ROBERT JAMES BOGAN (1935-2019)
Robert James Bogan (AKA Uncle Bob, Dad, Pop-Pop) was born in Glen Ridge, New Jersey on May 19, 1935 and most recently passed January 31st, 2019. He was raised by his parents, James and Dorothy in Cedar Grove, New Jersey where he lived with his sister, Judy. After graduating from High School, where he earned his Eagle Scout and participated in the NJ Boys State program, Dad enlisted in the Navy and became a Seaman’s Apprentice and Machinist’s Mate striker. Within the next year, he trained in Bainbridge, MD and Great Lakes Naval Station in Illinois, before he was selected for the Naval Aviation Cadet program. While in training, he was commissioned as an Ensign and flew his first Helicopter Solo flight. On February 6, 1957, on one of his most proud days, Dad earned his Navy Wings of Gold and was officially certified as a Naval Aviator and a US Navy Helicopter Pilot. During his military career, Dad earned the rank of LCDR and was attached to Helicopter Squadron 9 in Rhode Island and Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 751 in Lakehurst, New Jersey. As he departed HS-9 in August 1957, he picked up one of his most treasured items in a local shop in Quonset Point for $197 – an 1873 Single Action Army Calvary 45 Long Colt. After the service, Dad joined United Airlines as a helicopter pilot and First Officer, before finishing his career at Bobst Champlain, Inc in Roseland, New Jersey. Dad has a talent for finding value in ‘stuff’ and seeing the best in people. He has been a collector for as long as we can remember – stamps, coins, guns, swords, buttons, lawn mowers, toasters… but most of all, he has collected a lifetime of family and friends. He has three sons (Jim, Tom and Matt) from his first marriage to Diane Darnstaedt and another three children (Julia, Kim and Mike) when he married Rebecca Colescott in 1984. Dad and Becky have been together now for 35 years, which I think officially qualifies her for Sainthood. From the six children, he now has nine wonderful grandchildren who all deeply love their ‘Pop-Pop’ and hold a special place in his heart. In addition to his kind, giving and sentimental nature, Dad is also the toughest son of a gun I know. For over 23 years, he has been fighting a battle against Cancer and each time he has managed to kick it in the teeth and keep on ticking. He has a strength and determination that continues to be an inspiration for all of us. Dad always had an interest in the Civil War and has been collecting for over 60 years – swords, bayonets, more than 140 firearms and over 20,000 buttons. As far as we know, he hasn’t sold more than 1 or 2 guns over that time, so it has been very difficult for him to let go of this collection. We just ask that you take good care of these items and cherish them as he did for all of these years. God Bless you and we love you Dad.