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. Cause of death, Cancer.

Thora McDonald  died in November of 1991. The cause of death,  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.

Pacific View Memorial Park in Corona Del Mar, CA.
Bill, Tally and Thora rest at the Pacific View Memorial Park in Corona Del Mar, CA over looking the Pacific Ocean nine miles south of Huntington Beach..
50th wedding anniversary in 1995
1995 cruise . One of 23 they enjoyed
Thora, Bill and Tally

01/16/2020Emails from family members

Here are emails received from Bill’s niece Patty Porter, great nephew Jeff Porter  and  his nephew Jim McDonald.

Name: Jeff Porter (Bill’s Nephew) 

From: Thousand Oaks (Currently Olympia, WA)
E-mail: portercreative@yahoo.com

October 13, 2012


I am Bill Ogden’s Great Nephew. I was stunned to see an entire page dedicated to his radio school and got kind of emotional seeing all the lives that he affected. I don’t know what made me look up his name on the internet today but I am glad that I did. Bill and Tally are deceased but his family lives on. I believe that he passed in 1998 but I will get more family to confirm when I share this page with them. Actually Tally’s sister Patricia Stevenson is the only extended sibling of that era still around at 100 years old! My mother, Patricia Porter is Bill, Tally and Thora’s niece. I have very fond memories of Bill, Tally and Thora.

We always loved visiting their house in Huntington Beach California. I knew a different ‘Uncle’ Bill than everyone else as I was just a kid in high school when he passed. In retirement Bill did a lot of woodworking and gardening.

I remember staying up late with him watching Johnny Carson when we stayed at his house, always visiting at Christmas time and always having wonderful meals at their house. They were always a pleasure to be around and I wish that they all could still be here.

I would love to hear more stories about the Ogden’s during their time at the radio school if you have more stories. Again, I will pass this page along to my sisters, mother and family to read and share their own thoughts. My mother is great with dates and can confirm more details about their lives. Thank you again. I look forward to reading all of the comments.

End of message

Submitted by
Name: Patty Porter
From: Washington State now, previously from Calif.
E-mail: alanporter1@msn.com
October 14, 2012

My name is Patty Porter, William B. Ogden was my uncle, as Tally and Thora were my aunts. Some would remember me as Patty Ann, which my aunts and uncle preferred to call me. This wonderful site was found by my son Jeff Porter, and what a treasure it is. I have enjoyed reading all the comments, as my Uncle Bill was very special to me.

I started working at R.O.E.S while in High School in the 60’s. I continued after graduation and got married and moved to Huntington Beach with my husband when they opened up the school down there. My husband Alan was the first janitor for the dorms and classrooms, while he attended college. We both worked there until 1967, when we made a move to Reseda. Some may remember my mother, Pat Stevenson, Tally and Thora’s older sister who is now 100 and lives with us. My mom did the memo-graphing in the back office on a as needed basis.

Uncle Bill was like a second father to me, as was Tally (Attalia) and Thora (Torree) second mom’s. Uncle Bill taught me to ice skate and bowl. Most of you may remember all the bowling teams he was on.

After retirement Tally convinced Uncle Bill to take 1 cruise, and after that they both loved it so much they managed to take 22 cruises in all. We always remained a close family and saw them often, as did my children.

I accomplished my 3rd class license while working in the office. I always wondered who came up with the color scheme of purple and yellow. As a young lady I sure did not think those colors went well together. I was often the person at the doorway taking the coffee count while Uncle Bill said….”Coffee’s get them high”. Of course there was always someone who forgot to raise their hand and had to come to the kitchen to ask for a cup. Thora and Tally always accommodated them with a smile.

Uncle Bill did pass away January 24th 1998, and Tally March 5, 2006, I was there holding her hand as she passed. I believe it was 1987 that Thora passed, I’m sure I can find that date. Thora’s son Jim McDonald is still living in the Huntington Beach area, I am sure many of you remember him. I will pass this site on to him.

My life is filled with wonderful stories from these great people who impacted my life to this day. Thanks to those who appreciated him so much, he would be honored

Patty Porter,

(Bill’s niece)


Ogden’s Guestbook

Ogden’s class photos

Shotgun  Tom Kelly spoofs Bill Ogden 

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14 thoughts on “OGDEN’S RADIO SCHOOL”

  1. I was barely 19 yr.s of age when I enrolled at R.O.E.S. It took me six (6) full weeks, but with Bill Ogden’s dogged persistence, I successfully passed the FCC First Class Radio License. It literally changed my life and I’ll be forever grateful to Bill, Tally, Theora and Major Comet Zip for making it possible.

    I went on to own and operate three small market radio stations. Subsequently, branched out into to become stockholder and president of a group of cable TV systems.

    My broadcast interest led me to politics where I served as City Councilman and two-time Mayor of Escondido, California.

    My experience at R.O.E.S. was a very special time in my life and have Bill Ogden to thank.

    1. I attended the William B. Ogden Radio Operational Engineer School in January 1964. After passing my Second Class License Test, I had run out of money. I went back home to hometown of Bakersfeld/ O recall Bill Ogden saying “there is nothing lower than a Second Class License holder”. I went back to Bill Ogden Radio Operation School in 1967, in the summer to finish up. I passed my First Class test and received my License in September, 1967. To be honest, Bill Ognden told me he did not believe I was ready to take the test when I decided to go take the test. I was weak on Math and he was afraid if Mrs. Lyons gave me the Math test, I would be “sunk”. I was given the 9 question math test. Maybe it was true that if Mrs. Lyons liked you, she would give you a test that you could pass. The night before I went to L.A. to take my First-Class Radiotelephone License Test, Bill Ogden sat down with me. I aksed him for one of the Proverbial Gold Pencil’s that had all the Answers in it. I recall him saying “I sure do hope you can hear me yelling the Answers to you”. They must have been in the Gold Pencil that I still have. It always reminds me of what someone can do if they put their mind to it. I now have a General Class Radiotelephone License which was grandfathered in 1981 which I surrendered my First-Lass License. I have such fond Memories of Bill Ogden, His Wife Tally and her Sister Thora. They were such lovely people. I had such a Wonderful experience knowing them and attending their School in both Burbank and Huntington Beach.

