College founder dies at 93

Lucile Bogue called 'indomitable spirit'

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College founder, award-winning author and indomitable spirit Lucile Bogue passed away early Tuesday at her home in El Cerrito, Calif. She was 93.

The longtime educator and lifelong writer founded Yampa Valley College in 1962, Steamboat Springs' first higher education institution. A four-year private school that specialized in international relations, Yampa Valley College was the predecessor of Colorado Mountain College's Alpine Campus. CMC's Bogue Hall is named after her.

It was only through Bogue's tireless determination and unwavering commitment that Yampa Valley College became a reality. Undeterred by skeptics, financial hurdles and legal obstacles, Bogue dedicated 11 years to the college's creation.

"She worked very, very hard on that college," said longtime friend and Steamboat resident Benita Bristol. "She was very ambitious. She worked tirelessly for anything she believed in."

Bogue couldn't be blamed for her determination -- it was in her blood, daughter Bonnie Bogue said.

Her grandfather walked from Iowa to Leadville in 1880 to take a job as school superintendent. Her father was the first white man born in the Ute Indian territory near present-day Rifle.

"They were indomitable spirits," Bonnie Bogue said. "She carried on that spirit."

Raised on a homestead near Carbondale, Bogue attended school in Glenwood Springs. She earned an associate's degree from Colorado College, a bachelor's degree from the Colorado Teachers College in Greeley and a master's degree from San Francisco State University.

She and her husband, Art, moved from Yampa to Steamboat in 1944. Art was an elementary school principal here, and Lucy taught first grade for 20 years. She also taught some high school classes and helped Lowell Whiteman create his school.

After founding Yampa Valley College, Bogue served as its president for four years.

She then moved to Japan, where she taught at The American School in Tokyo. Bogue later was dean of the Anna Head School in Oakland, Calif., from which she retired from education to pursue writing full time.

"She never wanted anyone to say she retired because she never did," her daughter said.

Bogue excelled in numerous writing disciplines, including non-fiction, fiction, poetry and theater.

"She had a very creative soul," Bonnie Bogue said. "She was a writer from the time she was a child. She was a great storyteller, and she was very interested in history."

Bogue was named State Poet by the Women's Club of Colorado, won the Governor's Award for her play "Freedom Trail," won the Browning Society's Poetry Prize for dramatic monologue, was the first writer to win four consecutive national prizes from the National Writers Club and was named Woman of the Year by the National League of American Pen Women in 1983.

Among Bogue's lengthy list of published works are "Dancers on Horseback," an early history of the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp, "Miracle on a Mountain," the story of the founding of Yampa Valley College, and "Blood on the Wind," a fact-based novel about the removal of Ute Indians from their native lands. "Blood on the Wind" was published when Bogue was 89.

She continued to write poetry until shortly before her death.

A world traveler, Bogue had "more friends than you can imagine," her daughter said.

"People just fell in love with Lucy," Bonnie Bogue said. "You could feel her coming a mile off because she was so full of energy."

Although Bogue called California home for the past 37 years, she always held a special place in her heart for Steamboat, visiting here annually until her health would no longer allow it.

-- To reach Brent Boyer call 871-4234

or e-mail bboyer@steamboatpilot.com

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