Cover photo for Hector Mogollon's Obituary
Hector Mogollon Profile Photo
1928 Hector 2022

Hector Mogollon

August 26, 1928 — February 2, 2022

Indianapolis

Héctor Mogollón Sánchez, 93, a longtime resident of Indianapolis, died Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022, at his home on the city’s east side after a brief battle with lymphoma.

Born Aug. 26, 1928, in Bogota, Colombia, he was the youngest of six children of José Alberto Mogollón Forero and Julía Sánchez de Mogollón. His father was a poet laureate of Bogota and ran a bookstore, literary journal and printing business, Tipografía Granada, whose clients included the Teatro Colón Bogotá and the Plaza de Toros de Santamaría. Another client was the 1948 Colombian presidential candidate Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, to whom Héctor personally delivered proofs of his campaign posters just days before Gaitán was assassinated on April 9, 1948. That event provoked the “Bogotazo” rioting, with 5,000 people dying within 10 hours, and launched a 10-year largely rural civil war between liberals and conservatives known as “La Violencia” in which at least 200,000 people – almost 2% of the population – died in Colombia. With the family’s both conservative and liberal leanings, Tipografía Granada was struck twice by arsonists early in this period. His aunt, Sofía Mogollón de García, who raised him, was the longtime clerk of the City of Bogota. The Mogollóns were closely connected to many who would gather for celebrations at Héctor’s grandmother’s farm outside of Bogota, including the following families: Arévalo, Cardénas, Echevarría, Forero, García, León, Román, Salgado, Sánchez, and Venégas.

Héctor studied civil engineering at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in 1950, after graduating from high school at the Colegio Camilo Torres in Bogota the prior year. He came to the U.S. to attend Louisiana State University (1951-52), earning his degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University (1952-55, 1967-70). He played on the men’s soccer team for both universities. He and his wife, Jeanne, married in 1958 at St. Mary Catholic Church. They raised seven children, who attended St. Simon the Apostle Catholic Church and its school when they were on Roy Road. In early June in the ‘70s and ‘80s, you would see him as a volunteer at the barbecue pit or Texas poker tent at the Annual St. Simon’s Festival, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last summer.

Specializing in heating, ventilation and air conditioning services, Héctor worked for several local engineering firms before becoming assistant state engineer in the Public Works Division of the Indiana Department of Administration in 1976. He also ran his own consulting business known as Environmental Sciences Engineering International, P.C. He was closely aligned with the small but growing Hispanic community of Indianapolis, and served as one of the first board chairmen for the Hispano-American Center, created with federal grants in 1971 and housed in the old Saint Joseph parish hall at 617 E. North St. The Center, which hosted a small Latin American festival that grew into FIESTA Indianapolis, now held at the American Legion Mall downtown, was later consolidated with other Latino groups as La Plaza and moved to 8902 E. 38th St. He was a founding member with Carlos Pedraza and Father Mauro Rodas of the Indianapolis chapter of the Society of Friends of Colombia (SADCO), and greatly enjoyed its “tertulias” and summer picnics to celebrate Colombia’s independence day. Héctor also was very proud when Indianapolis served as host of the 1987 Pan-American Games and he, like many from the city’s Hispanic community, served as a volunteer and translator for visiting teams from Latin America, collecting pins from participating countries.

Héctor returned with his wife to Bogota when he retired in 1992. After several years among his family there, though, the lure of grandchildren and great grandchildren brought them back to the U.S. They lived in Florida near Orlando and his brother, Gustavo and his wife, Mary Faherty de Mogollón, originally from Boston, for a few years before returning to Indianapolis. There, they lived in a condominium complex next to Lawrence North High School and he attended St. Lawrence Catholic Church. You could frequently see him teaching grandchildren and great grandchildren how to fish in the complex pond. He was estranged from the Church for several years over clergy child sexual abuse scandals but reconnected in 2013 with the ascension of Pope Francis at the Vatican. Always needing activities to occupy him, Héctor coached women’s soccer, volunteered for several organizations as a Spanish translator and worked as an airport shuttle driver for Enterprise, stock and sales clerk for Meijer, and a greeter and sales clerk for Home Depot into his late 80s. In 2020, he and Jeanne moved to a home near Warren Central High School, and he began attending services at Holy Spirit Catholic Church.

He is preceded in death by his parents; sister, Cecília Mogollón Sánchez; sister, Judíth Mogollón de Baquero; and brothers, José Alberto and Gustavo Mogollón Sánchez. Surviving are his wife, Jeanne F. Totton de Mogollón, of Indianapolis, and their seven children: Raquel Cristina Mogollón Totton, of Tucson, Ariz., Margarita Mary “Mar” Mogollón-Nartatez, of New London, Conn., José Ricardo Mogollón Totton, of Fort Wayne, Ind., Carlos David Mogollón Totton, of Tucson, Barbara Veronica Mogollón-Rath, of Indianapolis, William Andrés Mogollón Totton, of Indianapolis, and Alícia Pílar “Pia” Mogollón Totton, of Tucson, as well as 30 grandchildren and great-grandchildren; his sister, Lilia Mogollón de Zapata, of Bogota, and numerous nieces and nephews in the U.S., Colombia, Ecuador and Spain. The breadth of Héctor’s close relatives spanned Latin-American, Euro-American, African-American and Asian-American membership – his was truly an American family.

Memorial service to be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022, at St. Lawrence Catholic Church, 4650 N. Shadeland Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46226.

Please direct donations to the St. Vincent de Paul Society ( svdpindy.org ), of which Héctor was a devout patron, offering translation services, teaching financial literacy and donating items to the food pantry and thrift store.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Hector Mogollon, please visit our flower store.

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