Sydney Ruel Ogden, 76, of Little Rock, died May 25, 2010, after a four-year battle with cancer.
Sydney Ruel Ogden, 76, of Little Rock, died May 25, 2010, after a four-year battle with cancer. He was born June 3, 1933 in Helena to Ruel Valentine and Edna Cruse (Campbell) Ogden. He graduated from Central High School in Helena. He earned a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and a Master of Science of Social Work from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
He took great pride in the fact that his ancestors were from the U.K., having immigrated from Wales, York, and Scotland to the English Colonies in America as early as 1656. He often said that he forgave his paternal grandmother for not being English. He had a great interest in Byzantine culture and history and often taught classes on Byzantine Christianity. His favorite foreign country was Turkey, which he and his wife, Marolyn, visited many times during their world travels.
He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy in the submarine service during the Korean War. He retired as the director of the Veteran Administration's Addictions Treatment Program at Fort Roots in North Little Rock and simultaneously served as a faculty member of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Psychiatry Department.
He was a loyal husband, father, grandfather, and brother who loved his family. He was a devoted member of St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in Little Rock where he was commissioned a Community of Hope lay chaplain and served the church in many other capacities. He loved his church and its clergy and laity and looked forward to completing his deacon's orders. Before being diagnosed with cancer, he was accepted into the Diaconate of the Little Rock Diocese.
His parents and his son, Vance Cruse Ogden, preceded him in death. He leaves his wife, Marolyn, to whom he was married for 52 years; his daughter, Renn Valentine Gattis (Randy) of Little Rock; grandsons, Ryan Gattis and Ridge Gattis of Little Rock; a brother, Ellis Joe Ogden (Anna Elizabeth) of Bryant, a niece, Kimberly Ann Ogden of Little Rock; a nephew, Kyle Edward Ogden of Little Rock; and a sister-in-law, Carolyn Miller (Frank) of Bismarck. He also leaves a host of friends who he loved and who loved him.
He never met a stranger and was always ready to help those in need. The family is grateful for the excellent treatment, care and compassion given to Sydney by Dr. Laura Hutchins, the oncology nurses and support staff of the Winthrop Rockefeller Cancer Institute at UAMS.
He struggled in his battle with cancer but he was always spiritually upbeat and faced his illness with courage. Historian Howard Zinn who wrote best expressed his philosophy about life: "What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places - and there are many - where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory. Life is meaningless only if we allow it to be. Each of us has the power to give life meaning, to make our time and our bodies and our words into instruments of love and hope."
The Memorial Eucharist and Inurnment will be celebrated 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 2 at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, 20900 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock.
The Rev. Dr. Joanna Siebert and Rev. Evelyn Hornaday will officiate.
A reception will be held at the church immediately following the services.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, or to the charity of your choice.
Online guestbook: www.rollerfuneralhomes.com/chenal