Oakdale High School counselor Kimberly Stogdell, 52, died Sunday, July 1 at home after a short battle with cancer.
She was born in Fresno where she attended McLane High School. She graduated with a B.A. in Education from CSU Fresno. She later completed her master’s degree in Counseling, also at CSU Fresno.
She met the love of her life, Donald, while at McLane High School and they were married for 26 years. After settling in Oakdale in 1990, they had twins in 1994 and she had a new focus in life. She found great joy in watching her children, Ian and Zazzy, in all their endeavors.
Mrs. Stogdell began her career in education in the classroom and then realized her dream of becoming a counselor and assisting students in realizing their dreams. She first counseled in Stockton at the elementary level and eventually found her niche at Oakdale High School.
She had completed 13 years of service to the Oakdale Joint Unified School District and it was expected that she would return for this school year. Stogdell worked with an alphabetical portion of students at each high school grade level.
“She always had the students’ interests at heart and was an advocate for kids,” said OHS Principal Mike Moore.
He added that Stogdell was also very conscious about having her colleagues socialize and she was instrumental in organizing an annual staff soup cook-off luncheon and other activities.
“Kim has been a vital part of our school for a long time,” Moore said. “There’s obviously a personal connection, not just professional (with staff).”
At OHS, she was a beloved counselor and friend. Her genuine kindness and faith in the goodness of people immeasurably impacted the lives of hundreds of students.
“She was very much student-oriented,” added OJUSD Superintendent Marc Malone. “She was the kind of person who never met a stranger.”
Malone added that when he was a vice principal at OHS, whenever he dealt with a student who he felt just needed someone to lend an ear, he would set them up to talk to Stogdell. Malone said she would listen to them and was a person with a gentle touch.
She is survived by her husband, Donald; children, Ian and Zazzy; parents, Robert and Laverne Lahrman of Fresno; and brother, Richard Vulich of Clovis.
A celebration of life will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 14 at the Oakdale High School gymnasium, 739 West G St. A reception will immediately follow at the Woodbury residence, 9601 La Posada, Oakdale.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the Kimberly Stogdell Memorial Scholarship, c/o OJUSD, 169 South Third Ave., Oakdale, CA 95361.