Rev. John Richard Vogel Jr. Obituary
VOGEL, JR. Rev. John Richard Vogel, Jr. died suddenly and unexpectedly of natural causes on Saturday, May 28, 2016. He was 75. Services will be on Tuesday, June 7 at 11 a.m. at St. James United Methodist Church, 5540 Wayne Avenue, Kansas City, Missouri 64110, with a visitation at the church immediately thereafter. Dick was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in June 1940 to John Richard Vogel and Anna Watson Vogel. In 1948, the family moved to Normandy in the St. Louis, Missouri area, where he spent the remainder of his childhood. Dick graduated from Normandy High School as valedictorian in 1958, and attended the University of Michigan, initially intending to pursue a career in engineering. After a short time, he changed his course of study to philosophy and religion, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1962, and remaining eternally loyal to the Wolverines. He also obtained a master’s degree from Depauw University and a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School in 1966. Dick relocated to Kansas City that year to become the minister at Troost Avenue United Methodist Church and an integral part of the United Methodist Church’s Inner City Parish. He served at several churches during his career, including Central United Methodist Church, Kairos United Methodist Church, and later St. James United Methodist Church. As a minister, he was well regarded for performing countless numbers of weddings for couples throughout the area. Dick also worked for many years as the Executive Director of the Kansas City Mental Health Association. In the early 1980s, he transitioned into the financial services industry, and went on to a very successful career focused on life insurance sales, primarily with Northwestern Mutual Life. For many years, he could be found on the tennis courts or the restaurant at the Rockhill Tennis Club, of which he was an active member. At the time of his death, he was somewhat officially retired, although would likely admit he had a difficult time removing himself completely from the business of churches and insurance. He is survived by his wife, Mary Tracy Smith; a sister, Virginia Simmons; a son, David Vogel, and his wife, Maureen Mannion Vogel; a daughter, Emily Vogel, and her wife, Carly Evans; and four grandchildren, Mia Vogel, Connor Vogel, Kate Evans, and Sam Evans. He was preceded in death by his parents and a son, Mark Vogel. Dick was a wonderful father, brother, friend, colleague, and pastor, who worked very hard and dedicated significant portions of his life to helping those less fortunate. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to Della Lamb Community Center, Grand Avenue Temple United Methodist Church, or any other organization that helps those in need, as well as to the Yale Divinity School Class of 1966 50th Anniversary Scholarship Endowment Fund.
His family also believes that he would want those who respect his memory to agree they will never vote for the current frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination.
Published in Kansas City Star from June 2 to June 5, 2016