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  • Douglas Towne

Former ACC Associate Tom Hogarty Dies

Thomas A. Hogarty, our upbeat former publisher’s rep who was quick to sing the praises of our magazine or one of his favorite tunes, such as “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” died in Scottsdale in April at age 82. He retired from ACC in December 2018.

At his retirement, Tom announced plans to learn how to play his father’s vintage ukulele. “Who knows? Perhaps I will put my singing talents together with Sinatra tunes from long ago and far away and take this show on the road,” he said.

His new instrument quickly became a passion. “Tom enjoyed playing it so much that he bought another ukulele, took weekly lessons, and practiced three hours daily,” his wife, Donna, says. The couple met at a Rotary Club function in Escondido, California, in 1997.

During his five-year career with ACC magazine, Tom teamed up with the late Charles “Chuck” Runbeck, who died in March, to promote the publication to the Arizona construction industry. The dynamic duo put together more than a dozen advertising inserts where companies showcased their talent and equipment.

Tom's skills and personality elevated the magazine. “When I first learned Tom was coming to the Arizona market, I was a little intimidated,” publisher William Horner, says. “He had a lot of publication experience, knew his way around the construction industry, and had connections with several of our clients. Once he came on board, my fears went away as he was always positive about the magazine and happy to work with us on advertising ideas and content.”

But Tom’s influence on and knowledge of the construction industry went far beyond Arizona, stretching to both coasts.

A native of Queens, New York, Tom attended La Salle Military Academy in Oakdale, New York, and later served seven years in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1955-1962. “Tom liked to say he defended Staten Island against the Communists,” Donna says. “There was no war going on, but his unit was almost called up to active duty for the Cuban missile crisis.”

During his military service, Tom graduated from St. John’s University in New York City and later earned a master’s degree from New York University. He worked as a newspaper reporter in Washington, D.C., and later as editor of the New York Construction News from 1962-1973. He then launched T.A. Hogarty, Inc., which assisted clients in the construction industry.

Tom moved to North San Diego County in 1987 and operated Hogarty Communications. He was editor and publisher of San Diego Engineering & General Contractors Association magazine from 1998-2014, served as president of two Rotary Clubs, and chairman of the Escondido Chamber of Commerce. Despite his many management roles, he made time to sing lead in two barbershop quartets, “Mavrix” and “Third Avenue.”

In 2014, Tom, Donna, and Honey Bear, their rescue greyhound mix, moved to Scottsdale.

It’s been a challenging period for the magazine, with the loss of Tom coming so soon after Chuck Runbeck. “They were two great guys,” Horner says. “With Tom, whenever I was discouraged, I could count on him to pull me through a slump with some cheer. He loved our magazine, and will be greatly missed.”

This article originally appeared in the bimonthly Arizona Contractor & Community magazine, July/Aug 2020 issue, Vol. 9, No.4.


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