Theresa Vogt

Family-Placed Death Notice

THERESA (RESI) DITGES VOGT Theresa (Resi) Ditges Vogt, age 89, of Atlanta, GA passed away peacefully in her sleep at her home on May 26, 2006. Theresa was born on October 27th, 1916 in Dusseldorf, Germany the youngest of thirteen children. She is survived by her two daughters Vera Ines Vogt and Anneliese Vogt-Harber, her son-in-law Gary Harber, her grandson Michael Harber, and numerous nephews and nieces in Europe and South America. She was preceded in death by her husband of 55 years, Joseph Vogt. Theresa conveyed a vigor for life and learning rarely seen today. She earned a combined masters degree in agriculture, home economics, and personnel management. During World War I in Germany, Theresa re-examined her young existence and made a life-altering decision. ×It probably sounds foolish,× Mrs. Vogt said ×but I didn't see any reason to save my money. The bombs were falling and when I got up in the morning, I didn't know if I would be alive at night. I loved horses ever since I was a little girl, and I wanted to ride, and ride well, so I spent all my money on riding lessons.× That choice would start a chain reaction that carried her through the rest of her life. During the war, she got a job training German Army horses for combat readiness. ×I loved the horses, and had my favorites. Someone from the Army would come out to see if a horse was ready for combat. He would stand beside the horse and shoot a gun in the air. If I had a favorite horse I was training, I would stick it with burrs when the gun went off so it would act up, and the Army would say it wasn't ready for combat. I really did that.× As the war moved on and the Russians got closer, she and a friend were among those who had to move the horses. They traveled mostly at night. ×We were so scared. Finally we ran away from the German Army. We found the American Army and the soldiers were very nice to us. They gave us food and a pass to get to the next village.× They progressed this way across Germany, traveling secretly from village to village. Eventually they reached her friend's home, but Theresa was still a long way from her family. ×I bought a horse and rode it across Germany to my family."× She then went to work for the American Army with their horses. After the war, the American Army helped her establish her own riding academy. She met her husband, Joe Vogt, at a horse show competition. × My husband was a member of the German cavalry a long time and he loved horses as much as I did. He had plans to come to America. I didn't have a lot of time to decide to marry him and come to the United States.× ×We sold the horses we had. One was a stallion that was my love. It was very difficult to part with him.× Theresa and Joe emigrated to America in 1952. They worked for several stables in Virginia, Michigan and New York, but wanted to start a family and academy of their own. They worked at a riding camp in North Carolina and subsequently came to Georgia. ×We brought some horses to Chastain Park in Atlanta, and loved it here."× ×At first we rented a place, then in 1958, we bought this one.× The Vogt's have had the same 10 acres in Dekalb County where they kept their horses and ran the academy since that time. They have influenced countless lives in their time. Michel Stewart Poklepovic, a close family friend, says of Theresa, ×Theresa was a remarkable mentor. I never saw her angry. If something went wrong, she immediately looked for the positive, or hopeful, side of the situation. She never avoided responsibility and she expected the same of others. She was the most consistently positive person I ever knew.× My best lesson learned during those years is that the animal is NEVER wrong. If you don't have the response you want, you must look to yourself to understand where you failed. This was thirty years before 'Horse Whisperers'. ×Lucy Lowe writes, ×I've been getting into natural horsemanship in recent years and I probably really bug my friends by leaning over to whisper in their ears at clinics, 'But Theresa Vogt was doing that years ago.