Bertil A. ‘Bert’ Ogren
Feb. 15, 1914 - Nov. 30, 2006
Bertil A. "Bert" Ogren passed peacefully into the arms of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on Nov. 30, 2006. He was 92.
Formerly of Lockport, Ill., he resided in Hartland and was preceded in death by his wife, Jean; son, Erik; daughter, Kathleen; granddaughter Kristi; and grandson, Christopher.
Bert was the loving "Pa" of Mary (Ed) Richards, Mark (Carol) Ogren, Betsy (Bob) Anderson and Cyndee (Steve) Davee; father-in-law of Kathy Ogren; dear brother of Eleanor Cook; and brother-in-law of Arlene Ogren. Bert also is survived by grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, many other relatives and friends.
Bert was born in Lockport, Ill. in 1914. He was a lifelong member and longtime choir director of the Lockport Covenant Church. He and his wife, Jean, of 63 years had six children. Bert was an accomplished baritone and taught himself how to play numerous instruments. He sang professionally with the Swedish Choral Society and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
At the age of 14, he started his own printing business in the garage of his parents’ home. Eventually as a young man, he moved the business to a location on 9th Street in Lockport and named it The Ogren Press.
Through the Ogren Press, he was able to utilize his printing and designing capabilities for many clients, including the Evangelical Covenant Church of America and North Park University.
In 1948, Bert was called by the Lord to take his young family to Kinshasa, the capital city in Congo, Africa, to establish and build a Christian publishing house. He considered it a privilege to serve the Lord by printing Christian literature and bibles in more than 12 languages. He also grew to love the African people and his fellow missionaries so much that he considered his eight years there to be among the "best of his life."
In 1956, Bert brought his family back to Lockport to continue developing The Ogren Press and he became one of the nation’s first Hallmark Card retailers. Bert eventually sold The Ogren Press and took his printing experience, sales skills and design capabilities to LaSalle Street Press in Chicago. Bert was then able to expand his relationship with the Covenant denomination and North Park University. One of his artistic achievements was the design of the current "logo" for the Covenant denomination.
Additional areas of interest included serving on the local high school board, selling and developing land, remodeling, planting trees and serving on the board of directors for the Chicago chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Upon retirement, Bert and Jean moved to Wisconsin. They became active members in the senior adult ministry at Elmbrook Church. They also continued to travel and serve the Lord wholeheartedly
Visitation will be held Wednesday, Dec. 6 in the Elmbrook Church chapel, 777 S. Barker Road, Brookfield, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. A memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. with a reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers, memorials to Angels Grace Hospice or to WVCY TV station in Milwaukee. Mail to: Bob Anderson, P.O. Box 386, Hartland, WI 53029.
Church and Chapel Funeral Home is serving the family. For more information, call 549-0659 or visit www.churchandchapel.com to view the online obituary, leave condolences or receive directions.