By Jim McDonald

(Bill’s   Nephew )

 Emma K. Jensen, the matriarchal strength of the Ogden family, brought her three daughters Patricia, Tally and Thora to America from England where she owned and operated successful boarding houses.

Bill was born in Maryland and attended and graduated  from a Military School. He wrote music and poems and became a theater barker where he met Tally.  The daughters entered into a theatrical position with the Rocketts where Bill met Tally.


 They entered America via Ellis Island and settled in New York. Emma then pursued her ability to run boarding houses and moved the family to a three-story home in Palisades Park, New Jersey and established another boarding house business.


 Bill and Tally did not have children thus his great love of children, which was such a blessing to all of us in the extended family kids.  Bill and Tally married and then he went off to war where he served in the Army signal Corps and taught electronics and was sent to China. Thora the youngest sister was divorced.


Emma decided to move us all  to California so we moved to North Hollywood.    Emma bought property in Burbank California and built homes for Tally and Bill, Pat and Steve and the house Thora, Grandma and I lived in.  When Bill and Charles were discharged they found out they should come to California so they did.


Pat and Steve began their new adventures, Pat was involved in private investigations and Steve (Charles) became a technical  representative for an aircraft / aerospace firm. Bill and Tally were encouraged to use Bill’s great ability for teaching and his electronic  background to find an avenue for a career. Thora and Emma continued to support boarders and child day care.


The inspiration:   


Radio Telephone license for repairs made on commercial radio and T.V. transmitters While there  were plenty of skilled few had the required to satisfy the FCC requirement, hence an opportunity for Bill.

When radio and TV stations had announcers that had the required license announcers could gain employment and higher wages if they had this license. He provided a  solution with a class to teach announcers and technicians the required curriculum to obtain it.


He made a proposal to the Don Martin School of Radio and Television Arts and increased the  scope of his program by adding the Fredrick C. Speers School of Radio Arts. They were located in Hollywood and Bill with limited funds bought a Cushman motor scooter and drove to Hollywood from Burbank. This was a big commute in  those days.


With two accidents on his scooter and great success in the concept, Tally and Bill decided to start their own business. They owned the first R.O.E.S in Burbank in 1949, not the one most people know of on Olive Ave.

 The first school was an office building two miles away from the Olive Ave School.  On the way home Bill and Tally would see the school property and asked the owners who ran a holiday shop there.   They bought the property.  The property consisted of a  house and work shop.  Tally and Bill built the new school in the house portion of the property but kept the workshop where Bill built the students desks for the school.


The school flourished when they decided to move to Huntington Beach in 1966. This is where they retired in 1973. Bill still loved work and children and he created bowling leagues for the kids to participate in and made wood workings for the family.



 Bill’s Major Surgery:


 Bill developed aneurysms on this aortic artery, three to be exact, upper, mid, and lower all of which were a size that could lead to a  rupture which would be catastrophic. His cardiologist suggested the we go to Houston Medical Center and consult with Dr. Crawford  the only surgeon who was doing the lower fix.


 We started the journey and met with Dr. Crawford and his 19 teen member team in training and agreed to have the surgery. Crawford was an amazing physician, since I was handling their finances the question of cost came up. His answer was simple whatever the insurance payed was his fee we never. We never received a bill!


The surgery lasted over ten hours  with Bill’s body temperature being lowered to 90 degrees F .  Bill then spent almost 3 months in intensive care recovering from the surgery because they could not get him off the respirator support due to his lung capacity.  Probably caused by his smoking.


Finally we were ready to bring him home from Houston to Huntington Beach. When I went to check him out they printed his medical charges which amounted to  three quarter of an inch of computer paper. Thank God I had a no limit American Express Card.


We were prepared for the worse when we looked at the total charges  a little more than $431,000.  I almost fainted!  Thank God for doctors and medical centers that were truly there to help.


Tally and Thora stayed at a hotel that connected to the hospital by a walkway for the whole time.  I would fly in every week to be with them and Pat came down to be there for a while also. Now it was white knuckle time for me.


He needed an oxygen tank to get home finding an airline that would allow it was difficult, hats off to American Airlines they allowed all of us to fly home.  Bill and Tally were in first class and Thora and I were in coach so I would go up  frequently and check on them and Mom said to me stop worrying.


I got upset and have to confess that I yelled at an Angel out of nervous frustration.  She was right we made it and Bill recovered for a long time. We found out much later that one of the repairs was not successful which really upset Bill. You could see in him for the first time a lack of fight. While not  being a physician, the lack of fight was probably a influencing factor in his passing.


 Bill’s   Statement:


 “The accomplishment of the difficult show what men are. You did and you accomplished it.




William Bernard Ogden was born April 18, 1913 and passed away in Huntington Beach, CA on January 24, 1998 at the age of 85. The cause of death was aortic failure following a prolonged surgery at the Houston, TX  Medical Center.


 Attalla (Tally) Ogden was born on April 17,1914 and died March 5, 2006 at the age of 92. Thora died on March 5, 1998. The cause of death for both was Cancer.


Bill, Tally and Thora rest at the Pacific View Memorial Park in Corona Del Mar, CA 9 miles south of Huntington Beach, CA. over looking the Pacific Ocean.


Bill and Tally Christmas 1983


1995 cruise . One of 23 they enjoyed.







Bill, Tally and Thora rest at the Pacific View Memorial Park in Corona Del Mar, CA nine miles south of      Huntington, Beach.

We greatly appreciate the contributions and help of Bill’s niece Patty Porter  and nephew Jim McDonald (Thora’s son) enabling us to pay  our respects  Bill, Tally and  family.   You can leave your thoughts on the  Ogden’s Guestbook which they check often.



Bill taught me math:


 Bill worked with me on math in my teens at home and at the school. home  so I was exposed to his teaching In 1954 1 attended the class during the summer and obtained a 1st Class  Radio Telephone license .

 Bill instilled in me a desire to share knowledge so I started teaching math at ROES. Thank the Lord my teaching  experience expanded to being a teaching assistant at Glendale College, University of California Los Angeles and Northridge, lecturer at UCLA and IJCI in sales and marketing to the graduate school of business and systems engineering at the University of Missouri.


I also had the wonderful opportunity to teach business ethics for years at McDonnell Douglas school of management training.   Bill was a analytical person so when he decided to teach the course he researched the reason for the  license. With directional stations and the advent of TV and remote broadcasts It was imperative to insure that they  did not infringe on other areas. So, the analysis to course content went like this:

– Third Class Rules and Regulations.


-Second class theory of transmission electronics to supervise technicians.

First class management of technical performance i.e. Mu Lu equation as an operator did you understand  your meter readings to insure that you were not infringing on other stations frequencies?


I could have a mole for Bill since I was teaching and part of the family when I took the exams. Never a question of the test content was asked, instead we would sit down for at least an hour or two and  discuss many issues,  one of which was how we prepare students to better understand the theory and importance of achieving their goal.

Most of the time we would take an issue an discuss different view even though  we agreed that is teaching and learning, it is a shame our universities have lost this perspective.  Every one remembers R.T. D.Q. ( Read The Damn Question) that included the reason for the testing and Bill figured it out





Thora, Bill, Major (dog) and Tally