believed medicine was a calling over his life and used that calling to be the hands and feet of Christ while on this earth. Many have fondly recounted the impact Duke made on their life, believing God used Duke as a vessel for their personal healing.

Duke was known as the type physician that sometimes went against the grain of an ordinary practice. He would regularly push the envelope beyond the traditional by investing his time, knowledge, and heart to offer hope filled solutions to his patients, many of whom he considered family. And if Duke couldn’t find the answer, he found someone that could.  

April of 1992, while beginning his practice at Glenwood Regional Hospital, Duke spotted a young pharmacy student as she was preparing to clock out on the last day of her rotation. Little did either of them know then, that may have been the last day of her rotations, but just the beginning of a beautiful love story. Annoyingly, Duke first got Leisha Nielsen to notice him by tossing pens, paper, gum-anything he could find to get her attention. Repeated days of being unsuccessful led Duke to up the ante by charming the hospital secretary into giving him Leisha’s unlisted phone number. His first call to Leisha led to a first date that changed everything. Three years after that fated first date, Duke proposed to Leisha on an airplane headed to Copper Mountain, and in typical fashion, he didn’t propose with just one engagement ring, but with a ring for each hand. Thirty years later, Duke could always be found pursuing the heart of his wife Leisha, the love of his life and the one he affectionately called “Mama.”

Duke and Leisha had two amazing children, Abby and Will, who were the wellspring of his heart. One never had a conversation with Duke when he did not mention his wife or children with an obvious twinkle in his eye. Their home operated in respect and support of Duke’s calling, where the willingly and lovingly shared their husband and father with the world.

Duke McHugh lived a wonderful and beautiful life. If he wasn’t at the hospital, you could find him on a golf course or some dinner party celebrating with a good glass of wine. His gratitude and devoutness for his family, patients, friends, and community were felt by all that had the honor of knowing him. Everywhere Duke traveled, he left the lasting impression of having been touched by the grace of human kindness. He freely shared his gifts of knowledge, success, and corny jokes with all he came in contact with. Duke didn’t have to know you to care about you. He just freely poured out all that he authentically was, with the joy of generous and tender helpings, which was his understood love language. Duke’s only motivation was to ensure someone’s life became better by having encountered him. Nothing made Duke happier than knowing he played a small role in insuring others felt seen, heard, and genuinely cared for.

Duke, Leisha, and their family have spent the last four grueling years on a rollercoaster ride of obscurity, but they remained a steadfast and solid team. The time of his illness was wrought with heartbreak, love, conversation, and understanding where many solemn and sacred promises were made. Duke knew who his savior was and was full of thanksgiving for the blessings God bestowed over his life. One of the last comments he made to Leisha was “I cannot imagine having a more perfect life with a more perfect family.”

Dr. Duke McHugh has an unforgettable spirit, and his memory will be cherished until we see him again in eternity. The beautiful afterglow he continues to emit will forever offer a brilliant stream of light, love, and unbridled joy. Well done Duke, well done.

Duke was preceded in death by his father, Louis Robert McHugh; mother, Elizabeth Ruth Benoit McHugh; and sister, Tina Marie Edergton.

Leisha would like to express her sincere thanks for the care and love shown to Duke in the last four years; Glenwood Hospital, LSU Shreveport, St. Francis Rehab Unit, Melanie Massey Physical Therapy, her sister Karin Ryan and Ruston Regional Rehab, West Monroe Guest House, Donna and Scott Ashbrook with West Monroe Guest House, Tyler Texas Rehab, Tier Rehab, Ascent Hospice, her best friend Erin Taylor, multiple sisters and all the friends and family who were always there to help however they could.

 Online registry/condolences: www.mulhearnfuneralhome.com

Mulhearn Funeral Home

Monroe, Louisiana

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Past Services

Visitation

Sunday, December 18, 2022

12:30 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

Mulhearn Funeral Home - Monroe

2308 Sterlington Road, Monroe, LA 71203

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Mulhearn Funeral Home - Monroe

2308 Sterlington Road, Monroe, LA 71203

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Gathering

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

3:30 - 5:30 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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