Cover photo for Robert W. Ogilvie, Ph.D.'s Obituary
Robert W. Ogilvie, Ph.D. Profile Photo

Robert W. Ogilvie, Ph.D.

July 12, 1936 — July 18, 2023

Mt. Pleasant

Robert W. Ogilvie, Ph.D.


Robert W. Ogilvie, Ph.D., 87, died peacefully in his home with his wife, Betty B. Ogilvie, of 64 years at his side in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., July 18, 2023. His Memorial Service will be held Saturday, August 5, 2023, in the Grace Church Cathedral, 98 Wentworth Street at 11:00 a.m.  Inurnment will be private. Arrangements by J. Henry Stuhr, Inc. Mount Pleasant Chapel.

Dr. Ogilvie is survived by his wife of 64 years, Betty Ogilvie; children, Jeffrey W. Ogilvie of Tulsa, OK, Lorraine Herrmann (Michael) of Marburg, Germany; six grandchildren, Michelle Chappell (Kody) of Dallas Texas, Courtney DeTello (Michael) of Orlando, Florida, Julia Evelyn Ogilvie of Tulsa, Oklahoma and Samuel Herrmann, Noah Herrmann and Rebecca Herrmann all of Marburg, Germany; two great grandchildren, Bennett Chappell, Bonnie Faye Chappell; two sisters, Phyllis Dodrill of Athens, Ohio, Joy Wallace of Xenia, Ohio, two sisters-in-law Janet Newberry (Richard) of London, Ohio and  Sandra Weatherwax of Powell, Ohio; and many nieces and nephews.

Dr. Ogilvie was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. He earned his B.S. in science from Asbury College in 1958 followed by his M.S. in Human Anatomy from the University of Kentucky. He received his Ph.D. in Basic Science: Human Anatomy at the Medical University of South Carolina in 1968. Dr. Ogilvie directed histology courses for medical and dental students at three medical schools during his career spanning over 50 years. His research included microcirculation of teeth, lung; hyperbaric oxygen treatment; therapeutic effects of exercise and growth factors on improving circulation to legs and muscle function in older persons. He published Histology: Independent Study Exercises, a Companion Manual for WebMic and the Companion Manual, both peer reviewed publications by Med Ed Portal*, American Association of Medical Colleges. He organized the Inaugural Symposium on Virtual Slides and Microscopy in Teaching, Research, and Diagnosis in Charleston, SC, in 2002 with over 100 attendees from the United States, Canada, Ireland, China and Japan. He was coeditor of Virtual Microscopy and Virtual Slides in Teaching, Diagnosis, and Research, CRC Press (Taylor and Francis Group), Boca Raton, FL., 2005. Dr. Ogilvie was the recipient of 14 extramural/intramural grants/awards during his career and many teaching awards including the South Carolina Governor’s Distinguished Professor Award in 1998 and Outstanding Educator/Lecturer at MUSC the same year. At the 129th meeting of the American Association of Anatomists in 2017, he was awarded the highest honor given by the association, The Henry Gray Distinguished Educator Award.

He was an active member of Sigma Xi (since 1975) and the American Association of Anatomists (since 1969). He held numerous teaching and research addresses and presentations in the United States, Europe and Asia, especially noteworthy as visiting professor at Johns Hopkins Medical School, Harvard Medical School, University of Ioannina Medical School, Greece, and The Beijing College of Medicine, Beijing, China. Dr. Ogilvie served as visiting professor at the Institute of Anatomy, University of Zurich, Switzerland, 1999-2000, as well as at The Institute of Anatomy, University of Bern, Switzerland, 1983-1984 while on sabbatical.

Upon retirement in 2006 from the Department of Cell Biology & Anatomy College of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina Dr. Ogilvie was appointed Professor Emeritus. Post retirement he continued as Professor in the Department of Pathology and Lab Medicine from 2006-2009 College of Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina. He continued serving as visiting professor at the Medical University of South Carolina, as well as at the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina until the time of his death.

Dr. Ogilvie embraced both traditional and progressive techniques in teaching. He had a long-standing interest in the development of web delivered courses in histology and histopathology featuring narrated lectures and video tours explaining microscopic architecture of the human body in order to excite and focus the learner’s independent study of histology and histopathology. The main resources in the course for the study of histological specimens implement the WebMic that Dr. Ogilvie created while on sabbatical leave at the Institute of Anatomy, Medical School, University of Zurich, Switzerland, and the companion Study Guide eBook for WebMic. His “signature” histology course was truly unique due to his vast store of knowledge and the amazing collection of micrographs that he had generated over many years as an educator. His energy, sharpness and enthusiasm for his students were compelling. Truly remarkable is that he managed his courses with well over 100 students until about two weeks before his death and due to his meticulous organization, his course continues to be well maintained.

Dr. Ogilvie was particularly interested in the compatibility of science and faith in God. One of his favorite life statements is from C.S. Lewis: “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen not only because I see it but because by it, I see everything else”. Dr. Ogilvie was a man of faith and was a dedicated member of the United Methodist Church and tirelessly gave his time and service to the church throughout his life teaching Sunday School and serving on many committees devoted to missions. Later he and his wife joined Grace Church Cathedral in Charleston, South Carolina, where he was a member of the parish choir. His love of singing and music extended to his active participation in the Charleston Men's Chorus.

Dr. Ogilvie was an active man in his free time. He was an avid gardener, enjoyed time on the golf course with his “golf buddies” and liked the challenge of a good chess game. He leaves behind an extensive library, enjoying especially books on science and faith, as well as historical fiction. He was usually reading several books at a time. He loved traveling all over the world with his wife, as well as road trips where he preferred taking the “scenic route”. Dr. Ogilvie was a devoted husband and often commented that all that he had accomplished in life was a team effort due to his wife`s support. They loved entertaining as a team and gave legendary caroling and super bowl parties.

He was immensely proud of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and followed their lives with keen interest. He will be sorely missed.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in memory of Dr. Robert W. Ogilvie to the MUSC Foundation Opening Doors Scholarship Campaign, 18 Bee Street, MSC 450, Charleston, SC 29425 (

A memorial message may be sent to the family by visiting our website at

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Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, August 5, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)


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