James E. “Jim” Hogle, Jr., better known to many as Hoge or Swifty, passed away peacefully at his home on October 5th at the age of 83 after a yearlong battle with cancer. Jim was a pillar of the Salt Lake community, most well-known for his affiliation with Utah’s Hogle Zoo, having served as Chair/President of the Utah Zoological Society for over four decades. More important to his family, friends, and anyone who met him, he was a gracious and kind man with a wonderfully unique sense of humor and a knack for telling stories.
Jim was born in Salt Lake City on August 16, 1937 to James and Bonnie (Smith) Hogle. He was educated at Wasatch Elementary in Salt Lake City, St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire, Stanford University, and the University of Utah. Jim then went on to join the family business, ultimately serving as the fourth-generation president of The Hogle Group. Jim was vice-president of Hogle Investment Company, the real-estate development and insurance arm of The Hogle Group. He was a general partner in J.A. Hogle & Company, serving in New York City in the 1960’s and early 70’s as a registered securities broker for the company, which had a seat on the New York Stock Exchange. He was a limited partner in Goodbody & Company stockbrokers, which merged with Merrill Lynch. Jim served as vice-president of Rico-Argentine Mining Company in Rico, Colorado until its merger with Crystal Oil, after which he served as a board member and director. Jim was a licensed insurance agent and ran the Hogle Investment Company insurance business until its merger with Superior Insurance Company. He also served as vice-president and director of the Salt Lake, Garfield, and Western Railway.
Following the examples of his parents and grandparents, Jim’s most passionate work was directed toward philanthropy. Alongside his immeasurable work supporting the Hogle Zoo, he was a long-time board member of the House of Hope Utah and served on the board of The Haven as well as many other local public charities over the course of fifty years. Jim served on the very first Salt Lake City Historical Landmarks Commission and was involved with many other civic initiatives. In 2016, Jim was recognized for his service with the Philanthropic Leadership Award, presented by the Utah Nonprofits Association, an honor reserved for outstanding individuals demonstrating an exceptional commitment to the community through direct involvement, financial support, and leadership.
With its distinct cadence, Jim’s voice was instantly recognizable. His demeanor held no pretense and he made anyone feel comfortable chatting with him. His kindness knew no limits, and he was a steadfast support to anyone in times of need. Jim made his acquaintances feel like friends and his friends feel like family. Once you got to know him, he often gave you a nickname (or two) – which you may have ended up being more commonly known by in his circles of acquaintance, as was the case with several of his children.
Jim was lucky enough to have finally found his love and spend the last 21 years of his life married to his “Tiny”, Theda (Madsen). He and Theda found many opportunities to travel. He also spent many hours on the course with his golf group, the Bowsers, and many others within his large circle of friends. It was rare that, when going out to dinner or the movies, he and Theda wouldn’t run into someone they knew.
Jim is survived by Theda; his brother, Owen (Sheri); his children: Jim (Jodi Bangerter), Patrick (Johanna McPherson), Kami (Tim) Radin, Kiersten (Chris) Gennarelli, and Jenny (James) Peirce, and his stepdaughter, Stacy (Mike) Birch; as well as 10 grandchildren. His welcoming committee on the other side includes his parents; his brothers, Hugh and Donald; his son, Steven; daughter, Sarah; and stepson, Brett.
A private burial service was held on Friday, October 9th. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Jim’s memory to Utah’s Hogle Zoo or a charity of your choice. As we know what an influence Jim had on so very many, a larger celebration of his life is being planned for the spring when all those whose lives he touched can come together to honor the legacy of this wonderful man.