May 27, 1931 Burlington Chittenden County Vermont, USA
Mar. 28, 2013 Chapel Hill Orange County North Carolina, USA
He was born May 27, 1931, in Burlington, Vt., the son of Curtis L. and Marion Wright Vogler. A 1949 graduate of Burlington High School, he attended his father's Alma Mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, graduating in 1953 with a Bachelor's degree with highest honors in French. After spending a postgraduate year as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Strasbourg, France, he returned to Chapel Hill where he earned a Master's degree in French in 1955. From 1955 to 1957 he served in the U.S. Army as a member of the Counter-Intelligence Corps in Germany and France, attaining the rank of First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve after his discharge from active duty. Returning to Chapel Hill, he undertook a doctoral program and was awarded the Ph.D. degree in Romance Languages in 1961. After an additional year in Chapel Hill as an instructor, he spent a year as Assistant Professor of French at the University of Iowa in Iowa City before accepting an invitation to return to Chapel Hill in 1963 at the same rank. As it happened, this was to be a permanent move for him, for the rest of his career was to be spent as a member of the Department of Romance Languages at the University of North Carolina, where he was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 1966 and ultimately to Full Professor in 1978. He retired in 2005 with the title of Professor Emeritus.
During his many years at the University, he held a number of administrative and editorial positions in addition to his teaching responsibilities. Early in his career he served as Director of the UNC Year-at-Lyon program in France from 1965-1975, living in Lyon during 1965-66 and 1968-69 as its Resident Director. For several years he was Associate Editor of the Department's Studies in the Romance Languages and Literatures Series. From 1967 to 1970 he served as consultant to the Educational Testing Service of Princeton, N.J. After service as Assistant Chairman of his Department from 1969 to 1972 (with nine months as Acting Chairman during that time), he became an academic advisor in the College of Arts and Sciences in 1972, then served as its Acting Assistant Dean for six months in 1975, after which he was named Associate Dean, a position he held from 1976 to 1987. Following his return to full-time service in the Department, he served as Undergraduate Advisor in French and later as Director of Undergraduate Studies in French. His undergraduate and graduate teaching specialty areas were French Civilization and 17th -Century French Literature, although he is also remembered by many students outside his Department as their instructor for two popular non-major elective French literature courses given in English translation. After retirement, he continued his involvement with students on a part-time basis, first as an academic advisor, then as a mentor at the Carolina Covenant.
For many years, he was actively involved in the Philip Christoph Vogler Foundation, Inc., a family organization of descendants of Swiss-German pioneers who settled first in Maine, then in North Carolina in the mid-18th-Century but whose roots have been traced back to the Zurich area of Switzerland for many generations prior to their emigration to North America. After helping establish that European background and describing it in the chapter he contributed to the Foundation's family history book published in 1994, he served as President and Board Chairman of the Foundation from 1994 to 1996. In 1992 and again in 1997, he helped organize family pilgrimage trips to Switzerland for the Foundation, also serving as tour guide on both occasions.
From the age of 18 until the end of his life, he was a member of the Chapel of the Cross (Episcopal) parish in Chapel Hill.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Frances; one son Robert Frederick and wife, Ann, of Arlington, Va.; and three grandchildren, Katherine, Colleen, and Robert. Services will take place Apr. 5 at 2:00 at the Chapel of the Cross, followed by interment in the churchyard and a reception for friends in the church parlor.