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Sandpoint mourns death of Mayor Marsha Ogilvie

Thu., Jan. 9, 2014

Sandpoint Mayor Marsha Ogilvie is being remembered as a champion for children in crisis and a strong civic booster.

Ogilvie, 64, died Wednesday morning. She had battled lung cancer over the past year.

“Marsha was a blessing to all who knew her, and the vision she had for Sandpoint and the impact she made in this town was profound,” said her close friend Patty Hutchens.

City Council President Carrie Logan will fill in as interim mayor of the resort city on the shore of Lake Pend Oreille.

“The loss of Mayor Ogilvie will leave an irreplaceable void in the heart of our community,” Logan said in a news release. “She tirelessly dedicated herself to protecting the most vulnerable and celebrating the generosity of the many volunteers who give of themselves in and around Sandpoint.”

Ogilvie was elected to the Sandpoint City Council in 2009 and won the mayor’s race in 2011, succeeding Gretchen Hellar.

Friends and colleagues hailed her efforts to establish and lead Kinderhaven, a nonprofit group that supports neglected, abused and abandoned children.

“Marsha made that happen. She made a lot of things happen,” said Bonner County Assessor Jerry Clemons, who worked with her on the Kinderhaven board of directors.

More than 1,000 children were sheltered during Ogilvie’s 13 years as president of Kinderhaven, which was the grand prize winner of the Governor’s Brightest Stars Award in 2002.

Ogilvie also was devoted to arts and economic vitality, said Kate McAlister, president and CEO of the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce.

“I really respected her. I think she was a phenomenal person,” McAlister said. “She really cared about our town.”

Ogilvie’s community involvement began as a Court Appointed Special Advocate, representing the rights of children in the court system. She also was active with Sandpoint’s Community Assistance League and helped start Women Honoring Women, which pays tribute to women active in community service, arts and education.

“She was just a dynamic person. Her creativity was brilliant,” said Barb Merritt, a close friend who worked with Ogilvie at Kinderhaven and in other endeavors.

“She turned a lot of us who loved her into volunteers for her causes, and they became our causes,” Merritt said.

Ogilvie co-wrote a children’s book, “GiGi’s Enchanted Forest,” with Merritt and Patti Clemons, and it was illustrated by Bonnie Shields. Published last month, it was inspired by the late Hazel Hall, a longtime Sandpoint resident who also was deeply involved in community affairs.

Ogilvie was retired from business management and administration. She and her husband, Francis, moved to Sandpoint in 1994 and owned the Candy Cottage and All Smiles, a gift shop. Prior to that, she spent 15 years in restaurant management and eight years as vice president of a retail food boutique.

Ogilvie was born in Riverside, Calif., and attended college at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif.

She and Francis Ogilvie, who also served on the Sandpoint City Council, were married 28 years. They did not have children.

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