Kenneth Ogren Obituary

Kenneth Ellery Ogren
Kenneth Ellery Ogren

December 3, 1918 - January 5, 2019
Born in Atwater, Minnesota
Resided in Rohnert Park, California
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Ken Ogren died on January 5, 2019 from natural causes. He moved to Rohnert Park, California in August 2010, coming here from Colorado where he and his wife had lived since 1989. He was a member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Santa Rosa.
Ken was born on a farm in Minnesota. His grandparents were all emigrants from farms in Sweden. On June 26, 1949 he married Marjorie Hinds in St. Paul, Minnesota. They moved to the Washington, D.C. area where he was employed in the U.S. Department of Agriculture until his retirement in July 1976.
He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. degree in 1942 and a PhD degree with a major in Agricultural Economics in 1951. Upon his graduation in 1942, he joined the Navy. His last tour of duty was on the campus of the University of Colorado, where he studied Russian in the Navy’s Oriental Language program.
During his employment at USDA, Ken did research in the area of marketing economics. In a managerial position, he oversaw all marketing economics research programs in USDA. He later joined the Foreign Agricultural Service of the USDA, which led to three diplomatic assignments in Paris, covering a total of seven years.
While living in France, Ken and his family visited some of his relatives in Sweden and made lasting friendships. He treasured these friendships that he made through his many visits to Sweden.
His awards include: Princeton Fellow in Public Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University, a Superior Service Award from the USDA, an Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Minnesota, and the Merite d’Agricole from the French Ministry of Agriculture.
During his life in retirement, Ken volunteered in a wide range of activities. The one that he enjoyed most was being a volunteer ranger at the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado for 16 years.
There will be no memorial service because on December 3, 2018, Ken celebrated 100 years of life with a week of celebrations culminating in a "memorial service" which he got to enjoy! He always said that when attending memorial services he missed that the person being honored was not there, so his intention was to be there for his own celebration. At that service he shared with a large gathering of family and friends his five philosophies of life:
1) Look forward to growing older
2) Think positively
3) Try new things
4) Help to build a better world for all
5) Exercise daily (or almost daily)
To see a video of him reading poems from the book “Choose Life”, which was written in his honor, go to




Funeral Home
Daniels Chapel of the Roses
1225 Sonoma Avenue
Santa Rosa , CA US 95405


Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Santa Rosa
547 Mendocino Avenue
Santa Rosa, California USA 95401