Omaha’s Philip Pogge put faith, family and country above all else
Philip Pogge relied on his strong faith, belief in family and service to country while proudly raising six children alongside his wife of 71 years.
“The two of them were always active in everything we did growing up in Holy Name (parish),” eldest son Tom Pogge of Omaha said Thursday. “Whatever was needed to keep the doors open at Holy Name, they did — from selling Christmas trees to working bingo. They were all about the parish, the school, the Redemptorist fathers and the Servants of Mary (nuns).”
Philip Pogge, 95, died Sunday in hospice care about a week after suffering a heart attack, his son said. He is survived by his six children and his wife, the former Rosemary Bado. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Friday at St. Leo Catholic Church.
He grew up on a family farm near Neola, Iowa, and graduated from Abraham Lincoln High in Council Bluffs. He joined the Army Air Forces in 1943, his son said, and served as a radio operator with a bomber crew.
Pogge was discharged in 1946 and came to Omaha, where he met and married his wife in 1947. He worked as a district manager for Phillips 66 Petroleum before opening several gas stations and convenience stores, first in South Dakota and later in Omaha.
“Dad and Mom were always very supportive of whatever we kids were doing, whether it was sports or academics,” Tom Pogge said. “When he came home from work, he always had time to play catch or shoot baskets.”
Pogge said one of his dad’s favorite memories was visiting the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., when he was in the city for a grandchild’s college graduation.
“He loved seeing that memorial because country was so important to him,” he said. “He was also very strong in his faith, which is why this is a celebration. Dad received the last rites and communion. He was ready.”
In addition to his wife and eldest son, Pogge is survived by a daughter, Christine Smith; sons Bill, Dan, John and Jim; 18 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren. The family suggests memorials to the Philip H. and Rosemary Pogge Family Scholarship Fund at Holy Name Grade School.