Howard Orrin Zogott, 73, of Oro Valley, Ariz., died Feb. 13, 2019. Born in Philadelphia, he lived in that city until moving to Lawrenceville in 1999 and then in 2017 to Oro Valley.
Mr. Zogott was a theater director, opera stage director, library director, and adjunct professor at the University of Arizona Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Before becoming a librarian, he held other jobs while stage directing in the Philadelphia/New Jersey area, including working in a bookstore, a Sheraton Hotel, and Holt’s Cigar store.
At the Free Library of Philadelphia, he worked in various departments and branches throughout the system. He then moved to the Yeadon (Pa.) Public Library as director and ended his career as the director at the Cranbury (N.J.) Public Library. He served on various state and national library committees, including ALA’s Library Service for Older Adults and ALA’s Commission on Professional Ethics.
At Northeast High School, he began writing poetry and edited the school’s poetry magazine. At the age of 39, he received his bachelor’s degree in theater arts at Temple University, then earned a master’s degree in library science at Drexel University, both in Philadelphia.
In retirement, he helped found PlayFest (an annual one-act play festival), now in its 11th year, at the Lawrence Branch of the Mercer County (NJ) Library System, directing many of the plays himself. With his love for opera and theater, he stage directed operas for Delphi Opera (Pa.) and Boheme Opera (N.J.), where he was a member of the board, as well as musical programs for Edward Bogusz and Friends. A lover of poetry, he was a reader, book collector, and accomplished writer. He was active in the Poetry Circle at the Lawrence Library, and read his poetry at open mics at the University of Arizona Poetry Center.
He is survived by his wife, Christina (Tina) Larsen Feick Zogott; a niece, Jennifer Zogott Levy of Brooklyn; a nephew, Daniel Zogott of Providence, R.I.; a great-nephew; and his former wife, Joyce Zogott-Onsted of Pocono Lake, Pa.
A service is planned for March or April in Arizona, with a memorial in New Jersey later in the year; arrangements are by Orland’s Ewing Memorial Chapel, Ewing. Memorial contributions may be made to University of Arizona Poetry Center, 1508 E. Helen St., Tucson, AZ 85721-0150,
Attn: Tyler Meier, executive director; or any library.