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Surprises and surprise parties help Marlin Hoge celebrate his 100th birthday all month

Surprises and surprise parties help Marlin Hoge celebrate his 100th birthday all month

Marlin Hoge enjoyed several surprises to mark his 100th birthday

Marlin Hoge and Marguerite Carney toast.
Marlin Hoge and Marguerite Carney, holding their surviving photo, enjoy a toast.

October was a milestone month for Marlin Hoge, a retired Fort Smith physician. Even before his 100th birthday Oct. 16, which was celebrated with several parties given by his friends and family, he and his sweetheart, Marguerite Carney, received an unexpected gift. 


Ten years ago, this magazine pictured the two at one of their weekly dates at the Red Barn Steakhouse. Dr. Hoge and Mrs. Carney continued the dining tradition they had begun 47 years earlier with their spouses. The couples were good friends. Both now widowed, they were treasured patrons and the staff always seated the couple in “their” stall. The restaurant framed the page and it was displayed in that stall. 


The picture, though a bit smoky, was recovered and returned as a gift to the faithful Red Barn patrons, who were delighted to receive it. 


On Oct. 17, after celebrations with family and friends, his fellow members of the Noon Civics Club surprised Dr. Hoge with a big birthday cake at their regular meeting. A member since 1950, he followed his father, Dr. Arthur Hoge, into the club. He, his father and brother served as officers of the club during their membership. 


Invited to make a few remarks, Dr. Hoge got a big laugh when he explained that the club was originally for “men of good standing, under 40.”  The average age of club members is a bit north of 40, now. 


Asked for a few early recollections, Dr. Hogue clearly recalled going along to a remote house call with his father, who performed surgery on a patient laid on a kitchen table, illuminated by coal oil lanterns. 


To his surprise, he treated a patient many years later who was also present at that emergency, and she remembered him there. “She had peeked through the window at the operation,”?he said. 

Another early memory he shared was traveling to Winslow, Ark., in the summer to stay with friends in the enclave of summer cabins there.


Hoge served in World War II as an engineer, helping to build hundreds of miles of Alaskan highway while fighting snow, floods and mud.


He became a doctor, raised a family and has lived all his life in Fort Smith.


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