Friday, November 20, 2015

Dad's Obituary

Our beloved husband and dad, Eric Vogel (54), passed away peacefully at home on Sunday November 15, 2015 surrounded by his family. Eric valiantly fought a difficult, four-year battle with jaw cancer. Our hearts are broken by his passing and we will miss him dearly. We are comforted knowing that we will see him again. We are grateful that he is no longer suffering and can be with his parents again.

Eric was born in Ogden, Utah on December 24th, 1960 to George and Gwen (Fronk) Vogel. His father tragically died in a plane crash when Eric was three, and his mother later remarried Keith Whatcott who was a wonderful stepfather to him. Eric served an LDS mission in Bolivia and after returning home, was introduced to his sweetheart, JoLynne Christensen, by Keith at a dental visit. Eric and JoLynne married in the Provo Temple on September 3, 1983. He always found ways to show her that she was the love of his life. They had eight children together and have one granddaughter that he adored.

Eric loved being with his family. He was the most wonderful father, always doing fun and creative things with his children: building blanket forts, bowling with coconuts and soda bottles, mowing mazes in the lawn for the kids, and making up stories with his children as the main characters. He loved taking long road trips with his family in the motorhome, especially the annual Christmas trip to Mexico. Eric was an avid distance runner. He also loved to garden, cook, and bike.

Eric graduated from BYU before attending dental school at Creighton in Omaha. He was a third generation dentist following his father, stepfather, and grandfather into practice. He joined Keith's dental practice in Provo and practiced general dentistry for 27 years. He received many awards and recognitions for excellence in dentistry. However, what he really valued most about his work was caring for his patients, who he counted as friends.

He had a profound love for everyone around him, especially the poor and overlooked. No matter what their circumstances, he saw them for who they truly were and always believed in them. In 2000 he founded Share a Smile, a non-profit that provides free dental care for the homeless and needy in Utah County, as well as expeditions in Bolivia, Mexico, China, Russia, Belarus, and Morocco. He served faithfully in the LDS church as a teacher, Young Men's president, Scout master, Elder's quorum president, Bishop, and Stake presidency counselor. He was happiest working with the young men and had a great influence on many of them.

He is preceded in death by his father, George, and his mother, Gwen. He is survived by his wife, JoLynne (Christensen) Vogel and their eight children; Shanelle (Mike Robinson) and their daughter Vivian, Seth Vogel, Jarom (Natalie) Vogel, John (Callie) Vogel, Peter Vogel, Spencer Vogel, Adam Vogel, and Elizabeth Vogel.

Viewing will be held on Friday, November 20, 5:30-8:00 at Walker Sanderson Funeral Home (646 E 800 N Orem), and Saturday, November 21, 9:30-10:45 at the Lakeview Stake Center (450 W 1800 S Orem). Funeral Services will follow at 11:00. Condolences may be offered to the family online at

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to continue his work for the homeless with Share a Smile by visiting or by contacting Heather Hogue at 801-477-6193


  1. Beautifully written! A great tribute to a great man!

  2. My Mom, Sandy Johnson, worked for/with Dr. Vogel for several years. They parted ways many years ago, and I only recently learned of his illness. I meant to reach out and offer my encouragement and support, but I didn't. I wanted him to know that my Mom and all of my brothers were thinking of him. Because my Mom worked with him, Dr. Vogel was my dentist growing up and I always thought he was a down-to-Earth and kind man. Most kids hated their dentist, but I always felt safe and welcome with Dr. Vogel. I have nothing but fond memories and I want to offer my condolences. I am so sorry to hear about your loss.