Vernon Leslie Ogden, of Guthrie, Okla., and formerly of Clarkston, passed away suddenly Monday, May 27, 2019, in Edmond, Okla.
Dad was born Dec. 19, 1935, in Lewiston to Kenneth and Rauly (Perkins) Ogden. He attended Clarkston High School, graduating in 1954, as the class valedictorian. He was active in sports and played fullback for coach Tom Parry and the football team, which still holds the record of being the only undefeated team in 1953. Coach Parry was a terrific role model for Dad at such a young age.
He attended Stanford University for two years before transferring to the University of Washington, where he received a degree in civil engineering. He loved his Huskies/Dawgs but would also “root” for the Cougs unless the Apple Cup was being played. Dad made yearly bets with his sons and brother, Marc, always wanting us to give him points in favor of his Huskies.
He married JoAnne Gilpatrick on Sept. 18, 1955. They had four children: Kim, Jolly, Ken and Mike. Dad and Mom later divorced. While living in Southern California, Dad designed and constructed freeways. He was most proud of being project manager overseeing the building of the Mulholland Bridge over the Interstate 405 freeway.
Dad married Faye Stepp-Mills on Jan. 15, 1971. They recently celebrated 48 years together. Dad was blessed with three more children, Greg, Lonnie and Teresa, who he loved dearly. The summer months, with all seven kids, were spent making memories traveling, at times, in the famous “MERC” station wagon to Dodger baseball games, Disneyland or on occasion to Der Wienershchnitzel for dinner. Dad continued his work in the construction business for the majority of his life while partnering with others along the way. He mentored very many while making numerous friends along the way.
Dad joined the Elks organization in the early 1980s. He was a very proud and dedicated member for more than 42 years, holding many district and state offices, and being exalted ruler in the lodges he was a member of. In April of this year, he was awarded the Honorary Past State President, a very prestigious award not held by many.
When their children married and moved away, Dad and Mom decided to retire and moved to Guthrie, Okla., in 2001, where Mom’s family lived. They delivered Meals on Wheels for seniors, always making friends with everyone. Dad kept busy serving on boards throughout the community. Dad and Mom remained very active in their Elk’s lodge. Dad was always ready and willing to lend a hand to so many, even those he may have only known for a short period of time. He will be truly missed but never forgotten by so very many. He was one of a kind.
Preceding him in death were his parents, father Kenneth Ogden and mother Eunice Prehn, and father Stanley Lafrenz and mother Rauly Potter; daughter Kim Ogden Potoshnik, and brother Major General Larry Lafrenz.
He leaves behind his wife, Faye, at the family home; sons, Kenneth Ogden (Sherie), Gregory Ogden (Angela), Michael Ogden (Heather) and Lonnie Ogden; daughters, Jolly Barrett and Teresa Ogden Swartzbaugh (Jeff); sisters, Patricia Rinard, Barbara Ogden and Kathryn King (Martin); brothers, Steve Lafrenz (Deb) and Marc Lafrenz (Pam); also, 12 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and his beloved friend and pal, “KAT.”
There will be a celebration of Dad’s life from 1-4 p.m. July 20 at Lancer Lanes in Clarkston. Please dress casual and bring your stories of Dad for everyone to hear.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Vern’s name be made to the Clarkston Education Foundation/CEF, P.O. Box 361, Clarkston, WA 99403. He loved being a Bantam and would have wanted young kids to excel in continuing their education.