Judge Amy Connie Hoogasian
May 5, 1968 – November 14, 2021
Judge Amy C. Hoogasian, most recently of Phoenix, AZ, formerly of San Francisco, CA and Lake Forest, IL, passed away on November 14, 2021, surrounded by loved ones.
Judge Hoogasian grew up in suburban Chicago—under the encouraging eye of her late father, the Honorable Jack Hoogasian and her lawyer mom, Claudia Aho Hoogasian. Both she and her father served on the Board of Governors of the Armenian Bar Association, beginning at the inception of the Association more than thirty years ago. Her father’s public service as a State’s Attorney and then as a Lake County Circuit Court Judge motivated his daughter to pursue a career in law. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Judge Hoogasian attended The John Marshall Law School in Chicago and also studied law at Uppsala Universitet in Sweden. Her passion for international law was born of her family’s history— her grandparents’ ship manifests evidencing their arrival to Ellis Island in 1923 adorned the wall in her chambers and it served as a constant reminder of her grandparents’ hardship in immigrating to the United States.
Like her father and mother, Judge Hoogasian served as a county prosecutor when she graduated from law school. Her interest in environmental law then led her to a position with the Illinois Pollution Control Commission where she served as a hearing officer writing hundreds of decisions. In 1999, she joined the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement as a prosecutor. Looking to broaden her experience, Judge Hoogasian then served as chief counsel to Illinois-based Uline Inc., a privately-held, billion-dollar company, launching and managing its in-house legal department. In 2010, Judge Hoogasian applied for and was appointed a U.S. Immigration Judge in San Francisco by Attorney General Eric Holder. She went on to serve as Assistant Chief Immigration Judge in Phoenix from 2015 to the present.
Throughout her career, Judge Hoogasian took the time and made the effort to mentor law students and newer attorneys. She maintained that her decision to become a judge was not necessarily part of an overall plan, but made sense as she looked back and connected the dots—even tracing the dots back to the steps her Armenian grandparents and Finnish ancestors took to come to America. Judge Hoogasian said it reminded her of a quote from Steve Jobs, who once said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” So true, in the case of Judge Hoogasian.
Judge Hoogasian led a life full of love and dedication to her family and dear friends, whom she cherished. She was an outdoor enthusiast who loved kayaking, venturing on canoe trips, and hiking. She was also extremely committed to her triathlons and the intense training. Judge Hoogasian was a world traveler and enjoyed taking adventurous excursions with family and friends. Her love for travel started with time studying abroad, at a young age in Hungary and Sweden. She loved baking and was well known for sharing her delicious treats with work colleagues and friends. Above all else, Judge Hoogasian treasured spending time with her very much adored niece and nephews who meant the world to her.
A service will be held on Saturday, December 4, 2021 ,at 11 a.m. at The Church of the Holy Spirit in Lake Forest, Illinois.