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1941 Gene Hough 2024

Gene Hough

February 21, 1941 — May 13, 2024

Girard, PA

Gene Hough, age 83, of Girard Pennsylvania, a dedicated educator and family man, entered eternal rest on May 13, 2024.

He was born on February 21, 1941, in Kittanning Pennsylvania., the son of the late Edwin and Genevieve (McCartan) Hough. He was a long-time member of St. John’s Roman Catholic Church in Girard, Pennsylvania and Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church in Fairview, Pennsylvania.

Gene graduated from Clarion University in 1963 with a Bachelor of Science degree in History education. He taught history at Ford City High School where he instilled a passion for learning in his students. His engaging lessons and genuine care for his student’s success left a lasting impact. Through his love of education, he pursued multiple Master of Science degrees in guidance counseling as well as school administration from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Duquesne University and Michigan State. 

In 1975 he moved with his family to Girard Pennsylvania and worked as an administrator at Girard School district until his retirement in 1992 marking the end of an era. Gene’s legacy lives on through the lives he touched. First, he was vice principal at Girard High School. Next, he was principal at Elk Valley Elementary. Finally, his most notable role, for many years was principal at Rice Avenue Middle School where he continued to shape young minds.

Gene touched the lives of students during his 30-year career in the Pennsylvania school system. Through his years as an educator, it was in the quiet moments spent with the special needs classes and students that Gene found true fulfillment. These classroom visits were more than just part of his duties; they were a source of inspiration and joy. The resilience and unique perspective of these students invigorated him during day-to-day activities and provided a beacon of light during darker events.

Beyond his professional accomplishments, Gene was an avid angler who found solace and joy in steelhead trout fishing. His love for the sport was so profound that he chose to relocate to Girard, Pennsylvania to be closer to some of his favorite fishing areas where he became an active volunteer with 3CU. The tranquil waters and thrill of the catch were his sanctuary. 

In 2005, his passion paid off when he won first place in the PA/3CU Steelhead Fishing Contest. His trophy became a cherished memento, symbolizing not only his skill but also the memories he created with his family and friends during fishing expeditions. 

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother-in-law, Ronald Smetanick and his sister-in-law, Ann Hough.

Gene will be remembered for his dedication to education and his commitment to his family and his faith in Jesus. Gene is survived by his loving wife Sally (Heider) of 58 years. His three beloved children Kirk (Maureen Ruffing) Hough of Youngstown, Ohio. Michael (Heather Rohan) Hough of Las Vegas Nevada. Heather Hough (Shannon) Clouse of Erie, Pennsylvania. Gene’s pride and joy were his three grandchildren, Nicholas, Matthew, and Katie, he loved talking with them and traveling to watch their sporting events. Gene is also survived by his siblings, Robert Hough (Red Lion, PA) Corinne Smetanick (Gettysburg, PA) William Hough and his wife Meg Hough (Altoona, PA) and James Hough and his wife Sharon Hough (Altoona, PA) as well as many nieces and nephews. Gene genuinely loved sharing memories at family reunions.

Friends may call at Burton Funeral Home, 525 Main Street East, Girard on Friday from 4:00 – 6:00pm and attend a service at Holy Cross Church,7100 West Ridge Road, Fairview, on Saturday at 10:00am.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to SONS of Lake Erie, PO BOX 3605, Erie, PA 16508.

Condolences may be sent at


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Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, May 17, 2024

4:00 - 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

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