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Dr. Pete Shugart


Dr. Cecil G. “Pete” Shugart, 82, a Panama City Beach resident, passed away Thursday, November 8, 2012, at Chester Sims V.A. Nursing Home after a lengthy illness.  He was born on October 13, 1930, to parents, Clarence Clifford Shugart and Ethel Venable Shugart of Ennis, TX.  He had enjoyed living a full life with his beloved wife, Anita, who survives him.

Pete served stateside in the United States Air Force during the Korean War attaining the highest rank technical sergeant.  He attended Navarro Junior College (Phi Theta Kappa honor society), University of North Texas (Denton), and the University of Texas where he received a Master of Arts and a Doctor of Philosophy in 1968.  He taught at Foothills College in Los Altos Hills, CA, Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, TX, State University of New York at Stony Brook, University of Louisiana at Monroe, and the University of Memphis.  During his career, he became Physics Department Chairman at both the University of Louisiana at Monroe and at the University of Memphis.

In 1969, he was the national Director of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) and then became the 1st Executive Secretary and Director of Sigma Pi Sigma, an organization which recognizes superior scholarship in physics, encourages and stimulates members in their scientific work.  After one year of existence within SPS, Sigma Pi Sigma had installed 35 new chapters and reactivated many more.  Most of this activity was due to Pete’s visits to over 100 campuses in his first year on the job.  Pete resigned after two years to return to academia full-time, but his guidance at the beginning got Sigma Pi Sigma on a firm organizational footing.  Dr. Shugart continued his association as a chapter adviser and was Sigma Pi Sigma President from 1972 to 1976.  In 1981 he received the Distinguished Teaching Award at the University of Memphis and in 1984 received the Distinguished Service Citation from the American Association of Physics Teachers.

Pete was responsible for the founding of Saturday Scholars for school children of all ages. He also founded the Adult Student Association of Memphis State University. Pete retired in 1997 as the Chairman of the Physics Department, which is now at the University of Memphis. He was an active member of the National Physics Society.

Pete was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Cliff; and his sister, Edna Earl. He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Anita; two sons, Peter Gregory Shugart of Round Rock, TX and David Shugart of Austin Texas, and their mother, Theresa; step-daughter, Lisa Zweig; daughter-in-law, Allison Shugart; his sister, Crystal M. Shugart of Tamarac, FL; five grandchildren including two grandsons, Cameron Shugart and Cooper Shugart of Austin, TX.

Funeral services will take place on Tuesday, November 13, 2012, at 11 a.m. at Kent Forest Lawn Chapel, with Pastor Buford Senn officiating. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at Kent Forest Lawn Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Physics Department at the University of Texas, Austin Campus.

Expressions of sympathy may be viewed or submitted on line at

Kent Forest Lawn Funeral Home, 2403 Harrison Ave., Panama City, FL 32405; (850) 763-4694


Dr. Pete Shugart

Dr. Cecil G. “Pete” Shugart


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Last Updated: 12/18/12