Williamsburg, VA — Dorothy Miller Ogden, 80, died after a 35-year battle with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. For the last five years, Dorothy has been a virtual quadriplegic, but receiving superb, loving care from the staff of Woodhaven Hall at Williamsburg Landing.
Married to John B. Ogden for 57 years, she had been his guide, support and steadfast companion. There are four Ogden sons, Jeff of West Orange, N.J., Phil of Doha, Qatar, Lee of Ridgefield, Conn., and Steve of the Governor's Academy in Byfield, Mass.
Upon her marriage, Dorothy accompanied John to a U.S. Navy hardship station on the Island of Antigua in the British West Indies. John was required to eat lunch in the Officers' Mess, but Dorothy prepared dinner at home. There was no commissary so she had to order staples in bulk. The freighter arrived once every six weeks — maybe.
Dorothy taught herself to prepare dinners in a direct current oven the size of a breadbox. U.S. made appliances were useless without an expensive converter. Water was drawn from a stone catchment
It was indeed a "hardship station" and a difficult way for a 23-year-old bride to begin her marriage, yet she and John felt that serving there taught them lots of lessons. Dorothy said that every young U.S. citizen should be required to perform some sort of government service abroad where the toilet paper is of varying quality — if available.
After John's release to inactive duty, Dorothy moved with him to Byfield, where he began an English-teaching career at Governor Dummer Academy. She and John soon came to love the small boys' boarding school, founded in 1763, near the Parker River, the salt marshes and the Plum Island wildlife preserve
Because of her Katherine Gibbs School training, she was asked to become the secretary in the newly formed Academy development office. Soon Dorothy became an admissions officer. Appointed assistant director of admissions, she helped the Academy attract and then integrate young women into boarding school life. Dorothy made many friends among students, their parents and others in the North Shore communities.