Harry Ogg

Friday, October 13, 2006

UNITY, Ill. -- Harry Russell Ogg was born Nov. 14, 1923, in Cairo, Ill., to Harry Harrison and Inez Ethel Wise Ogg.

He attended Cairo schools, graduating from Cairo High School in May 1941.

Russell enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in September 1942, trained in San Diego, Calif., shipped overseas without receiving a furlough home. He saw service with Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines of the 2nd Marine Division. He saw action at Tarawa, Tinian, Saipan and Okinawa. He was discharged as a sergeant from Camp Lejeune, N.C., in January 1946.

He was awarded the Bronze Star for heroic achievement while at Tinian in the Mariana Islands June 15, 1944. He received the Purple Heart for wounds received June 24, 1944, at Saipan. He was also entitled to wear the Presidential Unit Citation ribbon with one Bronze Star, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with four Bronze Stars, Victory Medal for World War II, Good Conduct Medal and Expert Rifleman ribbon.

Russell and Louise Planert were married Nov. 22, 1945, at the Church of the Redeemer in Cairo. He and Louise made their home in her hometown of Unity, Ill.

He worked at Hodges Store and Mill and farmed until his health wouldn't allow him to continue. Russell worked 23 years for the state of Illinois Department of Agriculture as a district supervisor in weights and measures. He was postmaster at Elco, Ill., eight years, after which he was a sales representative with Behimer-Kissner at Mound City, Ill.

Russell was a lifetime member of Cairo VFW Post 2649, one of the original organizers of the Alexander-Pulaski Sportsman's Club, member of Cairo BPOE, and director of Southernmost Illinois Tourism. He was a former member of Disabled American Veterans, Marine Corps League and the Cooties.

The Oggs were charter members of the Genealogy Society of Southern Illinois. They were members of John A. Logan Antique Club, Farm Bureau, SIDEZ Economic and Tourism Development Committee and members of Union County Historical Society.

After three retirements and having worked away from home since the age of 12, he volunteered his services at Cairo Custom House Museum in 1992. He was at the museum most every morning from that time on. He did various projects and supervised others. He took his two-hour docent turn each week and filled in for others who couldn't make theirs.

All this despite an almost debilitating fall while working at the museum. This required shoulder surgery, that along with his heart and colon problems, did keep him away from the museum at various times. Explaining the history of Cairo to tourists was one of Russell's greatest joys. He might have lived in Unity for 60 years, but Cairo was always his hometown.

He is survived by his wife, Louise, of Unity, and a sister, Alice Bradshaw of Chesterfield, Mo.

He was preceded in death by a daughter, Jana Louise Ogg Welch, who was killed Aug. 13, 1978; his father and mother; a brother, John; and sisters, Ethel Shifley and Betty Ogg.

Visitation will be at Barkett Funeral Home in Cairo from 5 to 8 p.m. today.

Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 2 p.m. Saturday at Church of the Redeemer in Cairo, with the Rev. Gene Tucker as celebrant. Interment will follow at Beechwood Cemetery in Mounds, with military honors offered by Pulaski County Memorial VFW Post 8891 of Mounds, Ill., the United States Marine Corps, Cairo VFW Post 2649, and American Legion.

Donations may be made to the Cairo Custom House Museum, where Russell dedicated his last 14 years.