Charles Ogden, of Wilmington, NC, known to friends as both Charlie and Skip, died on September 5 in a Wilmington area hospice center. He had been diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer earlier this summer, which had also spread to his lungs, and it progressed quickly over the past two months. He was 60 years old when he died.
Skip was an early advocate and adherent of putting bluegrass music online. His company, iBest, developed and hosted web sites for many familiar bluegrass artists, businesses, and festivals. AcuTab Publications, Del McCoury, Jerry Douglas, Scott Vestal, and the Grey Fox festival are just a few of the sites which he helped design and maintain.
By 1994, Ogden’s own ibluegrass.com site was online promoting the music, and his expertise in marketing, ecommerce, database programming, and business development was utilized by many in the bluegrass world during a time when such knowledge was more closely held than it is today. Skip’s easy manner and no-nonsense communication skills saved many a grasser from dead ends and blind alleys in the then-new world of online enterprise.
As both a friend and associate, he was very helpful during the early days of The Bluegrass Blog, which has since morphed into Bluegrass Today. We remember Skip’s generosity with his skills and dexterity as a programmer, as do his many other friends in the bluegrass world.
His close companion, Barbara Winderbaum, tells us that she watched the cancer rapidly claim his life. In fact, it was she who found Ogden after he fell in his home on August 31. He was taken to the hospital and then moved to hospice care for pain management.
She described him as we remember him. “He was the most attentive, considerate and loving man I ever knew. He is greatly missed.”
R.I.P., Skip Ogden.