Charles Hogue, a longtime Fort Worth officer commended for his work in large narcotics cases who eventually became the chief of police in Hurst, died early Thursday in his sleep, his wife, Janice Hogue, told the Star-Telegram. He was 88.
He began his career in 1955 as a beat cop walking the streets of Fort Worth, checking on the rowdy bars and walk-up hotels of the day, according to Jerry Blaisdell, a 76-year-old former Weatherford police chief who was close with Hogue. He came into law enforcement during a transitional period, as Blaisdell described, with the gangster era receding into the past and more modern crime lurking ahead. In the late 1960s and the ‘70s, drugs were spreading like they hadn’t before, into high schools and colleges, Blaisdell said. Gambling and prostitution were on the rise.
Hogue, Blaisdell said, was told by city leadership to take a larger role in combating these problems.
He was made a lieutenant around 1963 and roughly two years later became captain, where he served for many years. He rose to the role of deputy chief and then departed in 1985 to become the Hurst chief of police. He served as the commanding officer of the Tarrant County Narcotics Investigation Unit and his final job before he retired was as the president of the Parker County Crime Commission.
As much as he was known for his accomplishments in law enforcement, Blaisdell said, Hogue garnered a reputation among officers as a humble and unflashy leader who took newcomers under his wing.
Blaisdell and another former law enforcement officer visited with Charles on Wednesday, the day before he died. They told him “how much we appreciated what he had done for us,” he said, and reminisced about times they spent together long ago.
“Charles Hogue was probably one of the most respected police officers, not just in Fort Worth but regionally,” Blaisdell said over the phone on Saturday. “He influenced the lives of so, so many people — young men and women who had the opportunity to work with him. He not only developed some really good police officers, but he developed some really good people.”
He had several underlying conditions, according to the 85-year-old Janice, the most serious of which was a heart valve problem. His family had been trying since the beginning of the pandemic to protect him from catching the coronavirus, and they were successful, Janice said. But he still developed double pneumonia before Christmas last year, an illness he wasn’t able to fully fight off.
Janice listened on Wednesday night as her husband chatted with his friends in their Hurst home, reliving funny moments in their careers. It lifted his spirits.
“After they left, Charles and I spent a couple hours talking about it,” she said. “He was smiling and enjoying it.”
He began to fall asleep as they sat in front of the TV that night, as the “The Masked Singer” played on NBC. Their son found him deceased in bed around 3 a.m. Thursday when he got up to work out. Though it was sad, Janice said, they were grateful he “went peacefully in his sleep.”
He is survived by his wife; his son, Charles Hogue Jr., daughter, Debra Dukeminier; daughter-in-law Mary Garcia Hogue; son-in-law Ray Dukeminier; brother Harold “Bud” Hogue; two nieces and two nephews; and five grandchildren.
Charles Harn, a Fort Worth police captain, said in a statement on Saturday Charles was with the department for 29 years, including 15 with the department of narcotics and vice squad. He won both officer of the year and commanding officer of the year awards during his tenure, Harn said.
“Charles was able to positively influence many officers over his distinguished career,” Harn said. “He will be sorely missed.”
Charles explicitly told family he didn’t want a funeral or a procession, because he knew from experience law enforcement ceremonies often took officers away from possibly more important work, Janice said. He always told her, she said, it “just takes too many men off their beat.”
It wasn’t a surprising sentiment, friends say, for a man who avoided the spotlight through his career as a public servant but quietly grew into a leader.
In June 1982, the Texas War on Drugs committee — headed by H. Ross Perot — named Hogue the law enforcement narcotics supervisor of the year, according to Star-Telegram archives. In a nominating letter, the DEA of Fort Worth wrote his cooperation with other agencies led to many successful drug operations. Then-Deputy Chief Jack Bicknell said, “His greatest attribute is his integrity.”
Janice said her husband was respected everywhere he went, from church to the police department. Though his job was demanding, Janice said, he made time for his children. He was at their school carnivals and their open houses. He did the Y Indian Guides program with his son when he was 6.
When they lived in Aledo and had a large garden, he got into bee-keeping and kept 16 hives, Janice said. He liked to learn where plants came from.
“He was gone a lot but as our son grew up, he understood,” she said. “If he could possibly get there, he would, but if he couldn’t get there, he was taking care of the community. That was his great honor.”
Janice grew up three houses away from Charles and as a child knew his two brothers well, but didn’t begin to date him until the end of high school and college. She thought he was handsome, especially in his police uniform, and had a good personality and smile, she said. She married him when she was 21.
In recent years, the couple crossed a couple of items off of Charles’ bucket list — visiting Normandy and its surrounding countries, and the Panama Canal.
He enjoyed his life, she said, in his retirement and his long law enforcement career.
“That’s what was the wonderful thing about Charles,” she said. “No matter how hard the work was, or how big the task or complicated, he was happy doing it.”