Michael Richard Bogdan, age 70, entered into eternal rest on Wednesday, February 07, 2024, following a fierce 10-month battle with lymphoma. His loving family was by his side.
Mike lived an incredible life filled with love, adventure, and many passions. But it was his family and faith that meant more to him than anything else.
On Jan 1, 1954, Mike was the first baby born of the year at a hospital in Phoenix, AZ. A few years later he and his family moved to Albuquerque before settling in his hometown of El Paso while Mike was still in grade school.
In his youth, he had many friends and was quite active. He liked to perform - at home with his siblings, in school, and as a member of Up With People which promoted multiculturalism, racial equality, and positive thinking around the world.
Mike loved riding horses. He had a brief stint as a bull rider in the rodeo, but years prior to that he spent a lot of time at the local stables. It was there at the age of 12 that he met Lizette and declared his love for her. They eventually married in 1975 - a deep and true love that would last a lifetime.
The couple lived in Flagstaﬀ where Mike graduated from Northern Arizona University in 1977 with a degree in Police Science and Administration/Law, and shortly after when they returned to El Paso he joined the police force. Then in 1985, he joined DEA, where he rose in rank to Special Agent in Charge over the course of 23 years. Many undercover intelligence operations took him to countless cities and countries during his career, though he remained based out of El Paso throughout with the exception of a few years living in McAllen, TX and Sierra Vista, AZ.
Mike chose to retire in 2008 because he felt compelled to use his experience as a law enforcement professional in Afghanistan as part of a joint task force. Never one to sit still, after “retirement,” he continued to work as a Supervisory Special Agent, Senior Intelligence Analyst, and Senior Financial Investigator.
Finally, in 2016 he closed that door and focused more on other interests and hobbies, such as golfing with the Prime of Life Players and the Old Timers, and hiking in various locales at home and in his travels. He was fun-loving, always ready to play games with family and friends, and was up for anything - sledding, skiing, and ice skating even one short year ago.
Mike enjoyed woodworking and created several treasures over the years for those he loved. Possessing an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, he loved trivia, crossword puzzles, problem-solving, organizing, and DIY in general. Skilled in most things plumbing and electrical, he tackled any handyman projects that might arise. He could often be found helping out at the homes of relatives or at his church - it seemed there was almost nothing he couldn’t fix.
He was a devoted member of the Knights of Columbus where he was a 4th-degree knight and past Grand Knight, living by their core principles of charity, unity, fraternity, and patriotism.
He was a helper to all and
a shining example of fortitude and faith.
His absolute favorite place to be was anywhere with his family. But especially if they happened to gather in Ruidoso, NM - one of his favorite places on earth. He spent time there throughout his life - camping, fishing (which he taught his kids, nieces, nephews, and grandkids), and appreciating its peaceful nature and cool clean air. In 2009 a lifelong dream came true when he and Lizette purchased a cabin in the mountains of Ruidoso, where many special memories have been made.
Another dream came to fruition when Mike became a grandfather. As with his own three kids, there was nothing he wouldn’t do to see a smile on those little faces…from countless fishing trips to crafting many wooden gifts, to engineering a zipline near the cabin. He wasn’t only their grandpa, but their genuine best buddy.
Particularly in recent months, Mike and Lizette had many conversations in which he conveyed his gratitude for the myriad blessings in his life. He felt at peace with all he’d been able to experience.
The family wishes to express deep gratitude to Fr. Allan Alaka and the Queen of Peace community for their prayers and support, as well as to Dr. Joshua Rodriguez and all the nurses and healthcare workers.
Michael is preceded in death by his parents: Edward Francis Bogdan and Evelyn Gregory Bogdan.
He is survived by his wife of nearly 49 years: Lizette Vela Bogdan, his children: Kelly Kristine Bogdan, Shannon Bogdan Davila (Bernie), and Michael Troy Bogdan (Jessica), his siblings: Linda Bishop, Greg Bogdan (Ray), and Debbie Smith (Gary), as well as his grandchildren: Rio Davila, Tiago Davila, and Elena Bogdan. He is also survived by many cherished friends and extended family.
Mike was a wonderful husband, father, son,
brother, grandfather, and friend.
We will carry him in our hearts forever.
A Visitation will be held from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Thursday, February 22, 2024, at Sunset Funeral Homes-West with a Holy Rosary to commence at 6:00 pm. A Funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 am on Friday, February 23, 2024, at Queen of Peace Catholic Church, 1551 Belvidere St. El Paso, Texas 79912. An Inurnment will follow at 12:30 pm at Memory Gardens of the Valley Cemetery, 4900 McNutt Rd, Santa Teresa, NM 88008.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to foundations such as the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Lymphoma Research Foundation, American Cancer Society, or the charity of your choice.
Services are entrusted to Sunset Funeral Homes-West, 480 N. Resler Dr., El Paso, TX 79912