August 9, 1935 – November 2, 2018
Gina Ogden – feminist, teacher, scholar, mother, grandmother, lover, and lifelong Red Sox fan – has died at age 83.
Gina was curious, compassionate, and beautiful. She was smart and had a keen wit.
Nature was integral to her being and part of her shamanic study and practice. She collected heart-shaped rocks and other stones wherever she traveled. She always stopped for a good sunset. She spent many hours at Walden Pond, and in the summer often took her work to her “summer office” on Singing Beach. When her grandchildren were visiting, the beach trips always included ice cream at Captain Dusty’s.
Gina was a pioneer in the field of sexology and a tireless advocate for everyone’s right to sexual well-being. She wrote 13 books and published countless articles, conducted retreats and trainings internationally, lectured widely, and even appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show. One of her more significant contributions was founding both the 4-Dimensional Wheel approach to therapy and sex therapy and the community that supports its teaching and growth, the 4-D Network (www.4-DNetwork.com). This approach takes into consideration not only the physical, psychological, and emotional aspects of a person’s well being, but also the spiritual. Beloved by her colleagues, she was awarded the highest honors from the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists this past June—the Distinguished Service to AASECT Award. Her website, www.GinaOgden.com, is still up and active.
In January of this year she learned she had terminal cancer. She embraced this as a spiritual journey. By choosing palliative care over more aggressive medical interventions, she opted not to fight the inevitable. She took charge of her care by working closely with the traditional medical community, spiritual advisors, and complimentary healthcare practitioners to be able to live fully until the end. The last 10 months have included a trip to Denver for an AASECT conference; visits from her closest family, colleagues, and friends; and swims in Walden Pond and Plum Cove. Her experience is chronicled in emails she sent to her colleagues and friends and photos taken by her partner.
Gina died peacefully in her home on a warm fall morning with her dear ones at her side. She is survived by her life partner Jo Chaffee; son Philip Saunders and his wife Wendy; daughter, Catherine Saunders and her partner Todd Sabelli; and grandchildren Chris Saunders and Christina Saunders. The family will plan a celebration of Gina’s life for a later date.
In lieu of flowers, Gina has asked those who wish, to make contributions to the Dr. Gina Ogden Curatorial Scholarship Support Fund at the Kinsey Institute Library and Collections, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. You can make a gift by going to the Kinsey “make a gift” page and searching for “Ogden,” or by filling out their pledge form and indicating the Ogden Scholarship Fund.
In the sunshine and the starlight, I will always be with you.
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