Chief Randall R. Pogue “Randy”, age 49, of the Oak Grove Fire District #25, passed away on February 19, 2014, from injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident while responding to a previous accident on February 2, 2014.
Randy was born March 10, 1964, in Fayetteville, Tennessee, to William L. Pogue and Margie Betty Wilkerson. Randy began firefighting at 17, as a volunteer in Harrisburg, Arkansas. He served in the Arkansas Army Guard during his senior year at Harrisburg High School, where he also enjoyed playing football. He went on to serve in the U.S. Air Force, continuing his career as a firefighter. He completed his training as a fire protection specialist at Chanute Air Force Base, Illinois. During his career he went on to serve overseas at Aviano Air Force Base, Italy, then at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, and finished his career at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas. During his Air Force career, Randy received the Air Force Achievement Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Air Force Good Conduct Medal with one Oak Leaf cluster, National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Overseas Long Tour Ribbon, and the Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon. During his firefighting career, he achieved certifications in Command Crash Fire Rescue, HazMat, Wildland Fire Suppression, Certified Training Officer, DOD IFSAC Firefighter II, ARFF-Driver/Operator, and Airport Firefighter.
Randy enjoyed the opportunity to volunteer at Gravel Ridge Fire Department and North Pulaski Fire Department in Arkansas. He was Pulaski County Volunteer Firefighter of the Year in 1995. He started at the Oak Grove Fire District as their chief training officer. He served as fire chief from 2003 until the day of his passing. During this time, he also worked for the Arkansas Forestry Commission as Rural Fire Protection program coordinator for almost 10 years, giving him the opportunity to work with most of the rural volunteer fire departments in the state. He enjoyed coordinating their annual fire show. Randy went on to the Arkansas State Police as the install shop supervisor.
Randy was all about serving his community. Friends and family remember him as a man who never met a stranger. He was known as a great mentor to other firefighters. He loved people and gave everyone a chance. Randy was a big kid at heart, had a wicked sense of humor, and enjoyed playing pranks on friends and family. He loved deer hunting and riding his motorcycle.
He is survived by his wife, Veronica Villalobos-Pogue; his children, Gregory Pogue, Josephine Pogue, Randall Pogue II, and Rhonda Pogue-Smiley; his grandchildren, Robert, Davis, and Logan Smiley, and Jase Lockhart; two brothers, William “Jeff” Pogue (Elisa) of Long Island, New York, and Ray Pogue of South Carolina.