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Colleagues of Dr. Paul Hogue Jr. and others were remembering the Benton man today as "a great doctor who never turned anybody away."
Hogue died Monday at Saline Memorial Hospital Hospice House. He was 88.
Dr. Joe Martindale, who practiced with Hogue for several years, called him "one of the old-school country doctors who always took care of people."
"He was a close friend of mine," Martindale said.
"He gave me a chance to put my life back together when I had my troubles," Martindale added in reference to a difficult time when he lost his practice because of prescription drug addiction. "I'm very indebted to him.
"He was a top man â€” one of the good guys," he said.
Dr. Mark Martindale, son of Dr. Joe Martindale and a colleague of Dr. Hogue, said he first became acquainted with Dr. Hogue when the physician served as his Sunday School teacher.
"Later on, he became a partner in doctoring and I got to see what the old country doctor is all about. Through him, I learned how to interact with patients.
"Then I got to interact with him as his doctor," Mark Martindale noted. "He was one of the best people I've ever been around from the time I was 10 until now. He was a wholesome, God-fearing man who walked what he talked."
Randy Cash, who was Dr. Hogue's stepson, expressed a deep fondness for his stepfather.
"He loved people, he loved animals and, most of all, he loved God," Cash said. "He loved the outdoors and nature and loved working in the garden. You could hear him whistling two blocks away.
"What I enjoyed most about him was his sense of humor," Cash said. "He was a sincerely nice person. Everything about him was sincere.
"People would come up to him in the grocery store and tell him 'you delivered me' or tell him that he had delivered some member of their family. He always acted like he remembered who they were. He was so loving and friendly. He didn't ever want to hurt anyone's feelings."
Family members estimated that Dr. Hogue delivered around 2,200 babies during a 55-year practice.
In the late 1960s, Dr. Hogue was still making house calls.
"He would go to see people to take care of their health needs even if they didn't have the money to pay him," Cash said. "That sort of thing doesn't happen today."
Dr. Hogue was in practice for many years in the Ashby, Hogue and Thorne clinic in Benton.
After graduating from Paron High School in 1941, he enrolled at Ouachita Baptist University, where his education was interrupted to serve in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
He served as a corpsman in the South Pacific for two and a half years, then returned to Ouachita, where he graduated in 1947. After his graduation from Ouachita, he attended University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, graduating in 1952. He served his internship at Baptist Hospital in Little Rock before coming to Benton in 1953 to start his practice as a family physician.
He was a 59-year member of Benton's First Baptist Church, where he served as a trustee and sang in the Sanctuary Choir. He was a member of the Explorers Sunday School Class and taught Sunday School for many years.
Family members noted that Dr. Hogue believed in volunteering his talents to help others.
Brenda Burton, who oversees The Care Center, an outreach ministry of First Baptist, said Dr. Hogue was one of the center's "dedicated volunteers."
"For many years he worked in meal preparation, as well as serving people and then doing the cleanup," she said. "He would stand over a sink washing those big trays and pots and pans until he just couldn't do that kind of work any longer.
"He was very faithful," Burton added.
Dr. Hogue also was a volunteer for the Christian Community Care Clinic, which provides free medical and dental services to uninsured individuals, and to the Churches Joint Council on Human Needs.
Dr. Hogue was a native of Paron.
A celebration of his life will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 13, in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church, 211 S. Market St., Benton. Dr. Rick Grant will conduct the service.
Burial will follow at New Rosemont Memorial Park in Benton.
The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12, in Selph Hall at First Baptist Church.
Roller-Ballard Funeral Home in Benton is in charge of arrangements.
Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, 211 S. Market St., Benton, AR 72015.
Dr. Hogue is survived by his wife, Lillian Hogue; three children; two stepchildren; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and other relatives.
A complete obituary appears on page 3 of today's Saline Courier.
Online guestbook: www.rollerfuneralhomes.com/ballard