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Great Stories (and Lives) Inspire

By Holly Zane
NEWS — MAR 31, 2022

Jim Ogle, Executive Director of Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area since 2015, passed away on Sunday, March 13, 2022, after a long- and hard- fought battle with two kinds of cancer.

Jim wrote an article entitled “The Gifts of Our History” for the January – February 2022 edition of the Kansas Government Journal. Jim, himself, was an extraordinary gift to Freedom’s Frontier and its partners in promoting and talking about (and assisting partners in talking about) the important events in the National Heritage Area that forever changed America.

Grant Glenn, former Chair and Vice Chair of the Freedom’s Frontier Board of Trustees, recently commented:

Jim “. . . was a huge personality and a very humble person who loved people of all kinds. His dynamic leadership and communication skills were a perfect match when we interviewed and hired him to be Executive Director of Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area (“FFNHA”). He took an organization with a limited identity and identified ways it could become large and important. He was always finding ways to grow it and increase the number of our partners. He uplifted our partners, board members, and everyone he met. He believed in telling the stories of the Enduring Struggle for Freedom was the most important mission of FFNHA. Mostly, he was our friend, always making the extra effort to be there when he possibly could. Jim, You are greatly missed!”

Here are just a few condolences and comments from partners:

“. . . Jim was a tireless advocate for the heritage area . . . His eternal optimism was an inspiration to all who crossed his path. He will be missed.”

“. . . Jim worked with historical organizations that spanned the Kansas Missouri border to advocate for local history, our shared regional history, and for the volunteers who bring it to life for the public. Jim did all this and more with a smile on his face. He will be deeply missed.”

“. . .Jim was a tireless advocate for the heritage area and for all the historical organizations in the 41 counties in eastern Kansas and western Missouri that comprise it. Jim was an upstanding person, unfailingly happy and generous with him time. He cannot be replaced, but we must all endeavor to get along without him, hard as that will be.”

“. . . His heart of love for people from all cultures was an inspiration to many. He fought with all his power and strength to save historic communities, sites, and museums. . . You were a true gentle giant, statesmen, a man of service, and a light to so many. . .“

Jim had a “commitment to community . . . “

“A shining star has gone out. We will now only see him when we look to the heavens.”