Walter James Hogan ’54

Walter James Hogan, 89, passed away on October 30, 2021, following a period of declining health. Everyone called him “Jim”. He was born December 12, 1931 to his late parents, James Claywell Hogan and Joyce Lenoir Hogan. He was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Marie Bach Hogan. He is survived by his sons, James and his wife, Janis, and John and his wife, Margaret. He is survived by four grandchildren, Clay, Parker, Paul, and Cameron. Jim was expecting his first great-grandchild in December.

From birth, Jim lived at the house in Lenoir built by his father in the 1920s. From 1945, he attended McCallie Military Academy in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He graduated from Davidson College in 1952, majoring in physics. While he was at McCallie, he and some friends formed a bluegrass band, and called themselves The Cripple Creek Boys, which became later, The Dismembered Tennesseans. Most of the band’s members also attended Davidson, and the band continued. Although Jim did not continue with the band after college, some of the band members did. Jim’s love of bluegrass music continued throughout his life.

After Davidson, and during the Korean War, Jim joined the Army and was stationed stateside for two years. He served as a radio operator and was learning cryptography when the Korean War ended. After the army, Jim worked at the National Security Agency in Washington, D.C. for a few months. In July of 1954, Jim’s father, James Claywell Hogan, passed away, and Jim moved back to Lenoir to run the family businesses that his father had started, which included Hickory Fibre Company, Appalachian Poster Advertising Company, and Joyceton Water Works.

Jim loved working. He was a licensed electrician and he worked hard. Although he was not trained as a businessman, he treated others as he wanted to be treated. He oversaw the growth of Appalachian Poster, which became Appalachian Outdoor Advertising Co., Inc., a billboard company in western North Carolina. In its heyday, Appalachian Outdoor employed more than 45 employees. He operated Joyceton Water Works, which was a water utility that provided water to numerous residential customers and some industrial customers in the Joyceton area.

In the late 1950s, Jim met his wife, Marie Bach, from Roanoke, Virginia. They were married on June 13, 1959, and lived in the same house throughout their 53 years of marriage. Jim valued his family, more than anything. His marriage was very important to him. He was the model husband to Marie; and although he was fully capable of being stubborn, he subscribed to the words of the bluegrass song “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t NOBODY happy!”. He was not a cook, and he contributed to family dinners by being the chief bottle washer.

He supported all of his family, whether it was going to his grandkids’ sporting or dance events, working on house renovations, or helping at family dinners. He always found ways to show how he valued his family, and he especially enjoyed his grandkids. He was often found at his grandson’s soccer and tennis matches, he enjoyed hearing about Parker’s travel adventures, and he enjoyed meals that Cameron cooked. During the shadow of the pandemic, Jim attended both of his grandsons’ weddings. He was delighted to welcome his new grand-daughters-in-law into the family, Paul’s wife, Yvonne, and Clay’s wife, Erin. He had a special place in his heart for his nephews, nieces, and cousins from Marie’s family. Marie’s cousin, Carrie Chittum, was like a sister to Jim, and she called to check on him every single day, whether he needed it or not.

Jim valued his heritage and history. He was a descendent of General William Lenoir from Fort Defiance in Happy Valley. From the late 1980s, Jim became heavily involved in Patterson School, and participated actively in the creation of Patterson School Foundation until his last illness. He served on the Patterson School Foundation Board for many years, and enjoyed assisting the foundation in maintaining and repairing the buildings on campus. Following the sale of Appalachian Outdoor in 2001, he focused much of his time, talent, and treasure on non-profit organizations in which that he held an interest. He was a founding member of Hogan Family Foundation, Inc. which was established to benefit Caldwell County residents by donations to local non-profits, filling in-part, the economic void left by the sale of Appalachian Outdoor to an out of state company.

Jim also valued his church, and actively participated as a member. For the first 60 years of his life, Jim was a member at St. James Episcopal Church in Lenoir, where he served on the Vestry and as Junior Warden. He was a member of the choir for many years. In the mid-1990s, Jim and Marie changed their church membership to First Presbyterian Church in Lenoir. Jim returned to services at St. James Church often, and enjoyed services involving other family members, especially his grandsons.

During his final illness, Jim was blessed by the loving and constant care he received from his daughter-in-law, Janis, and from Hospice of Hudson.

The graveside burial service will be for the family only. Pallbearers will be Clay Hogan, Paul Hogan, Russell Bach, Jr., Marcus Bach, Ernest Greene, and Jay Richards.

To celebrate the traditions from both the Presbyterian and Episcopal churches, a public memorial service will be held at the Lenoir Presbyterian Church at 2:00 pm on Saturday, November 6, 2021. The Reverend Susan Buchanan will officiate leading the service from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer. Reverend Rob Hinman will give the Sermon.

The family will receive friends immediately following the memorial service in the “Jim Hogan Room” at St. James Episcopal Church at 806 College Avenue in Lenoir.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial gifts be given to Patterson School Foundation, at P.O. Box 500, Patterson, NC 28661, Lenoir Presbyterian Church, at 1002 Kirkwood St., Lenoir, or St. James Episcopal Church, at 806 College Ave., Lenoir.