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Allen ‘Al’ J. Vogt, 68, of Cook

Allen “Al” J. Vogt, 68, of Cook, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, at the Solvay Hospice House in Duluth.
A celebration of life will be held Saturday, Sept. 16, at 2 p.m., at First Baptist Church in Cook. A gathering of family and friends will be from 12:30 p.m. until the time of the service at the church. The Rev. Jared Bangs will be the officiant. Military honors will be the combined honor guards of Cook VFW Post 1757 and the Orr American Legion Post 480. Interment will be in the Cook Community Cemetery.
Mr. Vogt was born April 23, 1949, in Glencoe, the oldest of three in a proud Germany family. He graduated from Glencoe High School in 1967, and from there went on to the University of Minnesota, St. Paul Campus, in the School of Conservation.
While dating four women at one time, he met the love of his life, Beryl Ann, who quickly brought that debacle to an end. He enlisted in the U.S. Marines Corps at the height of the Vietnam War while maintaining a long-distance love affair with Beryl. They married Oct. 30, 1971, and Beryl joined him while he served at Camp Pendleton as a ground radio and crypto repairman until he was honorably discharged in January 1973.
While in California, Mr. Vogt began another life-changing relationship. He was taken by his wife, against his will, to a Campus Crusade retreat in Hemet. It was there that he came to know Jesus Christ as his personal savior and began his lifelong pursuit of serving his Lord. He was a man of perseverance, passion and hard work.
After the service, he and his wife returned to Minnesota, where he began working at Sperry-Univac in applied physics research. He returned to school to earn his laboratory technician certification, which set him on a path in health care that would last 40 years.
He, his wife and infant daughter Amanda moved to Cook, where he worked as a registered lab technologist. Over the next years, he worked full time while earning his Bachelor of Arts in health-care administration and raising a family of three young children, Amanda, Gabriel and Matthew. From 1976 to 1988, he grew in leadership, becoming the chief executive officer of the hospital and convalescent and nursing care unit in 1989. During his tenure, he directed the hospital with a keen administrative vision that was paralleled only by his love and tenderness toward the employees and patients who relied on Cook Hospital. He oversaw four major construction projects, including a new hospital building, emergency room, the expansion of the physical therapy department, and the renovation of the kitchen and dining services.
At the same time, he made a point to know as many residents and staff in a personal and meaningful way as possible. As part of his morning rounds, he would visit nursing home residents, often sharing a cup of coffee or a game of cards. He never considered it his job; he considered it his ministry.
Mr. Vogt was a champion of rural health care, helping to organize smaller hospitals around the region to reach the highest levels of care, including access to technology and cutting-edge best practices. He served on numerous boards and was committed to giving his mind to the causes that mattered to him.
His love of music earned him the John Phillips Sousa award and drum major status in high school, as well as first chair trombone in the University of Minnesota Marching Band. Most notable was his way he used his musical talents in voice and guitar in the service of his faith, including in the Chappo Chapel at Camp Pendleton, as well as over 40 years of musical ministry, often with his wife and their close friend, Betty Dunn, as Praise Three. He composed several of his own original pieces and used them to share his deep gratitude for the nearness of God in the complex chapters of life.
Mr. Vogt taught his children the satisfaction that discipline and practice can bring. He also shared with them his love of the outdoors, raising them in the knowledge and respect of nature, particularly as it speaks to the masterful creativity of God, with a special love of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
Beyond all of his accomplishments, he simply knew how to love well. After a long day of work, he would gather his three small children in his arms, pulling them to himself with the strength and passion of a loving father, a passion that followed them into adulthood and to his final days. This love was generously extended to his children’s spouses, welcoming Elizabeth and Achille into the deepest places of his heart.
His love of being Papa to his grandchildren, Micah and Ezra, filled his cup to overflowing, washing over those babes whose time with him was just too short.
But more than any other person, he loved Beryl Ann. She was his world, and he wanted nothing more than to give her everything.
He is survived by his wife of nearly 46 years, Beryl; his children, Amanda (Achille) Dago of Corona, California, and Matthew (Dr. Elizabeth) Vogt of Minneapolis; brother, David Vogt of Glencoe; sister, Charlene Arens of Arco; two cherished grandchildren, Micah and Ezra; along with nieces, nephews and many friends.
He was preceded in death by his son, Gabriel “Gabe” on Aug. 22, 1995; his parents, Albert and Franziska Vogt; his wife’s parents, Maynard and Doris Raun; sister-in-law, Cheryl Jones; and a “like sister,” Vicki Esterby.
Arrangements are with Mlaker Funeral Home in Cook. For an online guest book or to leave condolences, visit www.mlakerfuneralhome.com.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (lls.org/minnesota) or Mashiah Foundation (mash
iafoundation.org), or W.C. Heiam Medical Foundation (heiamfoundation.org).