*Editor's note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly spelled the last name of Lamar Agard. This article has been updated to reflect the correct spelling.
Alex Hogue was a "very caring" man who was in tune with his community and supportive of education, said Lamar Agard*, vice president of the Maplewood Richmond Heights Board of Education said this week.
"He's going to be sorely missed by the community," Lamar Agard* said.
Alex died unexpectedly Sunday at his home. He had been scheduled to be sworn in as a board member in April.
Agard* got to know Alex through his involvement with the district, including Alex's service on the African American Advisory Council of the Maplewood Richmond Heights School District. He was "trying to make sure the kids were getting the best education they could," Agard* said.
Alex wasn't one to shy away from opportunities to help.
"He would volunteer and be willing to get involved," Agard* said.
Alex served for nearly 19 years as a firefighter with the St. Louis Fire Department.
His Facebook page states that he had retired with the fire department. He had also worked for Coca-Cola Co., General Motors Co. and UPS Inc.
"I devote a lot of my time to my children," the page reads in part. He was a 1978 graduate of Christian Brothers College High School and a former University of Missouri student who was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi-Delta Omega.
Dorothy Howell lived near Alex and said he will be greatly missed.
"He kind of looked out for all of us," Howell said. Only recently, he had called to alert her to the fact that a person he didn't recognize was walking toward her house. He wanted to make sure it wasn't someone who didn't belong in the neighborhood.
The husband and father of four felt "serious ownership" of the Hadley Township neighborhood in which he had lived all his life, Howell said. He was among property owners who wanted to stay in the area despite conversation between the city of Richmond Heights and developers over possible buyouts. He attended numerous City Council meetings at which development issues were discussed.
Alex served in numerous leadership capacities throughout the community.
"We could count on him to take care of business," Howell said.
Last year, Howell was among those who helped Alex prepare their garden. They cleaned out the area and planted, including tomatoes and lettuce.
"I can say nothing but good about him," Howell said.
On Saturday, Alex let Howell borrow one of his jazz CDs. She had intended to return it on Sunday but never had the chance.
Howell said she felt a connection to Alex in part because he acted a lot like her daughter, who lives in Chicago. Having him around made her feel closer to her daughter, she said, and Alex had told Howell that she was like his mother.
"'You have the fire like my mom,'" she said she recalled him saying.
Carmen Pace-McFerren said Alex was always helping someone out. He gave older residents rides to places they needed to visit and brought breakfast to people at home.
When he wasn't helping, he was organizing: He helped hold tailgates before MRH football games.
"He always brought people together," Pace-McFerren said.
Alex and another neighbor, Reggie Finney, had served as "great spokespeople for a lot of the residents" during discussions about Hadley Township, she said. Alex did a lot of the legwork, communicating with developers to clarify issues related to the future of the area.
Alex "had a huge, great heart," Pace-McFerren said.
Dan Williams said Alex was a respectful family man. Williams served as a volunteer assistant at Brentwood High School, coaching Alex's son Charles in football and basketball during his time there.
Williams remembers that when Alex's children began attending school in the Maplewood Richmond Heights district, Alex always greeted him despite the sometimes heated rivalry between the schools.
"It was just kind of a neat deal that the man would go out of his way to say hi to me," Williams said.
Alex also served as an adviser to the board of St. Louis Jr. Blue Devils, a group of area volunteers that works to provide youth with instruction in tackle football. He worked behind the scenes, providing advice on issues such as getting funding for the program, said Lee Kee Robinson Sr., the president of that group.
"He basically bent over backward, whatever we needed," Robinson said. He described Alex as a good man who kept his word and worked to keep kids out of trouble.
"He was a happy person," Robinson said.
|VISITATION||3 to 8 p.m. Friday at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 1444 S. Compton Ave. in South St. Louis*|
|FUNERAL||10 a.m. Saturday at the church|
*Editor's note: Reggie Finney provided details about the visitation and funeral for Alex.