Lieutenant Commander (retired) Richard Hunter Vogel, QC passed away on August 28. He was at peace in his home on Salt Spring Island surrounded by those who loved and cared for him. A lifelong sailor who never learned to swim, he died looking out on his beloved Pacific.
His life was defined by a deep sense of civic duty, wonderful charm, intellectual curiosity, and an innate sense of occasion.
Dick was born on June 8, 1930 and he grew up in Maple Bay and Duncan, BC. He spent summers sailing Lightnings in the Gulf Islands with his family. He attended UBC undergrad and Dalhousie Law on an education plan as a Navy Reservist. He won the Angus L. Macdonald award for top public speaking, a skill that saw him through a lifetime. He was called to the bar in Nova Scotia and had the great luck to convince Dr. Anne MacRae Macleod of Cape Breton, NS to marry him in 1957.
They spent two years in England where Dick was a pupil at the Inner Temple and attended the LSE. His law career continued in Canada where he spent twelve years at the two-man firm Cooper & Vogel in Creston BC, before moving to Vancouver and becoming a partner at Lawson Lundell and, later, Swinton & Company. In 1977 he was appointed Deputy Attorney General of BC where he enjoyed working with Attorneys General Garde Gardom and Allan Williams, most memorably on the ‘Constitutional File’, the battle over the repatriation of the Canadian Constitution. He won a landmark personal libel case against the CBC in 1982.
He competed twice in the Victoria to Maui Yacht Race, completing the first with a broken mast and jury-rigged sail, and ran the Boston marathon. He was a wood nut, collector of silver, anglophile and member at the Royal Ocean Racing Club, The Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, and The Vancouver Club. He served as President of the Vancouver Institute, was a proud Phi Delt, and an active lifelong Liberal. His public service included the Pacific Alzheimer Research Foundation, the Salvation Army, Duke of Edinburgh Awards, and the Red Cross. He was a bit of a dreamer in his varied investments, most amusingly in Mushroom Records.
He is survived by Anne (Patty), his wife of 59 years, his three children John (Julie-Anna Vogel), Letitia (Bruce McFadden) and Aynsley (Tim Peters) and his 5 grandchildren, Rebecca, Duncan, William, Hunter, and Jack.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to the Red Cross or the Lady Minto Hospital Foundation in Dick’s memory.
The family is grateful to the doctors and home care nurses of Saltspring Island who made it possible for Dick to die at home.