Bob K. Bogen, a longtime resident of Mount Kisco, died from pancreatic cancer on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. He was 89.
Born into a prominent Jewish family in Cincinnati, OH and raised in Arcadia, CA, he converted to Quakerism at age 21 and was a member of the Chappaqua Friends Meeting in Chappaqua, serving in many roles including clerk of the Meeting.
As the son of a noted civil liberties attorney and grandson of an even more prominent social worker and war-relief leader, he put his deeply held beliefs into action as a local organizer of civil rights rallies, anti-war protests and peace vigils from the early 1960s to recent years.
He also served as representative to the United Nations for Architects, Designers and Planners for Social Responsibility; traveled twice to mainland China on environmental planning missions as co-chair of the Communications Coordination Committee of the United Nations and wrote numerous op-ed columns on related topics and events of the day for local newspapers.
He received a Bachelor’s degree from Antioch College, where he met his wife, and a Master of Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. In between, he enlisted in the United States Navy and served two years as a meteorologist in the Philippines, where his first two children were born.
Trained as a city planner, he served as Director of Planning for dozens of communities in the New York and Boston Metropolitan Regions as well as with the United Nations. In the latter role, he was Project Director for the United Nations Development Program in Karachi, Pakistan, bringing his family to live there for a year in the early 1970s.
Also among his interests was a love for traditional New Orleans-style jazz, acquired during his youth and heightened on a visit to Paris just after World War II on a Carnegie Endowment fellowship. He later briefly pursued a second career as a concert promoter, which subsequently brought him back to Europe in search of jazz artists to work with and venues to engage.
He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Carol Bogen ’53; sister Judy Gilbert of Greenbrae, CA; as well as sons Steven Ross Bogen of Berkeley, CA and Doug Bogen of Barrington, NH; daughters Sara Wilensky Napoli of San Diego, CA and Margaret Coyne of Beaver Falls, PA; along with grandchildren Lissette and Michael Wilensky, and Jackson and Kate Coyne.
A private celebration of his life will be held later in the year.