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NORTH WILDWOOD — Family, friends and colleagues celebrated the life of Councilman Rick Ogen on April 18.
Ogen died April 13 after battling brain cancer. His death was announced to council and others in an email from Mayor Bill Henfey’s secretary Friday afternoon.
Ogen was appointed to council in January 2008 to fill a vacancy. In 2009, he was elected to a three-year term.
“Rick has always been a gentleman and a valuable member of City Council,” said Henfey.
Council President Patrick Rosenello said that he’s known Ogen since grade school.
“His kids were just ahead of me when we went through St. Ann’s and Wildwood Catholic,” Rosenello said. “I’m honored to have a personal relationship with him and the honor of serving on City Council with him.”
“He was someone you never heard a bad word about,” Rosenello added.
Henfey said that Ogen’s expertise in planning and zoning was invaluable during the time he served as the mayor’s representative to the city’s Planning Board.
“He was very dedicated to every thing he did, whether that was with his family or in his business. He carried that type of commitment over when he served on council,” said Rosenello.
“His efforts and expertise will be very deeply missed by the city and all of us who consider him a friend,” Rosenello added.
His even-keeled personality made him a pleasure to work with and be around, Henfey said.
“He has contributed much to our city and was just an all around good guy. I personally will miss his insight and his humor,” Henfey said of Ogen.
Ogen, 67, was born in Philadelphia. He became a full time resident of the city in 1985 after spending summers on the island, including running an ice cream parlor with his wife Phyllis on the boardwalk through the 1980s.
Ogen attended Rutgers University where he received a bachelor of arts in business administration. He worked as a Realtor for more than 40 years, with 18 years spent at Tolz Real Estate in North Cape May and 25 with Avalon Real Estate.
He was a member of the Cape May County Board of Realtors, Greater Wildwood Elks Lodge 1896, St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Church and the North Wildwood Republican Club.
Many residents also remember Ogen from performances as a trumpet player and vocalist for the Love Affair Band. When he wasn’t playing in local pubs and special events with the band, Ogen spent his time fishing, playing tennis, cheering on the Phillies and spending time with his family and dog Starsky.
He is survived by his wife of 44 years Phyllis, son Richard, daughter Donna and grandchildren, Taylor and Morgan.
The family suggests donations in his memory should be made to the Cape May County Animal Shelter, 110 Shelter Road, Cape May Court House, 08210.
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