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Episcopal Church of the Ephny
2222 S Price Rd
Tempe, AZ 85282
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Michael Ogden


1931 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Michael Ogden

Tempe Dr. Michael Ogden, M.D., age 87, peacefully entered eternal life near midnight on May 2, 2018, at Friendship Village Senior Living Community in Tempe, Arizona, where he recently resided.

From his birth on January 18, 1931 to his death, Michael inspired and blessed those around him with selfless dedication to his family, friends, patients and Christian faith.

He was born in Berkeley, California, the oldest of three children, to Dr. Eric Ogden, M.D. and Olga Ivanoff Ogden. At the age of six, as a Tiger, he became an enthusiastic and devoted member of the Boy Scouts of America, a passion he would follow for several decades, earning the rank of Life Scout and later serving as a Scoutmaster for the troop in which his sons were members.

He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire and maintained close friendships with several classmates throughout his life. He often reflected favorably that Robert Frost read "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" to his English class: " ... The Woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep ..."

Following Exeter, Michael earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mathematics from Oberlin College in Ohio. His sister Eleanor also graduated from Oberlin, as did her future spouse, Harry Poehlmann.

Inspired largely by his father, an expert in circulatory and respiratory physiology, Michael earned a Medical Degree from Ohio State University. There he met Mary Hendricks, a nursing student from a farming family in northwestern Ohio, when he wandered into the wrong laboratory and she provided directions to the correct room. They married after graduation and moved to New York City, where Mary provided in-home nursing care to families in Harlem and Michael interned at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan.

Michael and Mary moved frequently during the next few years, spending time in Fort Totten, North Dakota and Red Lake, Minnesota before settling briefly in Seattle, Washington. There, Michael completed his residency, became Board Certified in Public Health, and they adopted their first son, Peter. They lived briefly in Ann Arbor, Michigan where Michael completed his Master's Degree in Public Health Administration, and Pleasant Hill, California where they adopted their second son, Mark.

Michael's growing interest in the American Indians and concern for their access to medical care directed most of his professional life. As a result, the family next moved to Pine Ridge, South Dakota, on the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) Indian Reservation. Michael served as the Medical Director of the Pine Ridge Indian Medical Center. He also took flying lessons and earned his Private Pilot certificate so he could better serve people in the far-flung areas of the reservations.

In 1966, as the family was leaving South Dakota for Washington D.C, they adopted their first daughter, Elizabeth. Michael spent the next three years leading the Public Health Service's Rural Health Program and raising awareness of the state of healthcare in remote Native American communities.

The family moved to Gallup, New Mexico, near the Navajo Indian Reservation in 1969, where Michael served as the Medical Director at Gallup Indian Medical Center for the next ten years. While residing in Gallup, Michael and Mary adopted a fourth child, Vicky, from Colorado.

The family travelled often throughout the United States, usually in an International Harvester Travelall, with one or more of the children sitting between parents on the front bench seat, camping at various National Parks such as Yellowstone, Yosemite, Badlands, Grand Canyon, Zion and many others. Michael renewed his Private Pilot license and bought a 1949 Cessna 170A. He and Peter thoroughly enjoyed flying over the immense open spaces and breathtaking scenery of Monument Valley, the Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, Canyon de Chelly and other natural marvels in the four corners area. Gallup provided Michael and his family the opportunity to develop close friendships with numerous neighbors and residents, which continue today. Michael and his family next moved to The Lakes area of Tempe, Arizona, where he lived for the next 40 years. Perhaps to better address the angst generated by teenagers, Michael completed a three-year psychiatric residency at Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix and thereafter specialized in the counseling and treatment of adolescent patients in Phoenix and Scottsdale. Following Mary's untimely death, Michael married U Stark in 1993, whom he had met and known well at Oberlin College. Together, they operated Michael's medical practice until they retired in 2012. A displaced New Yorker, U learned to love the "wild west" as much as Michael did and they travelled the open spaces often. Michael was an expert in the history of the peoples of the United Kingdom, Wales and Ireland, particularly in the monarchies of those countries. Raised in the Anglican Church, Michael was a devout and life-long Episcopalian, firmly believing in the Trinity and often serving in a vestry role as a warden or senior warden, most recently at the Church of the Epiphany in Tempe. Michael is survived by his children Peter, Mark, Elizabeth and Vicky, his grandchildren Lauren, Andrew, Jasmine, Jack, Andrew, James, Selina, Duke, Aristeen and Cherie and his great-granddaughter, Zoey. He is also survived by his sisters Eleanor (Poehlmann) and Kathryn (Kingwell). He was predeceased by his parents, Eric and Olga, his first wife Mary, and his second wife, Li. Michael's family would like to thank the doctors, nurses, caregivers and staff at Friendship Village for their assistance, guidance and support. They also thank the spiritual counselors and care providers at Hospice of the Valley, for their calm, unvarnished perspective and advice to Michael and his family, towards the end of his life.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 19, 2018 at the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, 2222 South Price Road, Tempe, Arizona, 85282, followed by a gathering and celebration of Michael's life at the home of Mark Ogden. In lieu of flowers, Michael's family would appreciate donations to the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany.
Published in The Arizona Republic from May 13 to May 19, 2018
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