  2. I remember Bill allowing us to watch the moon landing in July 1969. We slept upstairs and spent long hours studying for the first class license downstairs. Our excitement was watching the fireworks from Disneyland at night. Don’t forget the planes almost hitting our building while taking off from airport. Never forget our time at Bill Ogden’s. Pat LaPointe class of 1969

    1. OMG we must have been in the same class, as I remember us watching the moon landing too!!!

      Just 19, many fond memories of the time there, including Disneyland too!!

      I have managed to become disconnected with a friend I made there, Jim Moore.

      If anyone knows whatever became of Jim Moore (after we both had worked at KRCR-TV, in Redding California in the mid 70’s), please shoot me an email at onsitectr@hotmail.com

      I miss to this day, the camaraderie we had at R.O.E.S., there never has been as good a time in my life, either before or since those days.

      Take care,
      Gerald Dunham

      1. Gerald, Thanks for checking out our homage to Ogden’s. We will place your comments in the Ogden’s Guestbook. We have two “friends of the Radio Museum” in Northern California, We will check and see if they have any memories/knowledge of your friend,Jim Moore. BTW, 1969 was a big year for Modesto-area people attending Ogden’s. If you have an Ogden’s Class Photo we will post that, too.
        All the best,
        Rick Myers
        Radio Museum President

        1. Hi, Rick, and got your email, too!

          Thanks for trying, I guess my main hope was that maybe there was some sort of Student List in the records of ROES that might exist to help me out, and/or that someone from our class in particular would be able to help me reconnect with Jim {middle name unknown!} Moore, in that class of 1969.

          We were both just Engineering “Operators” of the control room in our years there in the mid 70s, so it’s unlikely of there being some remembrance or connection… in relation to us young lowly Control Room operators.

          I DO appreciate you trying. As with all things, if [reconnecting] was meant to be, it will/would happen.

          Take care, and thanks for running this tribute to Bill Ogden!!!
          Gerald Dunham

  3. After my U.S.A.F. discharge in ‘57 I went to Ogdens school in Burbank. After six weeks of study, 10-12 hours a day I had my First Phone and first radio job.
    In retrospect I owe the beginning of my 47 year radio career to Bill and the many hours he personally spent with
    our group working by our side seven days a week.
    Don Pummill
    Class of 1962

    1. Don,
      Thanks for visiting our on-line Museum. We encourage you to sign the Ogden’s Guestbook, and share your memories. If you have any photos of your Ogden’s days, please send them our way. Ogden’s had thousands of graduates, including you! Congratulations to you on a nice career.
      Rick Myers, Modesto Radio Museum President
      Ogden’s Class of 1968

  4. As a high school dropout, I attended “Bill” Ogden’s ROES, class of January, 1970 and graduated in February that year. Doing Radio was a kick, as we say in the vernacular, but it created anxiety and underarm odor for me with my limited academics. But it did serve to send me back to school… with a GED, four years later I graduated with Honors from Phoenix College. I discovered my raison d’etre in Psy 101. I fell in love with Psychology and went to ASH, the Arizona State Hospital to start my career as a Behavioral Counselor. I am proud of my experience in Bill’s ROES; I am ever indebted to Bill for teaching me that I could accomplish the difficult.

  5. I attended Bill Ogden’s Radio Operational Engineering School back in 1971, Bill affectionally would tell us “You don’t have the brains God gave a tennis ball”. I will never forget those 12 hour school days , theory in the morning and math in the evening . I wish I had stayed in contact with some of my classmates .

    1. Thanks for visiting the Ogden Pages; you’ve joined hundreds of others. If you have your class photo from ’71, please send us a copy. We will place your comments in the Ogden’s Guestbook. If you have any more stories, please send those, too—Rick Myers, Modesto Radio Museum President, and Ogden grad ’68.

      1. I was barely 18 in the fall of ’51. Worked the summer for the City of Weiser, Idaho. I got my draft physical and entered the current ROES class. They took good care of this kid from the sticks, and sent me home with my first phone 6 weeks later. Weiser was not my home town, and working nights and weekends at KWEI soon got old. Joined my parents in Grants Pass, OR and opened at KUIN for a year.
        The boss wanted engineers and sent me to KIEM/KRED in Eureka, CA, and to college. It turned out I wasn’t smart enough for that and after stints at the TV stations in Klamath Falls and Medford, OR ( all with the same ownership), I wound up as a pharmacist. I wish I had the sense to get a photo of my ROES class. If anyone has one from that far back I would like to have it. I got my ham license in 2000, so I still have a hand in the radio business. I could go on, but will refrain.
        I have no problem being contacted if anyone is left alive from those days.

        1. Bud, it looks like you’ve had a great life, and are among thousands of Ogden graduates. We have a few Ogden Class photos from way back in your day, and we’ll forward those to you. Another grad from ’51 was the great television newscaster, Stan Atkinson. We will place your comments in the Ogden Guestbook. Thanks to over a decade of work by the Museum’s Webmaster, Bob Pinheiro, the Modesto Radio Museum is regarded by Google (among others) as the leading source for info on the Ogden Radio Operational Engineering School. Thanks for finding us. Rick Myers, Museum President

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