Michael Hoogasian, 31, ran into Great White's lead singer, Jack Russell, at
a tattoo parlor before last Thursday's show.
Hoogasian, a music lover, was a fan of the 1980s rock group, so the band
leader gave him free tickets so that he could see the show at The Station with
his wife, Sandy.
A day later, Hoogasian's neighbors in Cranston saw that the couple were on
the list of those missing in the West Warwick club fire. Ash Avenue residents
remembered the Hoogasians as helpful and social -- "the kind of people you'd
want to live around," said James Hayes, a neighbor and friend.
Theodore Norberg, 82, who lives across the street, said Michael Hoogasian
would take Norberg's wife, who was wheelchair-bound, on trips around the
"They were very generous people," he said.
Michael Hoogasian worked at the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. in Providence since
1994. Tommy Hunt, his sales manager, said he had wanted to recruit Hoogasian
for a management position
, but "he was always having fun with what he was doing," Hunt said. "He was
that kind of guy."
Hoogasian's job required him to visit supermarkets, working with grocery
store managers and staff to stock stores with Coke products. Hunt visited the
Stop & Shop in Cranston this week, where Hoogasian used to make deliveries.
Those who knew him had already heard the news, he said.
"The girls at the register, they were crying," he said. "He touched a lot
Hunt said Hoogasian was known for staying in impeccable shape. He was
outgoing, Hunt said, adding that he "always greeted everyone with a handshake
and a smile."
"He loved his wife, he loved his life," Hunt said. "We'll miss him."