Retired former president of Chicago-based paper merchant Perkins Goodwin, Homer Bogart, dies at age 91 after short battle with cancer

PITTSBURGH , June 1, 2014 () – To be the best paper salesman he could possibly be, Homer Bogart spent time in a paper mill plant, learning how newsprint and other paper was made, including what kind of trees made the best quality product and other tips of the trade, his son said.

"There are a lot of things that go into making paper," Gary Bogart said. "You had to know how it was made, what made it better than other paper, the quality of the paper."

Homer Gordon Bogart, of Valencia, formerly of Goose Creek, S.C., and North Brook, Ill., died on Tuesday, May 27, 2014, in Valencia Woods Nursing Center in Valencia, Butler County, after a short battle with cancer. He was 91.

When World War II ended, the Army veteran graduated with a history degree from Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., then taught classes and coached several sports for a couple of years at Vermont Academy, his son said, but soon switched careers.

Mr. Bogart had been selling powdered soap when he caught the eye of a paper company, the former Brown Paper Co. in Kalamazoo, Mich., which hired him.

"It was his sales prowess that got him recognized," Gary Bogart said. Eventually, Mr. Bogart was hired by Perkins Goodwin, a Chicago paper and pulp marketers company, becoming president of the company. He worked there until the company was bought out and he retired about 25 years ago. He served on the board of trustees for Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. That university had a paper curriculum, since the area was a large producer of paper, and Mr. Bogart offered his expertise.

"He was an opinionated guy, but always with a basis," Bogart said. "He made a difference in a lot of people's lives."

His father always spoke of the importance of the individual, Bogart said. "The individual is what makes this country great," he said. "It's not necessarily the group or the team. It's how the individual dedicated themselves, how the individual makes all the difference. Anybody can do anything that they want if they just set a goal and work hard at it."

In addition to his son, Harold "Gary" Bogart II, Mr. Bogart is survived by his wife, Skaidrite Ozols Bogart; daughter, Bonnie Suzanne Bogart, of Conifer, Colo.; sons David Gordon Bogart, of Wasilla, Alaska, and Imants "Mark" Bogart, of Lake Forest, Ill; six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He was preceded in death by his brother, Robert E. Bogart.

A memorial service will be conducted beginning 11 a.m. Wednesday in Crystal Conservatory of the Woodlands, 100 Conservatories Court, Valencia. A reception will be held after the service. McDonald-Aeberli Funeral Home, 238 Crowe Ave., Mars, is handling arrangements.

Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or bvidonic@tribweb.com.

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