In 2013, B. J. and Charles Patton established the Trudy Bogese Endowment for Youth Development with John Randolph Foundation in memory of B. J.’s mother, Trudy Bogese. Trudy Bogese was a remarkable businesswoman and citizen, who contributed greatly to her community over the course of her lifetime. Funds generated through this endowment will provide game-changing summer camp experiences for local youth through “camperships”.
Below is B. J.’s special account of what her mother meant to her and why she and Charles chose to honor Trudy Bogese by establishing an endowment in her memory.
My husband, Chuck, and I established the Trudy Bogese Endowment for Youth Development with the hope that my mom’s success story would be an inspiration to others. My mother was a “mountain among men” as women were not expected to be leading professional business people, especially in the 1940’s.
My mother, Trudy Bogese grew up with modest means in the tobacco farming community of Brunswick County, Virginia. After working in the fields, she left home to attend the Petersburg School of Nursing where she graduated with her registered nursing degree.
She met my father, Michael “Mike” J. Bogese, Sr. while in nursing school and they soon married. Four months after their marriage, my mom was injured in a car accident that shattered her hip and legs. The doctors told her she may never walk again and would never have children. Five children later and walking with a limp but always a smile, my mother defied the doctors.
My mom worked in public health nursing in Hopewell until she partnered with my dad, taking a gamble starting Bogese Construction Company. Always the driver, the mother of five embraced the real estate and construction arenas and was one of only two women Realtors in the Tri-Cities area. She was a real estate broker, insurance broker, and held interior design and nursery licenses. Bogese Construction Company ultimately developed over 3,000 residential homes in the Tri-Cities and Richmond area in over 16 residential communities, and built the first medical office building in Hopewell with Torsten Peterson. Commercial development of apartment communities, office parks, mini storage warehouses and shopping centers followed. The Company, later known as Bogese, Inc. celebrated 50 years in business in the 1990s.
Among her many accomplishments, Mom was a founding member of the Southside Virginia Board of Realtors and the Southside Multiple Listing Service. She served as President and also received the first Realtor of the Year Award. She received the Hopewell Business and Professional Woman’s Club Niki Award and the Hopewell Jaycettes Women’s Distinguished Service Award.
My mother’s professional involvement and energy was endless. She was Secretary of Prince George County’s Planning Commission, and co-founder and first President of the Prince George County Citizen’s Education Association. She organized the first March on Polio and Heart Fund and served on the Commonwealth Girl Scout Council for 15 years and was a troop leader. She served as President of the Richmond Diocese of the National Catholic Ministries and for 15 years worked as a board member with the John Randolph Hospital Authority. She was a member of the Hopewell Woman’s Club and served as its Christmas Mother and received its Outstanding Junior Award.
My mother never talked about herself. She also told me, “you never talk about what you have or what you have done.” She quietly praised others for their accomplishments, and always emphasized a team orientation. My mother passed away in 2002 and now it’s time to tell her story with the hope it will inspire young people to be entrepreneurs by accepting challenges and overcoming obstacles.
– Barbara J. “B.J.” PattonTags: Bogese, campership, Donor Story, endowment, Nonprofit, Patton, Philanthropy
This post was written by Jennifer Brown