‘Bogie’ Bogart remembered for years of service to county

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 7:28 pm on Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Larry "Bogie" Bogart

CRYSTAL — Larry and Catherine Bogart spent the majority of their married life together — at work and at play.
They worked side by side at the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office and Montcalm County Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
Catherine died April 11 at age 86. Larry followed her almost exactly five months later on Saturday at age 71.
Larry “Bogie” Bogart served three years in the U.S. Army as a guided missile electronics technician before being hired as a sheriff’s deputy in June 1966. He started in the Montcalm County Jail and worked his way through dispatch and road patrol to detective.
He was one of the first deputies to work the dual role of ambulance driver, now known as an emergency medical technician (EMT).
According to Sheriff Bill Barnwell, Bogart, Roy Merritt and Barnwell’s father and then-undersheriff Tom Barnwell were responsible for responding to emergency calls using two county-owned station wagons. Tom Barnwell became sheriff in January 1969.
Bogart worked as a detective alongside William “Bill” McCarthy, who was gunned down in the line of duty on April 27, 1982. Bogart was the first — and only — person from the sheriff’s office to graduate from the National FBI Academy.
Catherine Bogart also worked at the sheriff’s office, starting as records clerk and being promoted to administrative aide.
Tom Barnwell promoted Larry Bogart to undersheriff sometime in the late 1970s. Bogart unsuccessfully ran for sheriff against Tom Hebert in 1980. Bogart was then appointed administrator of EMS in January 1981 at a starting salary of $16,000 per year.
At the same time, his wife transferred from the sheriff’s office to work as EMS administrative aide.
When the Bogarts took over at Montcalm County EMS, the operation consisted of 14 EMTs, five ambulances and one rescue unit. During their eight-year tenure, they coordinated numerous changes and improvements.
EMS boasted 20 EMTs, six ambulances and six rescue units when the couple retired in June 1989.
“We were building on something that was just in its infancy,” Catherine Bogart told The Daily News for a June 17, 1989, article. “It was a very loose organization when we came in.”
Her husband declined to take credit for the improvements.
“It’s the EMTs who really deserve a pat on the back,” he told The Daily News.
The couple retired to their home on Crystal Lake, where they enjoyed building miniature doll houses together. They are survived by four children, five granddaughters and one great-grandson.
“I remember Larry, ‘Bogie’ to us all, as a larger than life person who always commanded respect from those who knew him,” Sheriff Bill Barnwell said. “He was a very knowledgeable person and always kept the interest of the sheriff’s office and their employees at the top of his list. His dry sense of humor was a trait of his that will always remain fondly in my memories.”
Funeral services for Larry Bogart are 11 a.m. today at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Carson City. Lux and Schnepp Funeral Home in Crystal is in charge of arrangements.

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