ELIOT – Richard H. Bogh, 82, passed away on September 28, 2021, after several years of ill health. He passed away at home, surrounded by his loving family.
Richard was born December 22, 1938 in Portland, Maine, the son of Ida Mae Smith Bogh and Richard H. Bogh. He attended local schools and graduated from Deering High School in 1957 and later from the University of Maine in 1962 with a bachelor’s degree in social work. He was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, as secretary.
He began his career as a social worker in June 1962 in the Maine Department of Social Services. In May 1963 he was selected to receive a DHS Study Leave Fellowship and attended Rutgers University for the next two years, where he graduated in May 1965 with an MSW degree. He continued his employment with DHS for the next six years, working in staff development, and for the past three years he wrote the State of Maine’s first manual for the new Medicaid program while he was a member of the Bureau of Medical Care.
In 1971, he was hired as the director of social work at the Pineland Center in Pownal, Maine, under the direction of the Maine Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation. It was a decision that would shape the rest of his career, choosing to focus on working in programs serving people with developmental disabilities and their families. He worked at the Pineland Center for the next seventeen years. During this period, he continued as the Director of Social Work, but also took on additional responsibilities such as becoming the Chief of Qualified Mentally Retarded Personnel (QMRP) who coordinated individual treatment plans for all residents of the Pineland Center. He was also actively involved in coordinating all institutional admissions and community placements. He served as the facility’s liaison with the Pineland Parents and Friends Association, meeting with their leaders to help plan meetings and attending general meetings for the association as a whole.
For several months, he was acting superintendent of the Pineland Center. During the final years of his employment at Pineland Center, he played a key role in helping the facility comply with a federal consent decree, with the facility meeting expectations in areas such as the quality of programming and human rights. As a result, Maine was the first state to meet federal requirements for a consent decree to improve services for people with developmental disabilities.
In October 1987, Richard was hired by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Retardation to join a new program, focused on placing people outside of large state institutions into smaller community residences, closer to their families. As part of this program, he hired and supervised QMRP staff, who were responsible for leading the team meetings where all individual treatment plans were developed. During the last years of his employment with the Massachusetts Department of Mental Retardation, he worked in the Haverhill office developing individual treatment plans for people who lived with their own families or in small, specialized facilities. He retired from his job in Massachusetts in February 2000.
A very enjoyable part of Richard’s career has been a small, private, part-time consulting firm providing social work consulting services to programs in Maine. It started in 1980 and continued for thirty-four years, until the age of 75.
On February 9, 1963, Richard married Carolyn Lee Showalter of Rowenna, Pennsylvania. (Ironically, he met Carolyn when they worked together at the Pineland Center as a direct care staff in the summer of 1961 while they were both in college). They had two sons, Leonard Soren and Lee Richard. Although Richard had enjoyed his career a lot, his wife and family were the center of his universe. When their sons were young, the family spent many special times together, taking vacations or trips, camping, and visiting friends and relatives. Richard really enjoyed coaching his two sons in Little League Baseball and watching them participate in other sports like soccer, track and field and basketball. He also loved watching his grandchildren grow and develop and see how his sons fulfilled their roles as husbands and fathers.
Richard liked to participate in many activities in his community. He was an active member of the Eliot Historical Society and the Lions Club, holding leadership positions in these organizations. He was also a member of the Friends of the William Fogg Library and was the organization’s treasurer for several years in addition to working on fundraising activities. He was an active member of the First Congregational Church of Eliot where he was a long-term member of the choir and the Council of Deacons. One of her most enjoyable activities in church was organizing and participating in the annual church talent show. He had a lot of fun singing medleys by famous artists. (He often included songs dedicated to Carolyn when he sang there or during karaoke sessions. She is lucky to have several tapes he recorded for her.) Soon after moving to Eliot from Cape Elizabeth in August 1984, Richard observed that although Eliot had a community soccer program, the school system provided no way for children to continue playing the sport. He met with several other parents about this, and a proposal was developed, presented and approved by MSAD School Board 35; and soccer became a team sport for boys and girls in the school system in 1985. He then served as president of the Soccer Boosters Association.
Richard was a sports enthusiast and participated as both a player and a spectator. He enjoyed playing golf, basketball, baseball and softball. Golf, however, was his favorite sport. Although he played competitive golf – being part of the University of Maine golf team and various men’s leagues – he especially enjoyed the sociability offered by golf. It allowed her to meet new people and share time with good friends. His most enjoyable rounds of golf were the ones he played with his sons. Over the years he has won a number of tournaments; he would probably say his favorite win was his 50th class reunion tournament.
As he got older, he and Carolyn enjoyed a number of activities together. Some were organized activities such as a cruise or trips to resorts in other states or to foreign destinations. Of particular significance was the trip he and Carolyn made to visit family in Denmark, where three of his grandparents immigrated as children to later start families in Maine. He always enjoyed informal meetings with his friends. The moments spent with his family were particularly close to his heart and gave him his greatest pleasure.
Richard is survived by his wife of 58 years and their sons Leonard Bogh, his wife Maya and their daughters Ella and Sophia of South Berwick and Lee Bogh, his wife Dawn and their daughters Emilee, Lindsey and Ava of Eliot. He was predeceased by his parents Ida and Richard Bogh, Sr.
There are three important things one can take to his grave: his reputation, his honor, and how he loved his family. Without a doubt, Richard will be remembered as a man who excelled in all three categories!
Care of the Bogh family has been entrusted to JS Pelkey ââand Son Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, the family asked for donations in Richard’s name to the American Cancer Society.