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October 23, 2012

Salem soldier remembered as gifted, funny

(Continued)

Delahanty said he probably best remembers Hogan for his self-confidence and love for former cross-country coach Robert Rhoades, who died in March 2006.

“He was an unassuming young man,” Delahanty said. “He had a very strong, independent mind.”

Delahanty said he last spoke to Hogan, who captained the Blue Devils cross-country team, at the time of Rhoades’ death.

That was shortly before Hogan graduated from VMI as a Rhodes and Marshal Scholar finalist and his class’s valedictorian.

Hogan, a mechanical engineering major, would share the stage with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as he gave his valedictory speech in May 2006.

He placed seventh out of 3,600 in an Army ROTC competition, and won an award for the best thesis in science and engineering. Hogan was also captain of VMI’s cross-country and track teams.

Salem High teacher and assistant track coach Ben Adams said he was shocked when he heard the news yesterday of Hogan’s death.

“I was stunned,” he said. “It’s been on my mind all day.”

Adams remembered Hogan as a fun-loving, but serious student enrolled in Advanced Placement classes.

“He was a very, very funny kid,” Adams said. “I can still remember and hear his laugh.”

It was no surprise Hogan went on to become successful, he said.

“He was a real hard worker,” Adams said. “I think that is evident by what he’s done since he left Salem High School.”

Like Delahanty, Adams remembered Hogan and his tight relationship with Rhoades. The two had a special relationship and respect for each other, he said.

Salem Selectmen’s Chairman Patrick Hargreaves said he remembered when Hogan and his son, Christopher, were good friends as children.

“They grew up together,” he said. “He was a stand-up, take-charge kind of guy.”

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