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Even when off-duty, Smithton dentist would drop what he was doing to help a patient

Jeff Himler
| Monday, March 19, 2018, 10:19 p.m.

Patients were a priority for Dr. Edwin Hogan, who operated his dental practice from his Smithton home for 35 years.

“If he was outside cutting grass and somebody said, ‘I broke a tooth,' he would stop and help them,” said his daughter, Julie Zappone.

“He did everything from kids' fillings to dental implants to root canals,” she added. “Even if (patients) couldn't afford them, he took care of them.

“He was extremely generous and hardworking.”

He maintained the same loyal office staff throughout his career, and his patients “thought of him as a friend,” according to another daughter, Emily Erceg.

He provided dental exams for children in the Yough School District and handed out toothbrushes to young trick-or-treaters at Halloween.

Dr. Edwin Patrick Hogan, DMD, 61, of Smithton, died Saturday, March 17, 2018 in Excela Health Frick Hospital, Mt. Pleasant. Born April 2, 1956, he grew up in West Newton, a son of Edwin and Priscilla Hogan.

A graduate of Yough High School, Dr. Hogan played football and earned his degree from Lafayette College in Easton before completing his dental studies at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Dr. Hogan continued to treat patients while battling illness.

“He worked the week before he died,” Zappone said. “He loved being of service to people. It kept him going.”

Dr. Hogan's favorite day of any year was the last he spent on earth — St. Patrick's Day.

According to Zappone, he was proud of his Irish heritage and normally marked St. Patrick's Day with a traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage.

“That was the only time he would drink a beer,” she said, noting, “He loved shamrocks, and green was his favorite color.”

A Civil War buff, Dr. Hogan took his family on trips to Gettysburg and displayed Civil War-themed paintings in his office.

He delivered a Memorial Day speech at West Newton Cemetery and placed flowers on the grave of a Civil War soldier buried there.

Inspired by letters between a local Civil War couple, Dr. Hogan in 2000 penned the book “Waiting for Jacob,” recounting the tale of a Union officer killed in the Battle of the Wilderness in May 1864 and the devoted widow who mourned him for the remainder of her life.

An avid reader, Dr. Hogan enjoyed spending time at his cabin near Ligonier, where he taught family members to fly fish.

He was a longtime member of the Holy Name Society, a lector and Eucharistic minister at Holy Family Parish in West Newton.

In addition to his parents, Dr. Hogan is survived by his wife, Marianne, who was at his side since they met in the eighth grade; daughters Julie Zappone and her husband, Michael, of Greensburg, and Emily Erceg and her husband, Gregory, of Monroeville; three grandchildren; two brothers, numerous nieces and nephews; and his beloved pet bulldog and cat.

Private services and arrangements were entrusted to the J. William McCauley Jr. Funeral Home, West Newton.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6622, jhimler@tribweb.com or via Twitter @jhimler_news.

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