William Ogden Booker, 86, passed away peacefully at his home in Stamford on July 12, 2022.
Ogden Booker has been the Organist and Choirmaster at Saint John Catholic Church of Darien since 2004. He resided in Connecticut for over 50 years and served as Organist and Choirmaster at St. Mary’s Church (Stamford), St. Andrew’s Church (Stamford), St. Thomas’ Church (Mamaroneck, NY), St. Luke’s Church (New Haven) and Kaighn Avenue Baptist Church (Camden, NJ). Mr. Booker also served in the United States Army.
Born January 14, 1936, in Moorestown, New Jersey, Ogden was a child prodigy, playing the piano at the age of four. His mother, an accomplished musician herself, was his first teacher. After graduating Manhattan School of Music, he taught in their Music Theory Department. Mr. Booker also taught music at the Weston School of Music, Sacred Heart Academy, Our Lady Star of the Sea and Trinity Catholic High School. Mr. Booker directed the W.O.F. Booker Chorale in Stamford, as well as cabarets and musicals in Stamford, Newtown and Darien.
In addition to teaching, Mr. Booker was an accomplished pianist, composer, musical improviser and arranger. A masterful conductor, Mr. Booker could conduct a full orchestra and choir all while playing the organ. He inspired and motivated his musicians to perform beyond their own expectations. Although best known as a classical and liturgical musician, earlier in his career, he played jazz and American standards in clubs in New York City and throughout the East coast.
Mr. Booker is predeceased by his parents, Ogden Lott and Elena Hampton Booker, and his siblings, Lloyd Douglas Booker, Charles Kenneth Booker and Sara Taylor. He is survived by his niece, Portia Braxton, and her family.
Our beloved Ogden also leaves behind a grateful parish and many friends who will miss his beautiful music, quick wit and distinctive laugh.
He will leave a legacy of original musical compositions, recordings and hundreds of devoted musicians who loved him and were privileged to have had the opportunity to be challenged, taught and directed by him.
Friends and family may arrive on Tuesday, July 19, 2022 between 9am and 10am for the reception of the body and rosary at Saint John Catholic Church, 1986 Post Road, Darien. A Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 10am. Interment will follow at Hamden Plains Cemetery, 230 Circular Ave, Hamden, CT.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Saint John Catholic Church, Darien, CT, or Project Music, Stamford CT.
The Nicholas F. Cognetta Funeral Home & Crematory is honored to assist with the funeral arrangements.
To leave online condolences, please visit www.cognetta.com