David Joseph Pogue left this earth on September 3, 2023, after living for 2+ years with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. David was born February 27, 1968, to Raymond and Marylyn Pogue in Saginaw, Michigan and grew up in Bridgeport, Michigan.
David’s childhood in Bridgeport was a classic American experience peppered with team sports, fun cars, days on the lake, and family trips. He has so many priceless memories and life-long friends. He joined the United States Air Force at the age of 18 and retired after 22+ years of active duty service. He held assignments at numerous stateside and overseas bases as well as deployments in support of Operation Just Cause, Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, and the Global War on Terrorism. While stationed in Minot, North Dakota, Dave met Emily, the love of his life, and they married on Valentines Day in 2001.
Since his retirement, Dave and Emily moved their family from Dave’s last assignment in California to Utah to be close to Emily’s big extended family. Utah and Idaho were the perfect backdrop for some of their favorite activities; kayaking, hiking, target shooting, car shows, drives in Dave’s Charger (Black Betty) and riding off-road vehicles. Dave finished his bachelor’s degree at the University of Phoenix and began work at the Contracting Directorate, Hill Air Force Base, where he gained many new friends and served our nation again.
In August 2021, Dave sought medical care for an unexplained slurred speech and weakness on his right-side arm and leg. After numerous doctor visits and tests, a team of neurologists determined Dave was experiencing symptoms of ALS. His doctors ruled that his ALS diagnosis was not genetic and most likely due to his military service. According to medical research, men who serve in the military are 60% more likely to develop ALS then their counterparts, although the exact causes are unknown. ALS causes gradual weakness of muscles and usually results in death with 2-5 years post diagnosis. There are currently no known cures or medical treatments available to stop ALS progression. Dave bravely lived with ALS symptoms for over two years and never lost his remarkable sense of humor up to the very end. He is now free from ALS!
Before Dave lost his ability to type, he left the following message:
“My biggest blessing has been the loving support of my family and friends! I think one of the positives of ALS, is that it gives me time to get my life right and say my goodbyes to family and friends. Too many pass without give this opportunity. So guess what? Tell everyone what they mean to you, give them a hug or pat on the back. They’re FREE and feel so good.”
In the last years of Dave’s life, he used every bit of his energy to spend time with family and friends. He enjoyed several trips to Michigan, checked off bucket list destinations, visited his beloved cabin in Lava Hot Springs, and welcomed family and friends into his home. He also never missed a chance to cheer on the University Of Michigan football team, especially in 2022 as they won the Big Ten Conference Championship!
David is survived by his wife Emily; and four children, Malynda; Jonathan; Joseph; and JJ, a spunky and fun-loving granddaughter, Ember; a brother, Randy; a sister, Karen (Julio) Medina; sister-in-law Melissa; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, Raymond and Marylyn; a brother, Gary; a sister-in-law, Nancy; and daughter Marissa.
David received support and loving care from many people which made his last years, months, days and seconds more bearable. With help from Amanda and Ken and their team at Almost Anything Remodeling, Dave was able to remain in his home in the care of his devoted companion. Many thanks go to his hospice team at Applegate (Shawnee, Yessi, Dr. Mark Firth, Debbie, McKenzie, and Lori), VA SLC ALS team (Alicia, Dr. Garstang, Mark, Troy, MJ and Jessica), U of U Neurology clinic, (Dr. Mark Bromberg and Dr. Summer Gibson), Dr. Komal Rastogi, and an intuitive ER doctor at Davis Hospital. Words cannot express the amount of gratitude we have for each of these caregivers. Dave and his family knew they had a capable team that also served them with love.
Last, but not least, LET’S GO BLUE!
Funeral services for Dave will be held on Friday, September 8, 2023 at 11 am at Lindquist's Syracuse Mortuary, 869 South 2000 West. Friends may visit with family Thursday from 6 to 8 pm at the mortuary.
The family has reserved a pavilion at 720 South 2500 West in Syracuse, immediately following the funeral. All are welcome to attend for more time to connect.
Donations to Team Gleason at https://teamgleason.org/donate/ are requested in lieu of flowers or gifts. We also encourage you to join in a Walk to Defeat ALS. The ALS Association organizes annual Walks to Defeat ALS to raise funds for awareness support, free ALS programs, search for treatments, and cures to defeat ALS. A team is organized in Dave’s honor, Dave’s Foot Soldiers, and will be walking on September 30, 2023, at Sugar House Park in Salt Lake City, Utah.