Thomas Wesley “Wes” Hogan, Jr.
Thomas Wesley “Wes” Hogan, Jr. was born August 1, 1932 in San Pedro, California to then Ensign Thomas Wesley and Louise Hogan, Sr. In a mobile military family, Wes and his younger brother Bill moved almost annually throughout their primary and secondary education. Wes was active in sports, scouts, and always made friends easily. Following family tradition, Wes attended the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland and graduated and was commissioned as an Ensign in June 1954. On July 7th of the same year he married Mary Lynn Rivero (daughter of then Captain Horacio and Hazel Hooper Rivero) at the Submarine Base Chapel in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Wes and Lynn continued to move every two and a half years throughout his Navy tours of duty. Wes was a Naval officer onboard submarines and destroyers until 1968. The submarines he served on included the USS Baya, USS Menhaden, USS Springer, USS Spot, USS Parche (served as Officer in Charge) and USS Pomfret (served as Executive Officer). The destroyers he served on included the USS O’Bannon and the USS English, where he served as Executive Officer. A tour in Korea with the United Nations Command was followed by six years in Washington DC in the Advanced Research Projects Agency and as Deputy Director of the Defense Mapping Agency, Hydrographic Center. In 1976 the family moved to Seal Beach, California where Wes served as the Executive Officer of the Naval Weapon Station and then retired from the Navy as a Commander on February 28, 1978. Wes and Lynn moved to Bellevue, Washington in 1980 where Wes was Logistics Manager for Missile Programs at the Boeing Company.
Wes pursued many hobbies throughout his life, including softball, stamp collecting, genealogy and painting. In 1993, Wes retired from the Boeing Company and took a more active interest in genealogy. Like any project that Wes undertook, he dove into the subject and produced volumes of priceless family history. He then decided to take up scrapbooking as an artistic outlet for his genealogy and storytelling. He was the envy of all scrapbookers, producing seven high-quality albums his first year!!! Over the years he also produced several booklets entitled “Hogan’s Heroes,” detailing stories and history from our family heritage. All the while, Wes continued to paint, mostly watercolors, which he displayed at his home, and shared with family in the form of framed art or beautiful note cards displaying his or his mother’s (another prolific artist) paintings and photos of their flower garden (often the subject of his paintings).
In Wes’ spare time he loved to golf. He and his brother Bill were very close and became inseparable golf buddies “chasing the little white ball” whenever the Seattle weather would allow. About 2005, Wes found he was losing his balance while golfing. A work-up of this problem led to a diagnosis of Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) – a deteriorating neurological disease without a known cure. Wes was no stranger to medical problems – but you wouldn’t know it from his attitude about life, and that didn’t change with the MSA. He suffered through many years with MSA with unfathomable grace and patience. He never complained, despite the way in which the disease ravaged his body and stole so many of the things he found joy in. After his MSA diagnosis, he began to focus on writing, poetry and, with the dedicated help of his family, caring for his wife, Lynn, who passed away in October 2008.
As Wes’ condition declined – he lost the ability to walk, use his hands or speak. With the loving assistance of family, caregivers and friends he continued to be productive, playing Scrabble and generating books compiling his and his mother’s art work, his family’s genealogy, the story of the USS Bonefish (a submarine captained by his father), his poetry and a children’s book about his grandson entitled “Balloons.” When asked about his condition he would always respond that he was “Great!” with the accompanying twinkle in his eye as the exclamation point.
Despite his will to live and passion to make the most of his life, he passed away on November 29, 2010. He was never defined by his challenges or limitations, rather how he responded to them. He was inspiring to all who knew him and will be dearly missed.
Wes is survived by his daughter Holly Reed, son Tom Hogan, brother Bill Hogan, grandchildren Jennifer, Lauren and Carson, and great-grandchildren Caelyn and Carter.
A memorial service celebrating Wes’ life will be held Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 2:00pm with a reception following at 3:00pm at the Washington Cathedral (Spirit Falls Sanctuary) at 12300 Woodinville Redmond Road, Redmond, WA 98052-2010. The church’s phone number is (425) 869-5433. Directions and a map can be found at http://bit.ly/dWisAU
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the
Pratt Institute For the Arts at www.pratt.org/connect/donate.html
Somerset Women for Medic 1. The Fire Department’s website is not set up to accept donations; however, donations can be mailed to:
Bellevue Fire Department
Attention: Gale Hill
PO Box 90012
Bellevue, WA 98009-9012