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Surnames: Hoge, Grimmett, Rich
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Idaho State Journal, 11/10/01
BLACKFOOT — Walter Grimmett Hoge, 87, a retired Blackfoot physician and surgeon, died
Thursday, November 8, 2001, at the Bingham Memorial Hospital. He was born Friday, March
13, 1914, in Paris, Idaho, at the old Hoge family home, to Walter Smith Hoge, a dentist,
and Sarah Grimmett Hoge, a former school teacher. He had resided mostly in Blackfoot,
Idaho since that time, except when away for education or for military service.
He began his education in Blackfoot (grade school, junior high school and high school). At
Blackfoot High School he was on the debate team for two years, and the team won the state
championship both years. He won a letter in football and was class president in his
sophomore year. He played in the high school band all four years, and was involved in
dance orchestras throughout high school and college at Pocatello and Provo, Utah. He made
his "pocket money" in this activity, playing saxophone and sometimes clarinet.
Higher education was begun at the Southern Branch of the University of Idaho (now Idaho
State University) and continued at the University of Utah, Brigham Young University
(baccalaureate degree 1936), the University of Idaho graduate school (1937-1938), the
University of Hawaii (1938-1939), where he received the master's degree in
bacteriology. He then joined the faculty of the University of Idaho as an instructor in
bacteriology and as a bacteriologist at the Agricultural Experiment Station.
In 1941, he began preparation for the career he felt was his true calling at Northwestern
University Medical School. This was during World War II, and under the accelerated program
he received the B.M. degree in 1944, and the M.D. degree in 1945, when his internship at
Cook County Hospital, Chicago, Illinois was finished.
He was married to Barbara Rich on August 6, 1940, at the Logan, Utah LDS Temple. This was
after a long friendship and a short courtship in Moscow, Idaho, where she was attending
summer school at the university. Barbara received her bachelor's degree in music
education and English during the remainder of their stay in Moscow. They left for Chicago
in the fall of 1941.
On the last day of his internship there was a letter on his desk from "Uncle
Sam" inviting him to become a member of the Army of the United States.
There were some short tours of duty in the United States, with Barbara along. These
included Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, Augusta, Georgia, and Coral Gables, Florida.
Then the doctor began two years of service in Germany, where Barbara joined him later. He
served as battalion surgeon, regimental surgeon and finally as attending physician at the
57th Field Hospital in Fulda, Germany, when the 7th Infantry Regiment returned to the
Following their return to Idaho, the doctor practiced in Preston one year, Shelley nearly
three years, and then returned to his hometown, Blackfoot, where he practiced until he
reluctantly retired at age 75 in 1989.
The bulk of his hospital practice was at the Bingham Memorial Hospital, where he served as
chief of staff for several terms. He was medical director of the Bingham Memorial Nursing
Home for several years, terminating with his retirement after 44 years of medical
He was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having served
as a high priest, stake high counselor, high priest group leader, teacher in the high
priest group and in the Sunday school, genealogical worker and other callings. He belonged
to the American Medical Association, Idaho State Medical Association, American Academy of
Family Physicians, and was a Charter Fellow in that organization. He was a life member of
the Elk's Lodge and the American Legion, and during his early years in Blackfoot he
belonged to the Rotary Club.
Dr. Hoge loved to fly small aircraft, beginning this diversion when he was nearly 50 years
old, and continuing for about 10 years. Often Barbara would be along as navigator or
relief pilot. His other hobbies included photography with a fascination for darkroom work,
fishing, traveling and music. He and Barbara flew to Europe, New York City, Seattle,
Vancouver and other locations to hear symphonies and operas. He loved both jazz and
classical music, Richard Wagner being his favorite composer of serious music. He and
Barbara traveled extensively in Europe, the Middle East, Mexico (repeatedly), Middle
America, South America, Canada, Alaska, Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific Islands,
and saw a good deal of the United States.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara of Blackfoot; two sons, Dr. W. Rich (Sheryl) Hoge of
San Jose, Calif., and John R. (Sharon) Hoge of Blackfoot; two daughters, Barbara Ann
(Melvin E.) Lilya of Blackfoot and Patricia (Jay D.) Clark of Mapleton, Utah; 24
grandchildren and 20 great- grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and one
sister, Nondus Hoge Bithell of Blackfoot, who served many years as Bingham County Home
Extension agent for the University of Idaho until the time of her death.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. at the Blackfoot 14th Ward LDS Chapel at 900
Riverton Road, with Bishop Kirk Thurman conducting. The family will meet with friends and
relatives from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, November 11, 2001, at the Hawker, Hill Funeral
Home, and again for one hour prior to services at the church. Interment will be in the