Bentonville philanthropist Marilyn Bogle, a devoted financial supporter of the University of Arkansas and Razorback athletic programs, died Thursday (Jan. 23) in Bentonville. She was 88.
Bogle’s husband, Bob Bogle, was Sam Walton’s first manager at the Walton 5-10 on the Bentonville square, and is credited with proposing the name “Wal-Mart” for what is now retail giant Walmart Inc. He worked with the company for 28 years before retiring in 1982.
Together, the Bogles’ generosity helped foster the success of millions of Arkansans, including thousands of Razorback student-athletes, according to a UA news release. Among her many impactful contributions, according to the UA, Bogle played a pivotal role in the expansion and growth of women’s sports at the UA.
In May 2008, Bogle Park, the UA’s softball facility, was officially dedicated on the Fayetteville campus thanks to the Bogles’ support of the Razorback softball program.
“The Razorback Family has lost one of its most gracious and passionate members,” UA athletic director Hunter Yurachek said in a statement posted to the UA website Friday. “Through her words and generous actions, Marilyn positively impacted the lives of millions of Arkansans and made our university and state a much better place. Her longtime dedication to the continued growth of student-athletes, both academically and athletically, made a difference in the lives of the young men and women who competed as Razorbacks. Marilyn’s commitment to expanding intercollegiate athletics opportunities for women was truly transformational. We have lost a dear friend, but the lasting legacy of Marilyn Bogle will continue to shape our program for generations to come.”
In addition to the UA, Bogle supported numerous charitable causes and organizations including the Walton Arts Center, SoNA, AR Care, the NWA Children’s Shelter, Bentonville Public Schools and the Bentonville Public Library.
According to her obituary, Bogle was awarded the Arthur “Rabbit” Dickerson Pioneer Award by the Bentonville-Bella Vista Chamber of Commerce, and the Peel Museum Founders Day Award. Other recognitions include the UA Sports Hall of Honor Distinguished Service Award for her loyal support, and the “Outstanding Friends” award by the UA Horticulture Department.
A service through Stockdale-Moody Funeral Services will take place Jan. 28 at First Baptist Church in Bentonville.