COOPERSTOWN – Justin Robert Hoag, 32, passed away unexpectedly in the early morning hours of Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016, at his home after a long and courageous battle with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
He was born March 31, 1984, at Bassett Hospital, the son of Donald Philip Hoag, Jr. and Rosemary Dorothy (Kirn) Hoag.
Born with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Justin never let this get in the way of achieving his goals. He graduated with the Class of 2005 from Cooperstown Central School, where he was affectionately known as “Hoagster the Weatherman” for his ability to accurately predict the weather.
Due to the extraordinary care provided to Justin by his mother and father, Rosie and Don Hoag, he was able to enjoy many experiences traveling and camping throughout the United States.
An avid baseball fan, he was devoted to his New York Yankees and was thrilled when he got to meet his idol, Derek Jeter. He also personally met Goose Gossage, Reggie Jackson, Pete Rose, and Yogi Berra, who visited with Justin at his home.
A fan of NASCAR, Justin also met his favorite drivers, Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon. Justin also loved watching TV– never missing an episode of “Days of Our Lives” or a Yankee game – as well as listening to country music, especially Garth Brooks, Toby Keith, Don Williams and his beloved Taylor Swift. He even liked Neil Diamond!
Justin was a whiz on the computer and after high school he used it to educate himself . In later years he utilized a special program that allowed him to use the keyboard by means of a special device he moved with his cheek.
Justin will be forever greatly missed by his mother and father, Rosie and Don Hoag of Cooperstown; his sister, Tammy Sickmon and her husband, John, and their children, Garrett and Rianna of Cortland; and his grandmothers, Christine Gray and her husband, Robert, and Barbara Hoag of the Town of Maryland.
He is further survived by his many aunts and uncles, including Joan and Timothy Cauley, Edward and Pat Kirn, Jr., Robert and Charlene Kirn, Mark and Robin Walley, John and Jennifer Walley, Steven and Yvonne Hoag, Kimberly and David Beckley, Heather Gray, Hayden Gray, Luca Gray, Lori Motel, and Madeline Socci; several great aunts and uncles; and many, many cousins. Justin touched many lives and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
He was predeceased by his maternal grandparents, Edward Louis Kirn, Sr. and Mollie Marie Oblak Kirn; his paternal grandfather, Donald Philip Hoag; his beloved great-grandmother, Ruth M. Gray; and great uncle Edward Socci.
Justin’s family wishes to express deep appreciation to his caregivers, Jen Marriott and Mary Kohler and their families for the kind, compassionate and understanding care they provided, as well as, all the doctors and nurses of Bassett Healthcare. Also a very special heartfelt thanks to long time childhood friends, Jake, Billy and Ben Smith, who were like brothers to Justin, and their father Russie Smith. They would also like to thank all their co-workers for their continued support and understanding over the years, and deep appreciation to Fly Creek Emergency Squad for all their care and consideration of Justin.
As Justin would often say, “I’ll be okay, Mama!”
Calling hours are 4-7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, at the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.
On Saturday, October 1, 2016, Justin will be brought to the Hartwick Seminary Cemetery aboard Cooperstown Fire Department’s 1952 Mack Fire Truck for a funeral service at 1 p.m. with the Rev. Ronald Fralick officiating.
Should friends so desire, expressions of sympathy may take the form of memorial gifts to Cooperstown Central School for the benefit of a scholarship to be created in memory of Justin. Please make checks payable to “Cooperstown Central School”, place Justin’s name in the memo line, and mail to the attention of the Business Office at 39 Linden Avenue, Cooperstown, NY 13326.
Arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.