Maureen Lee Bogle was born August 31 1924 in a cabin at Pine Creek Lumber in Shoshone County Idaho. Her Father, Michael Patrick Bogle, who was 55 years old the time of her birth, managed Pine Creek Lumber. Her mother, Evalee, was 36 when she gave birth to Maureen. Evalee Bogle worked as a cook for the lumber Mill. Little MP Bogle, her brother, was born in 1922 and Maureen had two older sisters from her mother’s previous marriage to David Maynard Marshall. The older sisters were Arvilla Bona-Del 13 years old, and Ramona Elizabeth 10 years old. The family lived at the sawmill during the productive spring, summer, and fall months. In the winter, they had a home on Calispel Street in Spokane Washington. In February of 1926, another sister was born, Justine Adaline. Sadly, Justine died of pneumonia in October of 1926 at 9 months old. Michael Patrick poured his grief out in an Irish ode to his little Justine.
By 1928, Michael no longer managed the lumber mill at Pine Creek. In an article in American Life Histories from the Federal Writer’s Project, Mr. Bogle said he was “engaged in the insurance business”. The family continued to live in the house on Calispel. During this time, Evalee’s mother, Arvilla Morrison (Hirst, Hopson) moved from Marcus Washington to live with the Bogle family. Her second husband, Adelbert, had passed away in 1924.
1931 the Bogle Family moved to Spirit Lake and lived in the big Yellow House on the hill. Mr. Bogle was managing the lumber mill at that time.
In the winter of 1932, the Bogle family moved to RFD No. 7 in Spokane Washington (Also known as Otis Orchards) Mr. Bogle and Evalee owned and ran the Bona-Del Dairy while the two younger children were enrolled in the local school. Maureen was in second grade and Mike was in fourth grade. Arvilla and Ramona had jobs in Spokane and got an apartment together on 2nd Street. The Bogle Family stayed in Otis Orchards until about 1934 or 1935. Directories have them back in Spokane by 1936 and living at N. 4823 Monroe.
They had various addresses around Spokane and most likely Maureen went to St. Francis Xavier/Assisi School and graduated 8th grade there in 1938. Maureen went to High School at Holy Names Academy and graduated in 1942.
Just before her graduation, her dad, M.P. Bogle took an option on 80 million feet of timber and then, built a mill at Grangeville Idaho, to process it. At the time, it was described as the biggest in area history. M.P., Evalee, and Maureen moved to Grangeville. From there, Maureen went on to study art at the Otis School in Los Angeles and at UCLA.
In 1944, Maureen received a scholarship and began attending Chicago’s School of Art at the Art Institute. She lived at the Three Arts Club in the heart of Chicago at 1300 N. Dearborn Street. In 1945 and 1946 she won the cover of the Three Arts Club brochure for their annual arts and fashion show. At the 1947 show, her wall designs and hangings were featured. In 1948, she was the general chairman for the show. She was also the recipient of three $1000.00 fellowships and the Emma Cole Porter tuition scholarships. During the time Maureen was at the art school one of her instructors was Michael Ursulescu and he is notable because at a later date, she fell deeply in love with him.
After Maureen graduated from the Art Institute with a bachelor and master of art and education, she went back to Spokane Washington and opened the Art Studio at 908 E. Emma for the purpose of producing art, pottery, and textiles. She also had a kiln there for firing her enamels which were small pieces of jewelry. The arts studio also provided a space for others interested in applied arts. She lived at the studio with a friend from the Three Arts Club, Pat Aid. She and Pat made the furniture for their part of the studio apartment.
In 1950, she was an assistant to Miss Dorothy Mclivain director of art in the Spokane Schools. Through-out 1948 to 1952 she did commissioned work for the Spokane Dioses of Catholic Churches. Two notable pieces were the ceramic frieze of St. Francis for the St. Francis of Assis church and the ceramic Stations of the Cross which were hung at the St. Dymphna chapel at Eastern State hospital. She also entered paintings in the Spokane Fine Arts Fair and was written up in the Spokesman review and the Spokane Chronical newspapers.
In 1952, Maureen got an art teaching position at the Glencoe Central School in Illinois, just north of Chicago. She got an apartment in Winnetka, Illinois and made many long-time friends. Three of her closest friends were Henrietta Lacey (Hank); Laura Daniels; and Marge Zielbell. At Glencoe her name transformed from Maureen to Moby. She said it was because Mo was a typical nickname for Maureen and she would sign her work Mo B. (for Bogle). Her students began calling her Moby and it stuck. She worked in an art department with three other teachers each with a specialty. Moby taught fine arts and crafts. According to an article by Marilyn R. Abbey in the March 10 1983 Pioneer Press, Moby had the students working with polishing gemstones and creating murals. Her own enamel studio was in the basement of Marge Ziebell’s home in North Chicago.
