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John Burton Ogden

John Burton Ogden passed away peacefully Friday 17 May 2019 at his home in Federal Way after a lengthy illness. John was born 8 February 1931 in Tacoma to Crompton Ogden, an insurance salesman who had come from Chicago four years earlier, and the former Elizabeth Allen, a descendant of Washington Territory pioneers.

John attended Tacoma public schools and graduated from Stadium High School in 1949. As a boy, he was known for delivering newspapers, peddling seeds in the spring, fresh fruit in the summer and magazine subscriptions in the fall. He was an avid Sea Scout, and a varsity sports manager in high school. John worked his way through the University of Washington in the Army ROTC program and carried mail during Christmas holidays. He pledged Theta Delta Chi and served as an intramural sports manger and member of the Managerial Council, earning a varsity letter his senior year. He graduated in December 1953 with a degree in accounting. Before the start of active duty, John followed his fiancé, Grace Ellen Friedrich of Oregon City, OR, also a UW graduate, to Columbus, OH, where she was in a dietetic internship and Masters' program at Ohio State University and John worked for Nationwide Insurance. He and Grace were married in 1955.

Lt. John Ogden served in the Army from 1954-1956 in the artillery stationed at Ft. Sill, Lawton, OK., and was involved with nuclear weapons testing. With an abundance of career officers returning from Korea, Lt. Ogden took an opportunity for early reserve duty, and embarked on a 41-year career with Weyerhaeuser. John started in Springfield, OR. He next took a position at Cosmopolis, WA, living in Hoquiam for 10 years. Three sons were born to John and Grace there, then a daughter after relocating to Plymouth, NC.

The Ogdens returned briefly to the Pacific Northwest when John took a position at Weyerhaeuser's then-new corporate headquarters in Federal Way, WA, then to Columbus, MS, for 18 years where John was comptroller for Weyerhaeuser's Mississippi-Alabama region. John and Grace were active band parents during their children's tenure in marching band until they graduated from Caldwell High School and scattered across the country for college and started families of their own. Weyerhaeuser brought John back to Federal Way in 1991 where he retired in 1997.

John was a member of the National Association of Accountants, serving two terms as chapter president. He volunteered his accounting expertise in a variety of community endeavors. The Boy Scouts awarded him the Silver Beaver in recognition for his years of service on troop committee assignments and as council treasurer. He was a member of Kiwanis International, and served as his club's president and later as their district lt.-governor. A life-long Episcopalian, he was a layreader for over forty years in the dioceses of East Carolina, Olympia, and Mississippi. He frequently served on vestry, often as treasurer, and as senior warden.

In retirement John volunteered for blood drives, donating his own blood every eight weeks. He continued his church work and balanced it with pursuits shared with his wife and extended family. He enjoyed family history and enrolled his children and grandchildren in the Mayflower Descendants, and claimed descent from six signers of the Mayflower Compact. John treasured old photos and newspaper clippings of the exploits of his Washington ancestors. A great-great grandfather was Stephen Hodgdon, a carpenter who came from Massachusetts in 1850 for California gold, and, failing to make a strike, came north for farmland. His homestead became Hodgdon's Station, now Tenino, on the stagecoach road between Olympia and the Columbia, and in 1872 was the western terminus of the Northern Pacific railroad before being built to completion in Tacoma. John's maternal great-grandfathers were John Henry Long, who was among the Chehalis residents who convinced the Northern Pacific railroad to build a terminal there, and later was elected to the first state legislature; and Jesse Mills Allen, son of Chicago pioneers, who was successful in Cook County land speculation and politics, and who came to Tacoma amidst the depression of 1893 to support his son William Burton Allen's interest in the Tacoma Trust and Savings Bank. Despite desperate efforts, the bank went into receivership in 1895, one of 17 Tacoma banks to fail during that economic crisis, out of 21. John organized a reunion of the descendants of William Burton Allen and Florence Adelaide Long in 2006 with his cousins for their children and grandchildren.

John enjoyed Seattle Symphony concerts with Grace, UW football at Husky Stadium, and especially Mariners baseball with Grace and their children and grandchildren, as their schedules would permit.

John is survived by Grace, his wife for 64 years; his children and their spouses: Richard and Celeste (Mitchell) of Covington, WA; Philip and Jennifer (McDaniel) of Spokane; Paul and Julia (Park) of Istanbul and Mary and Mike Hembree of Ft. Wayne, IN; ten grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He is also survived by his sister Marjorie Ogren of Newton, NC, a niece and nephew, four cousins and their extended families.

A memorial service will be held at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, Federal Way, Thursday, June 6 at 11AM with a reception to follow. Inurnment is at Tahoma National Cemetery in Covington. The family suggests, in lieu of flowers, memorials in John's name to the Church of the Good Shepherd, the Parkinson's Foundation, or to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.