Robert J. Bogan, 83, of Kinnelon, died at home in the care of his family Thursday, January 31, 2019.
Born in Glen Ridge, he was the son of James H. and Dorothy E. Bogan. Raised in Cedar Grove, he was a graduate of Bloomfield High School. After graduating from High School, where he earned his Eagle Scout and participated in the NJ Boys State program, Bob 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, Bob earned his Navy Wings of Gold and was officially certified as a Naval Aviator and aUS Navy Helicopter Pilot. During his military career, Bob earned the rank of LCDR and was attached to Helicopter Squadron 9 (HS-9) in Rhode Island and Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 751 in Lakehurst, New Jersey. After the service, Bob earned his college degree at Fairleigh Dickinson University. He joined New York Airways as a helicopter pilot and then became a First Officer at United Airlines, before finishing his career at Bobst Champlain, Inc in Roseland, New Jersey.
Marrying Diane Darnstaedt, the couple settled in Cedar Grove to raise their three sons. Divorcing in 1977, Robert moved to Kinnelon. Marrying Rebecca "Becky" Colescott and welcoming her three children to the family in 1984, the couple has lived in Kinnelon together for the last 35 years, which officially qualifies her for sainthood.
A man with an engineer and soldier's attention to detail and order, Bob amused his family with his peculiarities. His desire for a well kept yard led to his tireless and constant collection of sticks to dispose of, and he enjoyed a lunch of peanut butter and jelly (always creamy, and always grape) alongside exactly three Oreo cookies, nearly every day of his life. He delighted in collecting Civil War Memorabilia, and could never be trusted to do a "dump run" without returning with lots of new "collectibles" in return.
Bob had a deep appreciation for nature and outdoorsmanship, and greatly enjoyed his trips skiing out west or exploring the beauty of Maine and Vermont. His sons remember fondly his enthusiasm for pulling off the road to trek to a great swimming hole, and his times at the Moose Pond Lodge with extended family was a favorite destination.
In addition to his kind, giving and sentimental nature, Bob was also a tough son of a gun. For over 23 years, he had been fighting a battle against Cancer and each time he managed to kick it in the teeth and keep on ticking. He had a strength and determination that continues to be an inspiration to all his friends and family.
Nothing brought Bob more delight than his role as Pop-pop to his nine grandchildren. Being with them always brought a smile to his face, and his dry, corny humor was always a source of great laughter in the family.
He is survived by his wife, Rebecca; his sons, James H. Bogan, Thomas Bogan and his wife Gwen, and Matthew Bogan and his wife Lori; his step-children, Julia Savoca and her husband Steve, Kimberly Gallagher, and Michael Gallagher and his wife Carolyn; his sister, Judith Kahl and her husband Don; his grandchildren, Alec, Ryan, Brianna, Clint, Krista, Chloe, Sara, Maeve, and Ava; as well as his nephew, David Kahl and his wife Heather, and his niece, Jennifer Grumhaus and her husband David.
A memorial gathering will be held at the M. John Scanlan Funeral Home Saturday, February 9 from 2-4 pm. A service will be held at 4 pm at the conclusion of the visitation period.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Triboro First Aid Squad, which had been a great help to Bob during his long illness, or Wounded Warriors, which was a charity dear to his heart, in Robert's memory would be greatly appreciated.