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Saturday, December 16, 2023
10:00 - 10:30 am (Central time)
Saturday, December 16, 2023
10:30 - 11:30 am (Central time)
Saturday, December 16, 2023
Billy Jack Hogg, born July 20, 1928, passed away peacefully in Shreveport, LA on the morning of December 12, 2023 at the age of 95. He was born in Gilmer, TX to parents Marie Black Hogg and Jack Henry Hogg.
Services will be held at Rose-Neath Southside Chapel at 2500 Southside Dr., Shreveport, LA with a 10:00 a.m. visitation and 10:30 a.m. “Celebration of Life Service” on Saturday, December 16, 2023. Officiating the service will be Pastor Darrell Miller.
During his young adolescent years, he was a robust daring young man. In fact, he became the youngest member in a 10-man local traveling gymnastics performance act that provided entertainment throughout East Texas in the post-depression era. As a gifted athlete in high school, Billy Jack played on all varsity sports teams, receiving numerous collegiate letters. He attended Southern Methodist University (SMU), and then was immediately recognized and recruited to play on the prestigious football team at the University of Texas. During his tenure, he played in the Rose Bowl for the championship. Dad recalled several times how he and his football teammates spent the holidays riding a cold train for several days out to California. While attending college at UT in Austin, he kept his beloved horse (Trigger) at his rented Austin home, hosted football friends from UT and SMU, and vigorously entertained, often to the chagrin of his landlord! BJ was a member of the UT Pi Kappa Alpha (PIKE), the UT Honorary Student Service Organization, and the Texas Cowboys (which fires the cannon blasts at the football games). He remained a lifelong supporter and fan of the UT team and Coach Darryl Royal, always watching and rooting for the Longhorns.
As a young adult, Mr. Hogg briefly served as an officer in the United States Air Force. In 1951, he graduated from the University of Texas School of Pharmacy. Upon obtaining his advanced graduation degree, he joined his father, Jack Henry Hogg, and uncle, Fred Hogg, at Hogg’s Pharmacy on the town square in Gilmer, TX. He was known for dedicated service to all the people in the county and was always just a phone call away for help. His family remembers many Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas mornings when BJ would leave at a moment’s notice to open and meet a sick caller at the pharmacy to help them. Billy Jack also served as the President of the East Texas Pharmaceutical Association as well as the Texas Pharmaceutical Association, helping to keep pharmacies at the highest levels of standards and the forefront of service. He was secretly known as a champion among all hard-working people, but especially among those that never learned to read, write, or understand finances. He would discreetly take them aside and read them their letters or financial matters so that they could keep in touch with their loved ones, understand bills, contracts, etc. so they would not be taken advantage of by unscrupulous people. They would also come to “Mr. Billy” at Hogg’s Pharmacy to cash their handwritten checks they received for their work, because they couldn’t read the script writing on the checks, even though they could count and understand actual dollar bills. BJ was an avid sportsman/outdoorsman. He taught his two sons, Jim and John, the patience, skill and joy of hunting, fishing, and the appreciation of nature. He would load and unload his small fishing boat, and paddle around to find a bed of sun perch or brim fish that were biting, catching them as fast as the boys could pull them in! Then, he’d host an outdoor ‘fish fry’ and invite all the neighbors and the boy’s friends over for a fun evening, often entertaining with his guitar or playing board games or dominos. As a former Boy Scout, Billy Jack instilled in Jim and John many of those strong character-building attributes that he acquired, helping them along their journey to both become proud Eagle Scouts. Mr. Hogg was a lifelong member of the Kiwanis Club, a local service organization in Gilmer, TX. He helped organize activities such as a Pancake Breakfast Event, a Yam Pie Tasting Booth, a Chili Supper Hot Meal, and a multitude of other fun festive events during the Yamboree Celebrations (e.g. building a decorative float out of a hay trailer fit for the “Queen of the Yamboree”)— and many others throughout the year. As President of the civic minded Gilmer Yamboree Association, which celebrated the sweet potato harvest, he secretly persuaded the immensely popular and famous country and western singer, Ray Price, to perform at the Gilmer Yamboree’s fundraising “Barn Dance.” This was a stunning accomplishment at the time, to have a star come to such a small town for a performance, and great fun and source of pride for the town at the time.
Billy Jack was an avid golfer. He started at the Gilmer Country Club, and continued throughout his life on various courses as he moved first to Holly Lake Ranch, and later to Shreveport, which was his final home and that of his wife, Gerry and her family. He said the golf course at Holly Lake Ranch had gotten so busy that he was excited to move to Shreveport where he “would not need a reservation (Tee-Time) just to play golf!” Billy Jack always loved to travel, initially taking weeks long vacations in the Ford Country Squire woody sided station wagon. As a young father, he loaded it up with his wife and two restless boys, tons of camping gear, and in tow pulled a popup sleeper camper. Later in life, he continued to travel with his new bride, Gerry, but upgraded to a luxurious ‘Rock-Star’ bus (also with wood siding!) to various places all around the country and without the rowdy kids!! He was an avid skier throughout his adult life. He taught his young sons, Jim and John, to snow ski at an early age. His love of the sport led him to start a traveling ski club prior to accessible airline travel, with sleeper coach buses that would pick up Texas skiers in Dallas, and transport them after work in luxury with video, music, and beverage/dinner service overnight, waking just in time for the opening at the ski slopes of Colorado or New Mexico! He was known for skiing with both grace and speed (Think Dean Martin on Skis!), every year up to almost 90 years of age. Everyone knew ‘BJ’ was coming down the slopes when he’d be waving his leather cowboy hat and yelling “Yahoooooo!!”
Billy Jack was an astute businessman with ventures ranging from pharmacy, retail, real estate, oil and gas, and banking. He served as a Farmer’s and Merchant’s Bank Director, and later, a Gilmer National Bank Director. He mentored his sons in the value of hard work, honesty, and accountability. Billy Jack simply loved people, life itself, and always shared a big smile and warm greeting. He was a dedicated and loving father, selfless mentor, admired role model, generous philanthropist—yet modest, humble, kind, and always fun. He was known for his warm smile and endearing laugh - lighting up every room in which he entered. He was a dedicated Christian man with a strong spiritual soul. BJ helped many ministries achieve their mission endeavors, as well as to support many young or aspiring preachers in their quest to achieve their religious calling.
Mr. Hogg is survived by: Janell Croley, previously married to for 22 years and the mother of his two sons, Jim Robert Hogg (Dripping Springs, TX) and John Stewart Hogg, MD (San Antonio, TX); cousin, Frieda Hogg Jetter; granddaughter, Hillary Hogg; step grandson, JR Black; nieces, Jane Cook Bynam and Sally Cook Socia; and two great-grandchildren. Mr. Hogg is also survived by wife of 42 years, Gerry Hogg; and served as a mentor and father to her adult children. Preceding him in death were stepchildren, Charlie Moore, and Stephanie Moore. The surviving stepchildren, Jerrie Burford, and Albert Moore of Shreveport, became especially close with Billy and Gerry, serving as companions and guardians for them throughout their golden years in Shreveport. Billy often said that he felt like “Little Jerrie” was the daughter he never had.