Henry Joseph McHugh “Harry”

Henry J. “Harry” McHugh, 80, of Exton, PA, passed away peacefully at home on March 5, 2024, surrounded by his family, after a life well lived.

Born in Tuam, County Galway, Ireland, Harry was the seventh of fifteen children born to Hubert and Sarah (nee Costello) McHugh. A gifted student, Harry attended the Christian Brothers School in Tuam, and then boarded at a junior seminary in Ballinafad. At 17, he emigrated to New York City and immediately enlisted in the United States Army. Harry studied at The City College of New York and The State University of New York at Purchase, while working many jobs. He excelled in computer science and worked on the satellite system supporting the NASA Apollo 11 Mission to the Moon.

Harry met Margaret “Mag” McEnery in New York in 1967, and the two were married in 1969. They moved to Pennsylvania when Harry was hired to direct the information technology department at The Franklin Mint. He was then recruited by Richard Wood to direct the information technology department at Wawa, Inc., as the company started a fledgling convenience store business. Harry completed his undergraduate degree at The Wharton School and went on to graduate with the third class of the Wharton Executive MBA Program. Harry was promoted to Director of Finance, and then Vice President and Director of Real Estate, where he oversaw the rapid expansion of Wawa throughout its Mid-Atlantic footprint. Harry looked for Wawa sites everywhere he went, and even piloted Cessna airplanes to cover more ground. He was promoted to Senior Vice President of Operations, which brought out his greatest passion and skill-developing people. Harry saw the good in all people, and his genuine enthusiasm spread throughout the culture at Wawa. He insisted that his colleagues continue their education, while championing partnerships with Saint Joseph’s University, Neumann University and Immaculata University.

Harry was a community leader, and served two terms as the Board Chair of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Red Cross. He also served on the Boards for Saint Joseph’s University, Immaculata University, the Irish American Business Chamber & Network and the Avalon Yacht Club. He served as the Varsity Boys Soccer Head Coach of Saints Philip and James Catholic Church for 13 years, leading the team to many regional championships, as well as two Archdiocese of Philadelphia second place finishes and one Archdiocese of Philadelphia Championship. He toured Ireland, England and Canada with his teams.

Harry’s greatest legacy will be his joie de vivre. He embodied love, warmth, charm and decency. He had a magical quality with people, and when he entered a crowd, all could see how they loved him back. Harry’s impact was vast and enduring.

In addition to his loving wife Mag, Harry will be deeply missed by his son, Peter, son, Fintan and daughter-in-law, Julie (nee Dillon); granddaughter, Nuala; grandsons, Ronan and Rory; brothers, Peter (RIP), Padraic (RIP), Thomas (RIP), Hugo, Sean, Gerry and Donal (RIP); sisters, Marie, Marguerite, Catherine, Dolores, Pauline and Deirdre; brothers-in-law; sisters-in-law; nieces, nephews, relatives and many friends.

Rest in peace Harry, you earned and deserve every moment.

A visitation will be held on Thursday, March 14, 2024, from 9:30-10:45 AM at James J. Terry Funeral Home, 736 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, PA 19335. A memorial service will be held at 11 AM at the funeral home.

The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Southeastern Pennsylvania Region of the American Red Cross.

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