Cleveland's "Greatest Storyteller" dies at 104
One of Bradley County's most famous citizens left quite an impression on everyone he met. Master storyteller, singer, songwriter, and musician Claude Ogle Sr. died on Sunday, two days after turning 104. Claude was first featured on WRCB on his 99th birthday, displaying his singing and piano skills. Each year since, we attended and covered his annual birthday celebrations, which attracted hundreds of friends and family members.
Long known as Bradley County's oldest citizen, he was a member of South Cleveland Church of God for more than eighty years. In 2016, he received two major honors in his life. He was named "Mr. Life Care" and was awarded an honorary high school diploma from Bradley Central High School. He had been unable to attend school past sixth grade due to work. Still, he became an avid reader, and wrote many songs and poems.
On his 99th birthday, he jokingly told WRCB that the secret to a long life was a daily breakfast of Hardee's biscuits. The restaurant chain answered with numerous gift cards to ensure his longevity. He leaves behind many friends, family members, and countless memories of his remarkable life.
Here is the obituary from Fike Funeral Home:
Claude L. Ogle Sr., 104, joined his family in Heaven on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, in a local healthcare facility.
Claude attended Black Fox and Templeton Hill elementary schools, and had to leave after the sixth grade to work. He received his honorary high school diploma from Bradley Central High School at the ripe old age of 102, presented by Dr. Linda Cash. He was also presented the award for “The Oldest Bradley Bear Fan” by Coach Turner Jackson during the halftime of the Bradley/Cleveland basketball game. Claude said that was the highlight of his life. He was also named Mr. Life Care of Cleveland at the age of 100.
He attended South Cleveland Church of God since his mid twenties, where he met his soul mate, Viola, who was a charter member of the South Cleveland church. He was still singing in the church at 100 years of age.
At, 104, Claude was the oldest resident of the Bradley/Cleveland area, where he has lived his entire life. He was part of a musical family and could play every stringed instrument, plus the piano, and truly loved Southern Gospel music. Until the time of his death, he played and sang for the residents of Life Care of Cleveland for the past 20 years. He was a close friend of Ludlow Porch and, would call in daily on his radio talk show.
He was known as Cleveland’s greatest storyteller and loved to camp with his family and friends. He was a simple man who loved life, his family, friends and most of all his Savior, Jesus Christ!
He was the son of the late, Kimsey and Bertie Atchley Ogle, and was also preceded in death by wife of 62 years, Eva Viola Mullinax Ogle; five sisters: Jessie Holloway, Maude Sherlin, Madge Hilderbrand, Edna Smith and Ruth Gregg; and three brothers: Otis Ogle, the Rev. Clyde Ogle and Coy Ogle.
He is survived by two sons: Claude L. Ogle Jr. and wife, Nancy, and Ken L. Ogle and wife, Sheila; one grandson, Kyle Patrick Ogle (Papaw’s pride and joy) and girlfriend, Caroline Pribanich; 12 nieces and nephews; a host of grandnieces and grandnephews; and special adopted niece, Jerri Smith.
The funeral will be held at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, at South Cleveland Church of God, with Beecher Hunter, the Rev. Chris Moody and the Rev. Edwin Lipsey officiating. Voice of Lee will sing.
Interment will be held at Fort Hill Cemetery, with Kyle Ogle, Caroline Pribanich, Sean Harper, Jerry Ogle, Paul Dietrich, Dwight Reagan and Turner Jackson serving as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers will be his nephews and great-nephews.
The family will receive friends from 12 noon until 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday at the church.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the South Cleveland Church of God building fund in Claude’s memory, at 1846 Volunteer Drive S.W., Cleveland, TN, 37311.
We invite you to send a message of condolence and view the Ogle family guestbook at www.fikefh.com.
Fike-Randolph and Son Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.