John Stewart Ogden, 56, of Landgrove

John S. Ogden, 56, passed away at his home in Landgrove, surrounded by his family and friends as well as a loving cat and dog. This was the final stage in a challenging, decade-long journey with rectal cancer, a battle that he fought with strength, determination and grit until the end.

John was a pillar of every community he was ever a part of. After attending Flood Brook Union School for elementary school, he went to high school at Phillips Andover Academy ’85, and graduated from Middlebury College, class of ‘89.

He served on the Landgrove Select Board, the Londonderry Volunteer Rescue Squad and the Peru Fire Department. He was fiercely proud of this very special part of Vermont and was a frequent catalyst for community events – from movie nights in the Ogden barn to a gigantic community concert in his field on the Landgrove flats.

John was in perpetual motion and an incredible athlete. He loved cross country skiing, telemark skiing, windsurfing, soccer and only the most technical of mountain bike trails. He approached each of these pursuits all-in with his signature energetic passion. Even when the treatment for a tumor meant having half of one of his lungs removed, he steadfastly maintained his position at the front of the pack on the Holt Mountain Bike, Ski and Literary club’s group mountain bike rides.

His passion for cross-country skiing included racing, coaching, timing, and serving for many years on the boards of directors for both the local Stratton Mountain School professional team as well as the New England Nordic Ski Association. He fostered an enduring love of skiing and biking in all three of his children, always cherishing opportunities to watch them race or to spend time with them on skis or on a bike.

A skilled craftsman, his unique and artful woodworking projects live on in homes across the country. Everything he created struck the perfect balance between form and function.

Anything that was important to John was made obvious by his infectious enthusiasm. The clearest example of this being his family. Together with his wife, he parented three strong, happy children, each with their unique expression of his passions. He will be sorely missed by everyone within his life, most especially his family. However, we are taking solace in the fact that the community that has always orbited John will continue to hold each other up, working together to keep his zeal for life in our midst.

John was predeceased by his parents, Sam and Sheila Ogden. He is survived by his wife, Andrea, his children, Katharine, Ben, and Charlotte, as well as his sister Mary and half-brothers Shep and Sam. That’s not to mention more nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends than can be counted. His constant companion, Leo the dog, will be missing him right along with everyone else.

To everyone who knew John: We are all aching to have had more time with him. It was excruciating to say goodbye. That said, we can all agree that each of us has been so lucky to have overlapped with him on this wild journey that is life. In lieu of flowers, John’s request was that everyone spend a little extra time outside, be it on foot, on a bike, or on skis, in his honor.

John’s family and friends will be hosting a potluck gathering at their home in Landgrove at 4 p.m. on Friday, July 21. We look forward to sharing an evening of music, memories, community, and Vermont summertime.

Arrangements are entrusted to the care of the Fenton and Hennessey Funeral Home, 55 Westminster St. in Bellows Falls.

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