A Yankee Line co-founder Donald P. Ogden is being remembered for his contribution to the industry by the Greater New Jersey Motorcoach Association.
Ogden died Dec. 3 at age 84 in his Boston home.
In 1980, the decorated Vietnam veteran co-founded A Yankee Line Inc. with Don Dunham. Over the next 40 years, the Boston-based business grew to become one of New England’s premier luxury passenger transportation companies, serving the entire Northeast corridor with luxury tours, charters and general passenger transportation.
“Don has been a valued member of our industry and community for many years. We were deeply saddened to hear of his passing. He will be missed, and we send our condolences to his family and friends,” said Patricia Cowley, GNJMA Executive Director.
Born in Boston, Ogden was raised in Randolph, where he graduated from Randolph High School, and went on to attend Bentley College. Soon after high school, he enlisted in the Massachusetts Guard and later the National Guard. Eventually, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he proudly served his country during the Vietnam War, according to his obituary.
He achieved the rank of captain and was awarded several medals and commendations, including the Vietnam Service Medal with seven Service Stars, Bronze Star Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Army Commendation Medal.
Frank Smith, general manager for A. Yankee Line’s New York Metro’s division and a GNJMA board member, remembers first meeting Ogden at a United Motorcoach Association conference in Sacramento, California.
The two hit it off. When Smith’s employer, White Bus, went out of business, Ogden reached out to him.
“He remembered the conversation we had in Cali, and he called me to come up and visit him and Don Dunham in Boston, to see what we could get started in the NY Metro area,” said Smith, who joined A Yankee Line in 1999, on a handshake deal with both Ogden and “the kid from New York,” Dunham. Ogden bestowed the nickname on his younger partner.
On that handshake deal, Smith agreed to help develop a New York branch of A Yankee Line. He valued their friendship and working relationship over the past 20 or so years. The two shared a connection outside of work as well, with both being Vietnam War veterans.
Sense of mission
Smith only recently learned that Ogden was awarded the Bronze Star and other medals during his military service.
“Don was a no-nonsense kind of guy in the business, but who also liked to have fun. I will miss Don dearly,” Smith said.
Tony Mongiovi, region manager for Temsa, says he remembers Ogden as someone who had a sense of mission.
“Don Ogden was a mans’ man who completed his missions in life with distinction and pride,” Mongiovi said.
Outside of his motorcoach business, Ogden was an avid racehorse owner and enthusiast. He especially cherished his time connecting with family and friends in Randolph, Boston’s North End, South Boston, Saratoga, New York, and with his motorcoach industry friends throughout North America and the United Kingdom.