It is with a very heavy heart, that we share the news of James R. Vogel, a longtime member of the Brighton Town Board and a true selfless public servant, passed away peacefully with his family by his side, on Saturday, October 6, 2018. “Jim will be sorely missed as a member of the Town Board and our entire community mourns his loss,” said Brighton Town Supervisor Bill Moehle. “I had the great privilege to serve beside Jim as he proudly led community efforts to create the highly acclaimed Brighton Veterans Memorial,” said Supervisor Moehle. “Jim’s life was a legacy of service to his country in uniform as a Colonel in the Marines Corps and the Marine Corps Reserve, but also an extraordinary legacy of service to the community.”
Council Member Vogel was recently recognized by the Brighton Rotary Club with the Paul Harris Fellow award, recognizing a life’s commitment to the ideals set forth in the Rotary Motto, “Service Above Self.” Following his service in the Marine Corps, and while still active in the Marine Corps Reserve, Jim served his fellow veterans through a leadership position in Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve, an organization that encourages employers to hire veterans and reservists, and that also works to ensure that employers recognize the rights of veterans and reservists and the importance of accommodating the ongoing military commitments of reservists. He also was a longtime supporter of Honor Flight, and headed the Brighton Veterans Memorial Committee, that planned and completed the Veterans Memorial in Buckland Park.
As a Town Board member, Jim put to good use his many years of common sense experience as a Human Resources Manager for Xerox Corporation and was well known for his witty and savvy sayings which helped the Town Board focus on and resolve some of the most challenging issues. Jim continuously worked to maintain open, honest and responsive local government and promoted the “Greening of Brighton” through new parklands, hiking, biking trails and adoption of alternate sources of energy.
Jim’s community advocacy and passion extended well beyond the borders of Brighton as well. He was a faithful leader and board member of the House of Mercy, supporting their efforts to address homelessness in the Rochester area. He and his entire family supported refugees who came to this community in search of peace and a better life, particularly those who left war torn Kosovo. He also was a leader for decades in the Monroe County Democratic Committee, serving for many years as Executive Vice Chair, and interim Democratic County Chair. “With all these myriad accomplishments and accolades truly the most remarkable attributes that shined so bright in Jim were his humbleness, humility and genuineness, “recalled Supervisor Moehle. “Jim was a mentor, a leader, my colleague and my friend.” “He meant so much to the Town and to all those who had the privilege to know him and the great pleasure to work with him. We wish his wife Kit and his children and grandchildren peace, and hope they know our hearts are with them all,” concluded Moehle.