Hugh Willoughby

June 29, 1931 ~ April 10, 2023 (age 91) 91 Years Old

Hugh Willoughby Obituary

Hugh Willoughby, 91, of Arnold Street, Riverside, a retired teacher and guidance counselor, died April 10, 2023 at HopeHealth Hulitar Hospice Center.

Born in Worcester, MA, the son of the late Raymond Royce Willoughby and the late Miranda Goodrie Willoughby, Mr. Willoughby was for many years on the faculty of East Providence High School, serving in both the English and the Guidance departments. Between his two periods of employment in East Providence, he was a member of the Rhode Island State Department of Education, employed as their Coordinator of Vocational Guidance for the state. Later, he was on the staff of the Counseling Center of the University of Rhode Island, at first as a Counselor and later as the Director of that Center, before returning to the faculty of East Providence High School as a guidance counselor. A former winner of a National Merit Scholarship, he graduated with honors from Brown University in 1953. He received his Master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling from Rhode Island College.

Mr. Willoughby served in the United States Army during the Korean Conflict. For many years he was active in several local and national environmental organizations, including periods as a member of the Board of Directors of the Audubon Society of Rhode Island and that of the American Birding Association. A well-known birder, he was a Leader on the Audubon Society’s autumn weekends on Block Island for 37 years. He was also Senior Technical Reviewer for the publications of the American Birding Association for 35 years, as well as working as a free-lance editor, running his own business from 1958, for 40 years. He once mentioned that he had copy-edited at least one major book and six magazine issues every year for each of those 40 years. In addition, he edited and published four genealogical works written by his late mother, based on research done many years earlier by his late father. These books won the award of the American Society of Genealogists for being the best genealogical publications in America during the 1970s. Other awards included being named the 2003 Rhode Island Distinguished Naturalist by the Rhode Island Natural History Survey, Outstanding Naturalist by the Audubon Society of Rhode Island, and recipient of the Claudia Wilds Award of the American Birding Association for his long and distinguished service to that organization.

Mr. Willoughby was also known as a successful coach of amateur basketball, having won three state championships in the DeMolay League and one in the Adult Men’s Church League. He was also active in music as both a performer and a teacher, having played first bassoon in various bands and orchestras, including the All-New England Orchestra.

Mr. Willoughby was the brother of Anne W. DiMase of Warwick, RI, the late Joan W. Sharpe of San Jose, CA, and the late Alan Willoughby of East Greenwich, RI. He also leaves eight nephews and nieces, as well as 17 grand-nephews and grand-nieces.

Cremation and interment will be at Swan Point Cemetery, Providence. At Hugh’s request, “No wake, no service, no flowers, no kidding!”

Friends and family are invited to celebrate Hugh’s life with a walk at the Audubon Nature Center and Aquarium in Bristol on Sunday, April 23, 2023 anytime from 11 a.m. to noon. Rain date is Saturday, April 29, 2023 from 11 a.m. to noon.

Friends and family have shared their relationship to show their support.
How do you know Hugh Willoughby?
We are sorry for your loss.
Help others honor Hugh's memory.


A service summary is not available

© 2023 Smith-Mason Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility