Robert Lee “Bob” Pugh, 96, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, at his home in Crawfordsville.
He was born Jan. 14, 1924, at Crawfordsville. His parents were John Fremont Pugh of Oseola, Missouri, and Jesse May McNeil of Indiana.
Bob enlisted in the United States Army in 1944 and was assigned to the infantry. His unit, in the 103rd Infantry Division, was sent to France and shortly outnumbered. Bob was captured and held as a prisoner at Stalag IIIA in Luekenwalde, Germany, 30 miles south of Berlin. His Prisoner of War status lasted about six months until May of 1945 when he was liberated by the Russian Army. Bob then attended Wabash College majoring in Spanish and also studying French. After college he worked for a season as an insurance salesman for Washington National Insurance Co. He was also an entrepreneur and started a successful window cleaning business.
On Feb. 25, 1955, Bob married Estelle Mae Osborne of Kentucky. They were married for 63 years until her passing. Bob and Estelle raised four children.
Bob was a true patriot and was passionate about educating his community on his experience in the war. He spoke at schools, businesses and many veteran events educating the public. He even wrote a book about his experience titled “True WWII P.O.W. Story.” Bob was a violinist. He and his wife gave back to the community by playing music together at many nursing homes, church events and services.
Bob had many titles including: Private, Surviving POW, husband, father, grandpa and musician but was known by many in the community as “Spike’s Dad” (his beloved Boston Terrier).
Bob is survived by his four children, Linda Watts Reddick (Steve) of Vilonia, Arkansas, Kevin (Donna) Pugh of Madison, Florida, Russell (Tonya) Pugh of Linden and Robert (Cari) Pugh II of Sheridan; grandchildren, Sammy (Lisa) Watts, Lisa (Jason) Farmer, Toni (Mike) Hollister, David Pugh, Phillip (Aree) Pugh, Kevin (Taylor) Pugh, Aaron Pugh, Ryan Pugh, Kayla Pugh, Jordan (Kayla) Pugh and Mary (Ze’ev) Kouznetsov; and several great- and even great-great-grandchildren.
Bob is preceded in death by wife Estelle and brother John F. Pugh Jr.
Due to the pandemic, the family is holding a private graveside service, with military rites provided by American Legion Post 72 Honor Guard and US Army.
Online condolences and memories may be shared at www.huntandson.com.