Jean Swanson Ogden, affectionately known as Grannie, passed away in her sleep of natural causes on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. She was 103. Jean was born on February 4, 1918 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and became a naturalized U.S. Citizen in 1956. She attended the University of Miami and was a member of Chi Omega. Jean married Philip Case Ogden (died 1970) in 1940 and had two children, Philip Case Ogden, Jr. (“Sandy”, died 1979) and Cynthia Jean Ogden. Jean was an early employee of Embry-Riddle Aeronautics in Miami, Florida. After moving to Winston-Salem, NC in the late 1940s, Jean worked for Hennis Freight Lines for close to 20 years, ultimately serving as the executive secretary to the President of Hennis, Shirley Mitchell. She was Past President of The Winston-Salem Woman’s Traffic Club and served as the recording secretary during many regional Teamster’s meetings, where she worked alongside senior Teamster’s
leadership, including Jimmy Hoffa (she said Jimmy was a gentleman, but he needed to better control his temper). She retired from the trucking industry in the late 60s and became a travel agent, working for the Dick Anderson and George Shipp Travel Agencies in Winston-Salem. Jean travelled around the world as a travel agent and for years coordinated an annual theater trip to NYC for the Right Rev. Jake Viverette of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, where she was a long-time member. She retired in 1983 and eventually settled in Raleigh, NC.
On a personal note, Jean was a long-time member of The Red Hat Society. She loved playing the organ and piano, watching college football (especially the Miami Hurricanes) and golf (she liked Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods), and she was a stellar bridge player well into her late 90s. She liked her wine sweet (seriously, we always had packs of Sweet-N- Low to put in her Riesling) and her steak medium rare. Jean was a social butterfly and a crowd favorite – a stranger to no one. She was fearless and fun – whether it was sledding with her grandchildren down homemade, icy, wooded sled paths, jumping 15 feet into the ocean to snorkel off Key West, do Jell-O shots at her daughter’s 50th birthday celebration, or hop on a plane from Raleigh to Germany when she was 99 (!!!) to visit her grand-daughter and great grand-daughters, Jean never shied away from a challenge. She was a great cook- our favorites included leg of lamb with gravy and fried potatoes and spaghetti and garlic bread. Thanksgiving and Christmas will not be the same without her and her hand-made gravy for the turkey, cranberry relish, and Christmas cookies (almond-flavored butter cookies with buttercream frosting and sprinkles).
Ultimately, Jean’s proudest and most lasting accomplishment was being Grannie; she was EVERYBODY’s Grannie – full of unconditional love for and devotion to her family, friends, and friends’ friends. Summer vacations with Grannie were glorious – getting to eat sugary cereals like Fruit Loops and Apple Jacks (at home the choices were Cheerios and Grape Nuts), endless swimming at Bolton Park and Tanglewood Park, eating cheeseburgers at the downtown Winston-Salem Hyatt (and getting to ride the glass elevators after lunch), trips to the playground at Miller Park, and eventually visits to about every amusement park in the Southeast. She was there for soccer games and dance recitals, high school and college graduations, hospital trips, surgeries, and rehabilitations, and weddings and births. She was a constant presence in our lives, no matter the physical distance that separated us. Obviously, she is still with us – in our hearts, minds, and souls – but we will miss her physical presence dearly.
SURVIVORS: Jean is survived by her daughter, Cynthia Ogden Adams (husband Victor Adams), her three grandchildren, Andrew Schmidt (wife, Katherine Lawrence), Robert Schmidt, and Stephanie McCall (husband, Steve McCall), two great-grandchildren, Madeline McCall and Haley McCall, two nieces, Patricia Childress (husband, Billy Childress) and Elizabeth Greene (husband, Rick Greene) and a nephew, George Swanson. Jean was preceded in death by her husband, Philip Case Ogden, her brother, Joseph Swanson and his wife Roma, and her son, Philip Case Ogden, Jr.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Jean’s name to The Buoniconti Fund, which is the fundraising arm of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, https://www.themiamiproject.org/donate/ or Heartland Hospice of Raleigh, 4505 Falls of
Neuse Rd., #650, Raleigh, NC 27609.
We will hold a memorial service at a later date.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jean S Ogden, please visit our floral store.