Robert Lon Shugart, born February 14, 1939, passed away on August 1, 2014 surrounded by his family. Bob moved to Ukiah in 1968 with his wife Diane and infant daughter Kendall when he purchased the Mendocino Animal Hospital. Soon after their arrival in Ukiah their son Jason was born. Their family was briefly rounded out by a foster daughter, Vikki. He quickly became well known by many in the animal community for his compassionate care of their creatures. He eventually sold Mendocino Animal Hospital and founded Ackerman Creek Clinic, a practice solely for large animals and the first such in Mendocino County. He probably knew every horse, cow, pig and elephant from Covelo to Jenner. Later in life he was the County Veterinarian for Mendocino County. In this roll he was able to help many more of the animals in our community. He was a devoted proponent of spaying and neutering and he and Diane along with many volunteers traveled to remote areas of our community to spay and neuter animals. Bob was also committed to education. He served on the Mendocino County Board of Education from 1971-1988 and then again from 1991-2011. Bob and Diane both became active in local politics and were passionate about preserving this community for generations to come. Beginning with the anti-war movement of the '60's to actively participating in many campaigns here in Mendocino County as well as State and National campaigns, their influence was profound. As if he wasn't busy enough, Bob also took time to build (literally with his own hands) an amazing home for his family. He and Diane raised their family there among milk cows, horses, sheep, chickens, pigs, cats and dogs surrounded by wilderness and wild animals. But he didn't stop there: He and Diane proceeded to build two more houses on their land so that his daughter and son-in-law could spend the last year of his life by his side and continue to comfort Diane into the future while keeping the family legacy alive. His imagination and ingenuity will be with his family forever in everything he created. Bob was an avid traveler and along with his family explored a great deal of our planet. Much of his travel was also combined with humanitarian efforts when he and Diane joined the Peace Corps in Honduras, went to Ecuador on a program with the University in Quito and then back to Honduras with Habitat for Humanity. He loved seeing new places, learning about their histories and wildlife and meeting new people all over the world. Bob is predeceased by his mother, father, two sisters and foster daughter. He is survived by his wife Diane, daughter Kendall, son Jason, grandchildren Claire and Henry, daughter-in-law Bethany and son-in-law Brendan. His family will host a celebration of his life on Saturday, September 27th from 2-5pm at their home. Everyone who loved him is invited to share stories and memories of this wonderful life.
(courtesy Ukiah Daily Journal)