RICHARD BOGOSIAN

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RICHARD PAUL BOGOSIAN Richard Paul Bogosian ("Dick") was born on October 8, 1923 in Cambridge, MA. He is preceded in death by his wife of 40 years, Norma Esther Pederson Bogosian. He is survived by four daughters; Arlyne Ferrara, Barbara Power, Heather Schoonmaker (son- in-law, John), and Paula Boutwell (son-in-law, Bruce); and 7 grandchildren, Laura and Justin Schoonmaker, Isabel and Hannah Power, and William, Claire, and Mark Boutwell. Richard's life represents a legacy of service to his country, his church, his family, and his community. His caring for others was influenced at an early age during the depression when his father was gainfully employed as a brilliant design engineer. His mother Rose at 4am each day to cook oatmeal for the less fortunate neighbors. Richard and his brother, Edward, dutifully delivered steaming pots of oatmeal each day before school. To earn money, Richard worked as a golf caddy at the local country club and learned the game of golf from some of the best pros. Golf was his passion throughout his life and he later became a long time member of the Vero Beach Country Club. He played in many pro-am tournaments and shot 2 holes in one, the most recent at the young age of 81. As a young man, Richard joined the Army and was assigned to the Army Specialized Training Program which prepared personnel for officer candidate schools and other military tasks. Under that program, he studied engineering at Georgetown University, and during that time met the love of his life, Norma Esther Pederson. On February 18, 1944, he was assigned to active duty with the ground forces - Company "D", 406th Infantry, 102 Division. His specialty was "machine gunner heavy" and his qualifications included1st Class Gunner, expert rifle, expert carbine, and MKM Rifle sharpshooter. He fought in the Rhineland and Central Europe campaigns, was shot during battle, sent to London to recover, and ultimately back to the front lines. Always resourceful and inventive, he tells the story of how he prevented "foot rot" by using a soldering torch taken from a German tank to dry his soaking socks and boots each night. As the war came to an end, he was honorably discharged and awarded a Purple Heart for Military Merit, Good Conduct Medal, European African Middle Eastern Theater Campaign Ribbon, American Theater Campaign Ribbon, and Victory Medal. Following the war, he went on to law school graduating from Northeastern University and was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 1951. He had all intentions of practicing law in MA, but destiny had other plans. Richard and Norma celebrated an April Fool's Day wedding and were married on April 1, 1952. With a young family to support, Richard accepted a job with W.T.Grant Co. from a family friend and was "promised" a spot on the legal team. Instead he was recruited by the retail store division and he and Norma moved their family throughout the northeast 15 times in 17 years so that he could manage the opening of new stores as the company expanded. In 1955, shortly after their third daughter was born, Norma was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and they began to re-think their lifestyle. Norma's sister, Margaret, had vacationed at the Driftwood Inn on numerous occasions and had fallen in love with Vero Beach. In 1962, when the opportunity came to open a W.T. Grant Co. store in Vero Beach's Miracle Mile Shopping Center, Richard boldly accepted the role, knowing that the warmer climate and slower pace would be healthier for Norma. Life in Vero Beach was sunny and casual and Richard's young family flourished. When the time came for yet another Grant's transfer, he turned it down and left his career with W.T.Grant Co. Always looking back at his abandoned law career, he reinvented his original intentions, studied for the Florida Bar for six months and passed the first time. With few resources left, he rented a gutted space on the ground floor of the Pocahontas Building. Long into the wee hours of the night, he built partitions, installed paneling, lighting, and wiring and painted the 20 foot high walls. He bought a used electric typewriter and with Norma as his part time secretary/bookkeeper, he realized a life- long dream and opened his own law practice in 1965. His daughter, Barbara Power, joined the practice in 1988 and continues the tradition as Bogosian and Power, Chartered. As a young professional and responsible citizen, Richard became active in the local community. He saw the opportunity to make Vero Beach an even better place to live. In 1966 he was persuaded by the Republican Club of Indian River County to run for County Commissioner. It was a long shot, as no Republican had won in 90 years! Richard, Norma, and their children and friends campaigned tirelessly, walking door-to-door for hours, attending speaking engagements all over the county, riding in the Labor Day Parade and cruising through town in a turquoise colored car with a gigantic self- made car topper sign that embarrassed his daughters every day when he took them to school! The strategy worked and Richard was not only elected the first time, but re-elected in 1970, serving for 2 years as the County Commission Chair. Anticipating robust future growth in Indian River County, he and his fellow commissioners established critical infrastructure components including a county building code with height and density restrictions, a county sanitary code, better drainage and storm water runoff, and more Home Rule. They also initiated the beginnings of economic development in Vero Beach. Richard and Norma joined the First Presbyterian Church of Vero Beach in 1964 and Richard was ordained as a Deacon in 1968. Richard was deeply devoted to his family and will be forever remembered as a loving husband, father, and grandfather. Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. Friday, January 18, 2013 at Strunk Funeral Home, Vero Beach. A celebration of Richard's life will be held 1:00 p.m., Saturday at the First Presbyterian Church, Vero Beach with Dr. G. Timothy Womack officiating. Interment will follow in Crestlawn Cemetery, Vero Beach with military honors conducted by the United States Army Honor Guard. An online guestbook is available at www.strunkfuneralhome.com Paid Obituary

Published in the TC Palm on Jan. 18, 2013
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