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USS Bluegill (SS-242) WW2
Hugh Story

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Hugh Story

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In honor and loving memory of
Hugh Story, 1920-2006.

Officers After Third PatrolHugh Story at 2005 Bluegill Reunion

Hugh Story after 3rd War Patrol (1944), courtesy of Hugh Story; and at the 2003 Bluegill reunion, courtesy of Karyn Killmaster.

Cmdr. Hugh Story; Point Loma ‘patriarch’

By Jack Williams,
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Wednesday, August 23, 2006

    Hugh Story's community activism was as obvious as the Point Loma landscape.
    You could see it in the nautically themed Point Loma Library, with its working periscope; in a historic rose garden at the former Naval Training Center; in hundreds of trees and flowers he helped plant; and in an exhibit the submarine base.
    "Hugh was our patriarch," said Jodie Bruhn, who joined Cmdr. Story on the Mean Green Team, a beautification branch of the Point Loma Association. "We are going to be at a loss without him."
    Cmdr. Story, a Navy veteran of World War II who dedicated himse1f to community service after settling in Point Loma 24 years ago, died Thursday [17 August 2006] at his home. He was 85.
    The cause of death was a rare form of cancer diagnosed in May, said his wife, Marilyn.
    "Hugh was more dedicated to Point Loma than any individual I know," said Dick Lareau, a former Point Loma Association president. “He was a legend, really, an innovator and a genius in accomplishing what he wanted done."
    Each Friday, Cmdr. Story would 1ead a group of about a dozen Mean Green Team members on beautification projects involving everything from pulling weeds to planting trees and flowers.
    For the more physically demanding jobs, he enlisted what he called a Teen Green unit of students or Navy personnel. Boy Scouts also volunteered.
    "Once, he got about 20 prisoners from a work camp to help,” Lareau said.
    Fit and wiry from regular workouts, Cmdr. Story pitched in whenever possible.
    "He had extremely high expectations but always did as much, maybe even a little more, than everyone," Bruhn said. "He knew all the city and state laws so that we were always in code compliance, and he was unfailingly kind to everybody.”
    Arbor Day 1999 was declared Hugh Story Day throughout San Diego County by the county Board of Supervisors. In 2000, he received the Ageless Hero Award from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
    Many of the trees Cmdr. Story helped plant were around Nimitz and West Point Loma boulevards. "It used to be covered by blacktop triangles," his wife said. “They broke up the blacktop to put in the trees."
    Cmdr. Story formerly served as president of both the Point Loma Association and the Friends of the Point Loma Branch of the San Diego Library.
    Built three years ago, the new branch library on Voltaire Street includes a periscope that Cmdr. Story arranged through his naval connections to have shipped from the East Coast.
    He also spearheaded the preservation of a rose garden at the training center that was in jeopardy of being removed when the property changed hands. “Through his efforts, volunteers and the city on a plan to preserve the collection of heritage roses:” said Robin Boylan, a son-in-law.
    Cmdr. Story, a submariner during World War II, contributed memorabilia to the San Diego submarine base at Ballast Point and served as artifacts I chairman of the San Diego chapter of the U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II.
    In 2000, he helped organize an exhibit at the San Diego Maritime Museum celebrating the l00th anniversary of the U.S. submari11e force.
    “Hugh was the guy we went to with any questions involving submarines:” said Ray Ashley, executive director of the Maritime Museum, where Cmdr. Story was a docent.
    Hugh Goodman Story Sr. was born Dec. 23. 1920, in Clarksville, MO. One month after the attack on Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the Navy.
    He earned a bachelors degree in engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology while in the Navy and was commissioned as an ensign in June 1943.
    Assigned to the submarine Bluegill upon its commissioning, he took part in five or six patrols in the Pacific, which resulted in the sinking of 15 enemy ships.
    He received a Bronze Star with a combat V and transferred to reserve status after the war.
    Applying his engineering ski1ls in private industry, Cmdr. Story devoted more than three decades to building and managing oil refineries overseas.
    Survivors include his wife, Marilyn; daughters, Susan Story and Charlotte Story of Swoope, Va., Magita Story of Santa Fe, N.M., and Kim Waters of Houston; son, Hugh Story Jr. of Suffolk, Va.; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
    A memorial service is scheduled for 4 p.m. tomorrow at the Point Loma Branch of the San Diego Public library, 3701 Voltaire St., San Diego.

Jack Williams: (619) 542-4587;
[Contributed to the USS Bluegill Web Site by his shipmate, Read Gwyer.]

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  Page Last Updated 08/26/2007