Norman Bugg of the famous ‘Bugg Lights’ dies at age 90

New Mexico

The man whose elaborate holiday idea has captivated New Mexicans for decades has died.

Norman Bugg who started the famous “Bugg Lights” passed away early Sunday at the age of 90.

Bugg was a retired Lieutenant Commander of the United States Navy.

After settling down in Albuquerque after his military career, Bugg and his wife Joyce became legends across Albuquerque for their unconventional and innovative holiday light display.

“It’s almost embarrassing because we’re not celebrities, we’re just an old couple that’s tried to have happy memories and happy Christmas for everyone,” the couple said in a 2008 interview. 

For more than 30 years they put on a free, over the top Christmas-time display at their home in the Northeast Heights.

The lights later moved to Menaul School after the display attracted too many people to their small Northeast Heights neighborhood, and now the display calls the Belen Harvey House Museum home.

“Last year, they had the ‘A Bug’s Life,’ the year before they had ‘Frozen’ — a bunch of Disney characters,” recalled Belen resident Cynthia Madrid.

With more than 200,000 lights at the Bugg Lights, it’s become a tradition for many New Mexico families look forward to. One that will live on as a forever gift from Norman Bugg.

“Thank you. Thank you to him and thank you to his family,” said Bomi Gabbard, who lives in Belen. 

Public services for Bugg will be held on October 20, beginning with a viewing at 9:30 a.m. and a funeral ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints near I-40 and San Pedro.

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