Michael Hogan's life was tragically and unexpectedly cut short in the early morning hours of
February 11, 2007.
Michael was 20 years old.
Michael Campbell Hogan was born in Farmington, N.M., on the morning of July 14, 1986.
His first home was in Dulce, N.M., where his father Patrick Hogan was a pharmacist on the Jicarilla Indian Reservation and his mother Kathy Campbell Hogan was a stay-at-home mom.
He entered the world to the companionship of a 3-year-old sister named Rebecca.
At the age of six months, Michael's family moved to Chama, N.M., where his father commuted to Dulce and his mother took a job as a music teacher in the public schools.
Michael and Rebecca thrived in the outdoor atmosphere of their country home and enjoyed hiking in the mountains and doing lots of outdoor activities.
Michael's intellectual ability was apparent from an early age.
He and his sister early on started acting out books they had read and videos they had watched.
Michael showed an aptitude for analyzing how things worked and building things.
Rebecca would spend hours reading to Michael while he played with his toys and listened. Michael's mother thinks Michael developed an amazing ability to process things auditorially because of this early training from his sister.
Michael's teachers would later tell Kathy how he would appear to be tuning out or sleeping in class, but if called on would instantly know what the discussion was about and be able to contribute.
At the age of nine, Michael, Rebecca, and their mother moved to Rio Rancho, N.M., where his mother became a librarian at the public library.
In Rio Rancho Michael finished elementary school, middle school, and high school.
He started honing the academic and social skills that would serve him well in his short life.
His love of nature continued and he visited his dad regularly, where they went on many hiking and skiing trips.
Michael graduated from Rio Rancho High School in 2004 with honors.
In Fall 2004 he began coursework at NM Tech, with a major in Computer Science.
He lived in South Hall, a three-story dorm. Throughout the course of his time at Tech, he first had a job as a user consultant in the students' computer lab and later as a Resident Assistant in South Hall.
He was flourishing at NM Tech. He had many good friends and was respected by his fellow students and teachers.
His future was boundless.
It all ended abruptly on that fateful Saturday night when he went on an
impromptu hike with seven friends in San Lorenzo Canyon, about 12 miles north of Socorro.
At about 11:00 p.m., on top of some rocks, Michael misjudged his footing.
Michael fell 70 feet and died on impact. His official time of death was listed at 1:20 a.m.
The friends that were with him that night say that he was having a good time, being his usual funny self.
To those of us who are left to mourn his death, we at least have the knowledge that he died doing something he loved - having fun with friends and being in the outdoors.
Though Michael's life was short, he lived it with intensity.
His family, friends, and teachers saw him go through one passionate interest after another.
When he was little, there was Pokemon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Legos.
As he grew older, there was Star Wars, the Matrix, his entrepreneurial candy business, and his computer programming.
In his last years, he was heavily into Subarus, auto racing, Mountain Dew,
Rammstein, duct tape art, and dying his hair unusual colors.
These interests are only a sampling of what Michael cared about.
Michael never did anything half way. He was extremely passionate about whatever he was involved in.
Throughout it all, his joy for life was infectious.
Those of us who knew Michael are richer for those 20 years that he lived.
Michael's family's wish for you is that you will take whatever lessons Michael taught that spoke to you personally and apply them to your own life.
As Michael would have said, "May the force be with you."