× Another former student, Eric Datry, remembers the lessons learned that helped him into maturity.×As a young boy of 11 years going on to manhood, there existed many opportunities for countless adults to make an impression by either example or direct instruction on me; Theresa did both.× She also brought to my young mind the concept of humbleness and humility. This was a common lesson among young horseman under her tutelage. Theresa taught much more than the timeless clich of ×fall off the horse and getback on×. Theresa taught the lesson of the dangers of pride, embarrassment, sense of failure, and all the countless emotions that go with the sudden, but certain fall from a horse among your friends, family and watchful strangers, looking for perfection and detail. These lessons, these examples by someone I admired and loved as a boy of eleven and relived and remembered by visits to see this special person over the ensuing years, will follow me to the ends of my days here. Theresa's impact was not limited to just developing superb horsemen, but also to producing outstanding horses. In 1964, Joe returned to Europe to purchase a fine Lipizzan stallion. Joe took the stallion towards Austria, where he was to pick up two Lipizzan mares in Piba. With some difficulty and a daring ride, he was able to get all three horse out of the country and on their way to America. That stallion was none other than Maestoso Conversano Osi, a founding Lipizzan sire in America. With this small start, the Vogt's began a breeding program and, at one time, had more than four Lipizzan stallions in the barn. One of them, Tulipan Neopold, trained by Anneliese Vogt Harber, made it to national awards for Grand Prix Freestyle. Maestoso remained Theresa's favorite horse. Ann Chakales remembers being introduced to the barn in 1981. ×One of my first times at the barn, she took me around and introduced me to the horses, at least half of which were Lipizzans. She told me their histories and their accomplishments, and which ones had been born on the property. I met her dear old stallion, Maestoso, and watched her lovingly stroke his head and speak softly to him in German. I was amazed at the closeness of those two. I could just tell they were quite a team. Every time Mrs. Vogt walked through the barn she would always stop at his stall and talk to him, in German of course. And Maestoso would always nicker back to her. In Georgia, she helped found two foxhunting clubs, Tri-County in Griffin and Belle Meade in Thompson. She was a great inspiration as an equestrian and a person who positively influenced all that knew her, even in her last years. ×When we first came here, almost no one rode this way. People would say 'those Vogt's with their foreign ideas'. Now everyone rides this way. I have really had an interesting life. A lot of frightening things have happened, but it has been some wonderful experiences, and I wouldn't take anything for them×. The Vogt Academy will continue as a living legacy to the contribution she and her husband made for over fifty-one successful years in Atlanta. The visitation will be on Friday, June 9th at Wages and Sons in Stone Mountain at 2-4pm and 6-8pm. The service will be held on Saturday June 10th at 2 pm at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church on 2855 Briarcliff Road. Wages & Sons. 770-469-9811.
Published by Atlanta Journal-Constitution from Jun. 8 to Jun. 9, 2006.
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17 Entries
An amazing horsewoman, and an incredible person. Nearly 40 years later, I am still finding that the lessons I learned from Theresa and Joe extend far beyond riding and horses. I was not the most athletic of riders, but I loved it dearly, and remember well the ethic that if you try your hardest at each lesson and make the effort to understand your horse, you will continue to improve. I will never forget the immense pride I felt in being the first to sit and walk bareback on Florina, filly out of Flora by Theresa's beloved Maestoso, as she was being trained to the halter and reins. What a confidence boost that gave me!

