On April 4, 2023, after a 16-month battle with lung cancer, Lt Gen Walter (“Woody”) S. Hogle Jr. died peacefully in his home surrounded by his family. He was 78 years old. He is survived by his wife, Jan, three children and their spouses: Sean and wife Cindy, Chris and wife Yvonne, Jessica and husband George; six grandchildren: Brody, Kyle, Walter, Solana, Charlotte and Teddy; and brother Bob Hogle and his wife Janix.
Born in Pleasantville, N.Y., to Walter S. Hogle Sr. and Jesse Bowerhan Hogle, Woody graduated from Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y. where he left with a degree in psychology but of more significant impact, Jan, his wife and life-partner of 56 years. Despite the fact that his only flying experience was on his honeymoon, he was commissioned through Officer Training School at Lackland Air Force Base (AFB) and then completed pilot training at Laughlin AFB in 1968. He was a command pilot, flying both fixed wing and helicopters to include the C-5, C-9, C-17, C-21, C-141, KC-135, HC-130, HH-3, and the HH-43.
His helicopter flying experience solidified his natural inclination to extensively plan for the worst but hope for the best in all facets of life, which was met with mostly appreciation but sometimes irritation at home. (Think duct tape and cookie sheets installed to prevent a wooden fireplace mantle from bursting into flame during an extensive power outage.)
Woody embraced servant leadership to his country, family, community and colleagues. He held numerous staff positions and commanded four wings. He retired from Travis AFB as Commander, 15th Air Force in 2001.
After retiring from the Air Force, Woody worked for L-3 Communications Integrated Systems as vice president of operations, ACS Defense as senior vice president and Rockwell Collins Government Systems as vice president and general manager.
After his second retirement, he and Jan moved to Smith Mountain Lake in Huddleston, VA where he commanded a ski boat, jet skis, a canoe and three kayaks and persistently – but unsuccessfully – defended the landscaping against large herds of deer. In July of 2021, they moved to Patriots Colony, a close-knit community for retired men and women who served in the military, foreign service or civil service.
Though cancer was the toughest battle he ever faced, Woody would be the first to say that even in this, he found his Lord and Savior to be totally trustworthy. And now? “What was mortal is now swallowed up by life.” (2 Corinthians 5:4)
To borrow and personalize some words from his favorite poem High Flight, by John Gillespie Magee Jr., Woody has slipped the surly bonds of Earth, put out his hand, and touched the face of God.
A memorial service will be held at Patriots Colony on June 8, 2023 with an additional service at Arlington National Cemetery, date to be determined. The family requests donations to be sent to Samaritans Purse (https://www.samaritanspurse.org/our-ministry/memorial-giving/) in lieu of flowers.
Patriot’s Colony - Directions
6000 Patriot's Colony Drive
Williamsburg, VA 23188