Alma Vogel

Alma Black Vogel
Surrounded by her loving and devoted family (which she adored), after having lived a long life in good health, Alma passed away quickly and ever so peacefully at home in San Francisco; three months away from turning 99!
Born in San Francisco to David and Celia Black, she was raised there (and briefly in Oroville) attending Girls High and Lowell High School. Spending the summers at her family's resort, Club Almaden (near San Jose), was a highlight of her young life with the various activities of the popular daily swim club and the weekly outdoor dances . She spoke often of riding her horse, Leftie there.
Belvedere lured Alma and her husband Arthur and their two children, Lorin and Chrissi, away from San Francisco in 1955, where they built one of the first Lagoon homes with a pool, that was always filled to the brim with family and friends as well as Square Dance parties. There she relished directing the Children's Little Theatre Group's many S.R.O. shows.
After marrying and raising her family, she became a productive and respected participant in varied community projects, some of which are listed here. Alma served as an early Board member of the San Francisco International Film Festival. In 1970, she was in charge of Transportation (including celebrities) for the 14th Festival. From the outset, Alma was also involved in the Los Angeles International Film Exposition, and in its second year she was its Hospitality Chair. Having grown up with "show business" in the family, (Ben Black's Orchestra was her uncle's, who also is credited with the song "Moonlight and Roses") made Alma comfortable around "stars". Alma also worked with Dorothy (Dollie) Fritz Cope in San Francisco, helping establish Nob Hill's Huntington Park Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. Alma was a Charter Member of the Exploratorium. Alma co-chaired, with Mrs. Walter Johnson, the Palace of Fine Art's fund raising efforts to establish the 1000 seat Theatre as part of the total refurbishment of the Palace in the 70's. In 1970, Alma was invited to join other luminaries in Mayor Alioto's goodwill visit to Osaka, our Japanese sister city, the site of Expo '70.
Believing in the political process and a long-time sustaining member of the Republican Party, she was an active volunteer on various campaigns. Wanting to help the war effort (WWII), Alma served as a military driver in the Bay Area. Veterans' causes remained a lifelong dedication.
From 1981 - 1991, she became a professional Building Manager of the large apartment buildings at 1310 Jones, and 2398 Pacific Ave, with notable distinction.
Widowed by the passing of her wonderful husband, the popular, cherished and beloved Arthur P. Vogel, in 1970, she later married the well known, widely liked and loved, C. Raymond Goman, Orpheum Circuit vaudevillian and owner of Goman' Gay 90's in he City. She is survived by her three children: Ronald B. Vogel, Lorin B. (and Debbie) Vogel, and Chrissi B.V. Wondolowski; six grandchildren, Austin and Devon (and Christina) Wondolowski, Tyson and Dain Vogel, Alexis Vogel, Ronny (and Kathy) Vogel; and three great grandchildren, Ryan, Miley and Keighly Vogel. She is also survived by her stepson, Ray K. Goman and his wife, Carol Jean, and five stepgrandchildren: Belle, Wendy, Julie, Kim, and Jennifer and the their spouses and children.
As an original and true catalyst, ageless Alma will be missed by many, who have innumerable "Alma Stories" to tell, created by her spunky personality that left an indelible impression on all who met her once, or knew her well. Among the legendary themes are: generosity; luncheons she routinely organized for her friends at Trader Vics; her big yellow Cadillac; her pride of being of British heritage; her enjoyment of being born a Pisces; her love of chocolate; her playfulness with words; the rascal in her that reached across the generations into her grandchildren's friends' lives; her love of all children; her complete dedication her family, embracing them with every drop of devotion and involvement asked for; and a lifelong Christian Scientist who shared her deep understanding to help others. Her family will certainly miss her loving presence, her counsel, her devotion, her upside-down life, her back-scratches, and all those powerful hugs and endless kisses she bestowed. Alma's secret to a long, robust life ... and lesson for us all ... HAVE MORE FUN!
There was a private Memorial at the Fairmont Hotel, her lifelong playground (as a child, Alma swam in the Tonga Room pool, when it was introduced as the Fairmont Plunge).
Disabled Veterans would benefit by any remembrances on behalf of Alma B. Vogel.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Feb. 24, 2013