George Harrison Hoggard, 83, passed away on Saturday, Aug. 15, at Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, Fla. He was born June 22, 1937, in Norfolk, Va., to the late Ferris Hoggard and Bert Early.
George was retired from NASA where he worked for the fire service and led the Flight Crew Rescue unit at Kennedy Space Center from 1968 to 2011.
George served in the U.S. Air Force before joining the fire service in Norfolk. After moving to Florida in the early 1960s he also worked at Titusville fire department.
He was awarded two Silver Snoopy Awards, one of NASA’s highest honors, while serving on Kennedy Space Center’s fire department for man-flight awareness and he trained four generations of astronauts for both the Apollo and space shuttle programs as a battalion chief. He trained astronauts how to handle emergency situations and was on standby alert on countless launches.
George was also involved in Pop Warner football and coached dozens of teams over the years in Titusville and was an avid supporter of Astronaut High School’s football program.
After retiring from the fire service in 2011, George became active in the living history reenactments community for nearly 25 years and he also continued to serve as an ambassador for Kennedy Space Center giving hundreds of tours to high-profile visitors throughout the years.
George was also an avid animal lover with over 15 dogs, cats and horses who lived happily with him over the years.
George is survived by his wife, Rita Trudeau, and his sons Steve, Ross, William, Richie and Lindsay as well as several grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins.
A private family internment will be held at Cape Canaveral National Veterans Cemetery.
A memorial service for family and friends will be held at a later date to be determined.