1956 Moby on a trip to Europe. She was supposed to go with her good friend, Genevieve Rice, but Mrs. Rice found herself pregnant and could not go! So Moby went alone and wrote a “Gander Time” report to the Rice family daily. She went from New York to Dublin then on to: London, Brussels, Munich, Paris, Switzerland, back to France, over to Italy and home by the way of Holland. The trip was from July 2 to September 5 1956. July 9. She phoned her instructor from the Art Institute, Mike Ursulescu, and arranged to have dinner with him. From her letters to the Rice Family: “I phone Mike Ursulescu and we arranged for dinner and a hotel hunt. Both were immensely successful”. She went on to say “I can’t comprehend how England can exist so close to France and still boil the holy hell out of everything or fry it in masses of stale grease.” She wrote a lot about the people she met, the art she saw, and the drawings she did. She also wrote about Mike, his kind temperament, and his artwork.
During the 1960’s she continued to experiment with oils, and refine her medium. From the Pioneer Press: “She did some freelance projects for a Chicago publishing house, producing more than 60 botanical and zoological charts for school instructional use”. Moby earned another degree in scientific illustration. She also broke off her developing relationship with Mike Ursulescu and became engaged to her long-time friend Bob ________. Before the wedding Bob, was called to the Priesthood. They remained great friends and Moby remained single. She continued to teach and focus on her artwork until she retired. She also had another trip abroad with Marge Ziebell and many adventures around the United States with Marge and Laura Daniels.
Moby retired from teaching in 1979, saying that “teaching was taking it all and it was time to make a break if she was going to realize her personal goals as an artist.” Her first art exhibition was at the Oak Park Illinoi street fair. Her darling niece, Teri Burch, helped her set it up on the hot pavement of August.
In 1981 she juried into a national craft show in Gaithersburg MD followed shortly by another in Dallas sponsored by American Craft Enterprises. She became a regular exhibitor in the craft show in Frederick MD, which is one she loved the most. She became adept at setting up her booth which improved from the hot pavement street fair of Oak Park. She exhibited her beautiful tiles in shows around the Chicago area and often got commissions for tiles from people who wanted something specific. Galleries have also displayed her enamels in Seattle WA; Aspen CO; Raleigh NC; Long Beach CA; Montreal Canada; Norfolk VA; and Cincinnati OH.
In the 1980’s her apartment in Winnetka was going to be turned into a condominium. It was not something she could afford, so Marge Ziebell created a loft space bedroom for Moby in her Chicago Style home in Edgebrook. Moby’s studio was already in the basement of the home on Ionia Street, so Moby moved in. It was a beautiful old home where she could tend a garden, work on her art, have dogs, and entertain friends with Marge. They went to the Chicago Symphony, Ravinia, Shakespeare Theater, and entertained their nieces and nephews when they came to visit. But Teri was her favorite.
Moby took her sketch pad with her to all the places they visited around the U.S. in their motorhome. She used the Shedd Aquarium to get her drawings of marine life. Her enamels were vibrant colors of melted glass on copper that she could get up to 26 firings for a three dimensional effect. And she loved nothing better than to talk to her nieces and nephews about art, science, theater, and nature. She retained a lot of information and disbursed it freely.
As the years went on, and Marge’s health declined, Moby took care of her and they hired woman to help them. Alina had immigrated with her family to America and she became indispensable. After Marge died, Moby kept Alina on. Moby had glaucoma and was unable to continue the fine work her enamels needed. She sold her equipment, tried some water colors, continued to garden, and enjoyed her friends. Alina remained employed with Moby but it was also a close friendship with the whole family.
In November of 2016, Moby had an episode of passing out and falling. Alina took her to the Evanston Hospital and called Teri in Idaho to come to Chicago to be with Moby. She had a heart valve that was not working correctly and they were going to plan a procedure to replace it. She was put on oxygen but if she took the mask off, she would pass out or if standing, fall. They checked her lungs. Her pulmonary system was devastated. Her lungs had some scar tissue and were failing. They could not replace the valve, they could not take her off oxygen. She was moved to the Hospice wing of the hospital. For the weeks she was in the hospital, she never lost her sense of humor, her love of explaining things to you, or her directing you to “go out enjoy my city and come back and tell me what you did”. She also told you how to get there. Moby died November 17, 2016.
Written by Teri Sommers-Burch