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Hugh served for two years in the Army during the Korean War and was honorably discharged. He returned to Maryland and attended the University of Maryland, where he met his wife-to-be. They married in 1957. The couple settled in Baltimore, where their three children were born.
After earning his bachelor's degree in business and accounting, he held various positions in the accounting field working in both business and government. In 1972, he moved his family to California to accept a position as comptroller for the Sacramento District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a position he held for 37 years until he retired in 1999.
Hugh loved jokes and was always ready with a wisecrack or a humorous response. He enjoyed gardening, playing poker, dancing and fixing things - there was almost nothing he couldn't repair.
Hugh is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Jan, and by his three children and their families: Cindy and Ian MacSween of Los Gatos; Mark and Elke Damesyn of Davis; and Andrea and Tom Claburn of San Francisco. He also is survived by six grandchildren: Sean MacSween, Catherine Claburn, Ryan MacSween, Natalia Claburn, Clarissa Damesyn and Isabel Damesyn. And he is survived by five siblings, Richard Damesyn of Edgewood, Md.; Eleanor Stillwagoner also of Edgewood; Robert Damesyn of Jacksonville, Fla.; Zenona Paska of Baltimore; and Genevieve Seman of Port Charlotte, Fla.
A memorial is planned at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 2, at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, 640 Hawthorn Lane, Davis. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Disabled American Veterans-California Rehabilitation Foundation Inc.
Jan, Cindy, Mark & Andrea, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I have countless good memories of Hugh, and my thoughts are with you all. Love, Cynthia
Cynthia Wallacker Kula May 26 2009 12:00 AM
Dear Jan, Cindy, Andrea and Mark: I was so sorry to hear the news of Hugh's recent passing. My father told Cynthia and me yesterday when we gathered together for Memorial Day brunch. I have many wonderful memories of times spent with our families and of Hugh in the kitchen at Mom's parties, helping out whereever he could. He was a warm and open person and I always enjoyed talking with him. He would ask me questions that led to interesting discussions. It was so clear to me that he loved life, his life, and was incredibly devoted to you all. I am sorry I did not hear about this in time to attend the service as I would have liked to be there. Hugs to you all. Much love, Gretchen
Gretchen M Wallacker May 26 2009 12:00 AM
My sympathy and condolences to the family of Mr. Damesyn. He was a nice big boss at the time when I worked at the US Army Corps of Engineers, Dept of Defense in from 1990 to 1996. He was a well liked man. I am sorry I was not able to attend the funeral. I just found out from a former co-worker last evening. Sen
sendy cay May 2 2009 12:00 AM
I knew him as Mr.D he was my boss for 10 years he was always fair and kind. He will be missed. Vicki
Vicki Marino Apr 30 2009 12:00 AM
Dear Jan and family, My sincere condolences go out to all of you at this time. I always enjoyed working for and with Hugh in our years at the Corps of Engineers. He was always concerned about his employees as well as doing a good job for our district. You are so blessed to have had him with you for so many years and I am sure you have many happy memories of your life together. He used to mention all of you frequently as we shared our everyday activities with each other. He was proud of you and your accomplishments. I remember Hugh and his friendship with my late husband, Bob Kalal, ensuring that the Comptroller Organization functioned well for everyone. We shall all miss him. Adena Kalal
Adena Kalal Apr 30 2009 12:00 AM
Along with Jeff, Hugh gave me my first job in the Corps. I frequently kidded him that, "...I'd get him for that", which always got a laugh out of both of us. It's hard to believe he's gone. Rest easy, Hugh. In Heaven, the cards always come up Aces and See's Candy will never close.
Art Hanley Apr 29 2009 12:00 AM
Warm thoughts always come to mind when I think of Hugh. He always showed a sincere interest in my professional development and personal wellness. I will miss him dearly. Hugh, may you rest in peace.
Melinda Apr 29 2009 12:00 AM
It was always a pleasure working with Hugh. The world has lost a good friend. Our prayers are with you. Phyllis & Ralph Svetich
Ralph & Phyllis Svetich Apr 28 2009 12:00 AM
We knew him as Hugh, Hubert, Hubie, "Mister" Damesyn, Mr. D and other terms of endearment - (along the way someone I'm sure must have called him "Slim", probably in the Army). But I doubt he would have minded. We'd talk to him, probably mostly about ourselves, and he'd listen -and he'd nod, chortle, or grumble in agreement. But his grumbles were just part of his charm. He was perpetually good-natured and full of the off the wall good humor we relished. Did you ever notice how he seldom talked about himself - if he had an ego it couldn't have been very large. He spent more time being concerned about other people, and other things. Lunchtime walks back to the office would detour to See's candy, for the gang at the office. When he felt he could contribute something to a situation he would step up. He wrote letters - who does that anymore??; yet they're surely more effective than e-mails (which he definitely did not embrace). And many a waiter or manager was the beneficiary of wisdom he would impart before leaving their establishment. Hugh was always helpful, dependable, and loyal - we just really liked him. In my case it was instant, and the friendship grew to where I felt like part of the family (& I've got the refrigerator pictures to prove it.). What a great family he has, too - a lot to be proud of in his life. We're very lucky. - Marv Fisher
Marv Fisher Apr 28 2009 12:00 AM
I remember starting with the Corps 21 years ago as a teenager scared to death...Hugh's office was down the hall from me and I would go and talk with him and Joyce (his secretary) they always made me feel at ease...rest in peace Hugh...
Moe Adams Apr 28 2009 12:00 AM