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A Fond Farewell to Grandpa Hogette

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A tribute to the life of Ralph Campbell, known as Grandpa Hogette. (Published Thursday, Sep 2, 2010)

    His name was Ralph Campbell, but only a small circle of Redskins fans probably knew.

    To everyone else, he was Grandpa Hogette, one of the original good-time pig-snouted cross-dressers that became a staple at home games and raised thousands for charity in the process.

    Campbell passed away last week at the age of 73, and it's hard to imagine he regretted anything in his life but a loss or 10: In nearly 30 years as a Hogette, Grandpa conducted the National Symphony, rode an elephant down Pennsylvania Avenue, appeared in a credit card commercial, and attended two Super Bowls.

    It was all thanks to his love of the Redskins, and, as his youngest daughter told DC Sports Bog, his being a "natural-born ham."

    "He was, as we say, a natural-born ham," [Lori] Cole told me. "He loved the attention, but he also loved helping people, and he loved the Redskins. And he never gave up on them. Every year, he thought this was the year. He was a true Redskins fan." 

    His trademark was the yellow dress, seen above.

    "Our designer is Calvin Swine," Campbell told the AP in 1990, in a story in which he was called "the pretty one."

    Campbell was among the first Hogettes to sign on when Michael Torbert started the Hogettes. He picked up a dress from his mother when visiting his first grandchild in 1983 and repped the Redskins in its replacement until he was forced on the inactive list by the effects of a stroke.

    "He loved children, he loved people, he loved doing all the charity events," said his wife, Tommie Campbell, "and this would make him very happy."

    A Navy man and a veteran of the Vietnam War, Campbell will be laid to rest next month at Arlington National Cemetery -- but in a Redskins tie, of course.