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Alex Hogue Remembered As a Kind Caretaker Loyal to Family and Community

The incoming Maplewood Richmond Heights Board of Education member died unexpectedly Sunday at his home.

*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 at his home. He had been scheduled to be 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 . 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 .

"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 , 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 , 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.

PROFSEARS March 18, 2011 at 03:47 AM
Alex had the heart of Champion and the compassion of a Spiritual Leader... My Collegian best friend and we worked together on many & all fraternal events to bring good spirits to our collegiate community! Thanks for the spiritual socialization Alex... "Gone Too Soon"!!!!
K Hadley March 18, 2011 at 10:40 PM
Alex was a true friend. I met him when I was 14 and he was 15. He was always there for me and my husband. He will be missed, but Alex lived life as it should be lived. Rest in peace my friend. You did good!
Nate Malone March 29, 2011 at 06:31 PM
Alex was a special person. As a former MRH BOE director, I had urged Alex file numerous times, this year he did. He came by my home the night the filing closed, there had only been filings for the open seats and there would be no election, he wanted me to be the first to know he was going to serve on the MRH school board. He was so excited, and his excitement caused me to be excited, not only for him but also our children and community. We talked about many things that night, and I will always remember the glow of pride on his face. He was ready to give all, and strangely he thanked me? For what I asked, he said "for having the confidence in him, and caring for this community". But, I felt it was I who should have been thanking him. Unfortunately, the MRH BOE will not get a chance to experience the warmth, compassion, energy, and commitment he was so eagerly looking forward to share and give. Alex, my brother you now rest in Gods' grace and peace.
Cary Campanella March 09, 2012 at 04:48 AM
i remember him from tailgating and the football games. one time we took 2 charter busses out of town. if i remember correctly he brought his cooler of beverages. he just always seemed so happy and full of life. i will miss seeing him around.
Doug Miner March 09, 2012 at 01:32 PM
I met Alex the night I took that picture of him and the Tailgate Committee. What a happy, friendly group. Alex's warm smile is still with me. I'm so grateful I met him that night.

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