Dr. Harry K. Ogden departed this life on March 31, 2021. He had been a resident at Morning Pointe-Powell (where he was known as "Doc") since February 2015 following the death of his beloved wife, Mary Peoples Ogden, to whom he had been married 70 years before her passing the month before.
Dr. Ogden was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, on December 13, 1922, the son of Harry Purple Ogden and Elsie Kay Lapsley Ogden, both of whom predeceased him. Also predeceasing him were his older daughter, Ann Lapsely Ogden Stout; his brother, Samuel Lapsley Ogden and sister, Frances Ogden Foreman.
After growing up in the Morningside community of Knoxville and a small farm in South Knoxville, Dr. Ogden was drafted into the US Army, along with most of his male classmates at the University of Tennessee in 1942. Thanks to the GI Bill, he ultimately went to medical school, first at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, VA, and then to the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis, where he graduated in 1949.
After internship at John Gaston Hospital in Memphis, he entered private practice for a year in Erwin, TN. Then he was drafted into the Army of Occupation in Germany during the Korean War. Following that Army stint, he returned again to engage in private practice this time with the Acuff Clinic in Lynch, Kentucky, as a coal mine town doctor, living across the street from the hospital where he was "on call" about all the time.
In 1954, he opened his own family practice in Fountain City in the "Smithwood Doctors Building" behind the Smithwood Drugstore, where he treated all people for all ailments and injuries for 20 years. This included about 2000 baby deliveries, including many African-American babies at the Knoxville General Hospital. This was the only hospital in Knoxville at the time that admitted African Americans.
In 1974, he became interested in emergency medicine and, closing his family practice, joined a few other local physicians in forming the Knoxville Emergency Physicians Group, to staff all the emergency departments of the Knoxville hospitals; he served mostly at St. Mary's over the next nearly ten years. He claimed that he sewed more stitches in the first year of that practice than he had in 20 years of family medicine in Fountain City!
Then in 1982, he started the first walk-in medical clinic in Knoxville, to provide medical care for people after hours and on weekends, when most other medical practices were closed. Later during this time, he became involved with providing care at Shannondale Healthcare Center and the InterFaith Health Clinic, both of which he later served as Medical Director for several years.
With failing eyesight and hearing, he ultimately retired from medical practice. He engaged in many activities after that which he had pursued even while actively practicing his profession and raising a family. These included hiking in the Smoky Mountains, cultivating a sometimes-large backyard vegetable garden, spending time with his wife and family at their lake house on Douglas Lake, and watching or cheering on the Smokies baseball team, both in Knoxville and Sevierville. He always enjoyed family dinners, holidays, and get-togethers.
In more recent years, he enjoyed and participated in as many activities as he could at Morning Pointe-Powell, including daily exercise and devotions. He enjoyed his mealtimes with table mates and the staff at Morning Pointe immensely albeit on a more limited basis during COVID restrictions; he was just getting back out and into the Morning Pointe activities routine when God called him home.
Surviving are his sons, Harry (Amy) and James; daughter, Mary Beth Obetz (David); grandchildren, Emily, Sarah, Stephen, Peter and David; great grandchildren, Ruth, Mary, Gabriel, Grace, Sam, Judy, Greyson, Brendan and Kirsten.
A Call at Convenience will be held between 10:00am-4:00pm at Gentry Griffey Funeral Chapel on Monday, April 5, 2021. A memorial service will be held at 2:30pm Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at First Presbyterian Church.
There will be a private family graveside service at Greenwood Cemetery and a memorial Service of Witness to the Resurrection at First Presbyterian Church, where he had served as an elder since 1960. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church or the Interfaith Health Clinic.
Gentry Griffey Funeral Chapel is honored to serve the Ogden family and invites you to view and sign the online register.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dr. Harry K. Ogden, please visit our floral store.