IN MEMORIAM: Robert "Vogie" Walter Vogelsang, 1927-2013
Robert "Vogie" Vogelsang, emeritus professor of Communication, died in Portland on August 18, 2013, while hospitalized after complications from a stroke. He was 85. A campus memorial service is planned for 2 to 5 p.m., November 1, in 338 Smith Memorial Student Union.
In 1970 Prof. Vogelsang was appointed to head PSU’s Department of Communication. He came from Washington State University, where he earned graduate degrees and advanced to the rank of associate professor in speech and hearing.
Until his retirement in 1990, Prof. Vogelsang energetically taught popular speech communication courses. He carried out innovative global scale research on the history of puppetry and introduced his findings into classroom instruction and speech correction. Public schools and service organizations benefitted from his outreach workshop presentations that illustrated puppetry’s usefulness as a methodology for instruction and therapy.
Prof. Vogelsang actively participated in speech professional organizations, and upon joining PSU in 1970, he served as the Western Speech Association’s executive secretary. The University hosted that organization’s annual meeting during the 1970 fall term. At its 1971 convention the WSA honored him with a Distinguished Service Award for excellence in scholastics and advancement of speech education.
In retirement Prof. Vogelsang served as president of the Retirement Association of Portland State (RAPS) and actively promoted the organization’s work as a governing board member. He undertook liaison activities with the Northwest Regional Retirement Association for annual conferences that usefully explored issues of common concern to retirement groups.
Throughout his life, Prof. Vogelsang was an avid gardener and was devoted to the outdoors, where he enjoyed fishing and hiking with RAPS friends. He was equally dedicated to football and music. Prof. Vogelsang and his late wife, Barbara, were founding members of the Bridlemile-Robert Gray Neighborhood Association.
Prof. Vogelsang is survived by his children Karen, Suzanne Bengel, Robert and his wife, Teresa, and grandchildren Teagan and Kiri. To honor the memory of his wife, the Barbara Exner Vogelsang and Susan Poulsen Scholarship fund provides a one-time $250 award to a distinguished Department of Communication student.
RAPS and the entire University owes Prof. Vogelsang a debt of gratitude for his many years of selfless contributions. We shall always miss Prof. Vogelsang and will never forget him.
Written by Victor C. Dahl, Emeritus Professor of History, September 20, 2013