And I still scold myself with Theresa's "foolish girl!" admonition when I do something really dumb.

Rest in peace, wonderful teacher. We'll not see your like again.

Fondly,

Kathy
Katherine Fleming Cullerton
June 26, 2006
Vera and Anneliese,
Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Unfortunately we were out of town during the funeral, otherwise I would be been there.

You have heard this many times, but your mother really was an amazing person. I loved the time I spent learning to ride with her. She had a great way of praising you and then telling you what you were doing wrong, so you wanted to become a better rider, not only for yourself, but to prove her faith in you! The article said it best, as she taught you that falling off your horse, was very much like your life will be, so relax, and roll into that fall. I remember thinking years ago that Mrs. Vogt really did a good job of preparing me for the business world!! Truly an amazing teacher and person.

I think my father enjoyed my lessons as much as me. He loved to come pick me up after the riding lessons as he so enjoyed talking with both your parents. Your mother charmed him! My father and I were both honored when we were invited to Mr. Vogt's 80th B-D party. I drove Dad to it, as he wanted to be sure to get there!

All I can think of now, is that there is this great riding school going on in heaven, the likes of which the angles have never seen before!!
Gail Peeler
June 22, 2006
Theresa Vogt was and is today one of the most influential people in my life. She was a joy, transparent (a rare quality), without guile (again, a rare quality), courageous, original in a world of copycats, loyal, would say anything (part of what made her so much fun), and so much more. I am grateful to have grown up with her example to follow in this world. Her lessons in riding were also lessons about living life. Anneliese and Ines, my sympathies are with you. May you both carry on what your parents began - I have no doubt that you will. Best wishes, as always. Susan
Susan Nall Sheehan
June 17, 2006
My condolences to Anneliese and Vera. Your mother was a very special person who influenced many people. My years at the Vogt Riding Academy are some of my most special memories. I will always remember your parents and everything they taught me about riding and life
Lynn Walker Vaughn
June 14, 2006
I grew up nearby, and once, during a particularly dreary time in my life I took to going over to the barn to visit with the horses. Mrs. Vogt would come out and walk with me. I always left feeling immeasurably better.

Remembering how therapeutic my visits were back then became the basis for a lifestyle which today includes horses and riding almost on a daily basis. Thank you.

My condolences to the family, and best wishes for the continued success of Vogt's Riding Academy.
Carolyn Healy
June 14, 2006
I took starting taking lessons with Teresa in 1968 at the age of eleven. My first horse was big, gentle Flora. I continued riding until Teresa thought I was good enough to help break in one of the youngsters, Independence, bareback, ha! I have memories of working in the tack room, scraping tack and cleaning it as well. Teresa was an exceptional person, and she will be missed so much.She and Joe left a wonderful legacy.
Ruth Dowd
June 12, 2006
I am sad to read of the passing of Mrs. Theresa. The many hours I spent as her caregiver are memories I'll always treasure. She was such a special lady. My thoughts and prayers are with Anneliese and her family and with Vera and Merlin. Sincerely, Jimi Ballard
Jimi Ballard
June 11, 2006
Theresa taught me everything I know about riding. She was indeed special. How very patient she was while always stressing the basics.I will never forget my favorite horse Zostro and my many lessons. With sympathy for your family!
Martha Springer
June 9, 2006
Mrs. Vogt made an age exception to allow me to take riding lessons at age 7. My sister and I rode for 2 years and moved to Iowa where we joined Pony Club. I made my 'B' rating and always had high marks in dressage. I'm sure our Ausatrian heritage and language as well as our father's experience in the Austrian cavalry helped get us in!!
I remember the nuzzling talk with Maestoso as well. I am now a veterinarian and rancher in Wyoming...My condolences to the family of such a fine horsewoman.
Katrin Kolder
June 9, 2006
Theresa was a unique, wonderful woman. She was a great friend to my mother, Florence McCormick, who died in 1972. All of the Vogts were a big part of my life for many years - my heartfelt sympathy to the family.
Dorothy McCormick
June 9, 2006
I really learning the art of riding from Joe & Theresa, especially dressage. They were always a wonderful memory. I think about them every time I ride my horses.
Lindsey Barron Carlson
June 9, 2006
My prayers and thoughts are with you. Your mom was a beautiful and special woman. I enjoyed listening to her stories and advice sitting in frount of the riding ring. She allways had a smile on her face.
Tiffany Townsend Tabor
June 9, 2006
We wish to extend our deepest sympathies at this difficult time.
Wages & Sons Funeral Homes, Inc. Stone Mountain Chapel
June 9, 2006
My aunt, Michel Poklepovic, loved Theresa. I remember hearing all these wonderful stories about her, her family and her horses. She will be missed.
Michel Ellis
June 8, 2006
There will never be another couple like Theresa and Joe. We were blessed to have you in our lives and hope to carry on the lessons we learned from you.
Michel Poklepovic
June 8, 2006
My best memories are of riding at Vogt Riding Acdemy. I will never forget Mrs. Vogt. She taught me not only to ride but a little cooking also. I loved her personality and spunk. She will be missed.
Cindy McDowell-Dillon
June 8, 2006
I loved Mrs. Vogt; she was brilliant, soft-hearted and funny. Thank you for the story of her life. Amazing woman!
Vinod Rubins
June 8, 2006
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