2013 Hall of Honor

The Garces Alumni Board held the 2013 Hall of Honor on Saturday, May 18th.  Ms. Marianne Laxague '58, Mr. Gary Ogilvie '55, adn Dr. John Ritter were inducted that evening. 


Marianne Laxague is a 1958 graduate of Garces Memorial.  While attending Garces, Marianne was active in GAA and the Garcian, the school newspaper.  She was awarded the Ordie Franconi Award for her outstanding leadership.  After graduating from Garces, Marianne went onto complete Lufkins Business College in 1959 and began working with the Wells Family at Dawn Company.  At Russell’s Wells encouragement, Marianne earned her pilots license.  Marianne became a corporate pilot and is still an active member of The Ninety-Nines, a women’s pilot association. Marianne’s Catholic faith plays a vital role in her life.  Educated in her faith at home in a strong Catholic family, and by the Sisters of Mercy at St. Joseph School, and by the Dominicans at Garces Memorial, she is an active member of her parish, St. Joseph Church.  She serves on the Finance Council and sings in the choir.  She is committed to helping the poor demonstrated by her service at, and dedication to, the St. Vincent de Paul Homeless Center on Baker Street.  She has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2003, serving as the Board Treasurer.  Others know Marianne best as a businesswoman – owner of the iconic Basque bakery, the Pyrenees Bakery, and as a bookkeeper for Dawn Company for over 20 years.  When asked, she has worked in the bakery “all my life”, learning the business from her parents Pierre and Juanita, and working alongside her brother, Michel.  Committed to the preservation of the East Bakersfield business area, she served on the Old Towne Kern Association during the revitalization of Baker Street.  Today she participates in the Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce and the Catherine McCauley Society.  Marianne is a long time supporter of Garces.  She supports Garces through her business, the Pyrenees Bakery, and she helps to cover tuition expenses for deserving students.  Marianne is often seen at Garces functions and her heart is always open to assisting the school. Marianne loves to travel and has visited Spain, France (especially the Basque regions), Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Holland, Israel, Hawaii, Mexico, Honduras, Canada, and she is planning an Alaskan cruise in September.  Her “babies; include several cats and two treasured corvettes,  She is revered as “Tanta” to her nephews, Rick Laxague and Jean Charles Laxague, and their families and is loved by her many friends and relatives.


Gary Ogilvie graduated from Garces in 1955.  He was quarterback as a junior on the first Garces Rams valley championship team in 1953.  In his senior year, he was student body treasurer, class president, president of speech and the debate club, vice president of Our Lady Sodality Club and captain of the ram football team.  He was awarded the prestigious Wallace Coleman Trophy and Harry Coffee Blanket as the outstanding football player. His Mother Mrs. O. Ogilvie was president of the Mother’s Club during his senior year and was a tireless pioneer in the birth of Garces High School.  He graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1960 and then came back to Garces and became “Coach Ogilvie” from 1960-1969.  He coached the first Garces SSL championship football team in 1968. When he left Garces to teach and coach at Tehachapi High School, at that time he had been connected to Garces half of his life. Coach lived in the little mountain town for 21 years and taught there for 13.  He was head football coach seven of those years.  Each year his teams went on to the Southern California playoffs as a league champion four times and 2nd place three times. His regular season record was 60-5. In the playoffs the Warriors were 9-6.  He states, the community supported athletics the same way Garces did with hard work and dedication to the betterment of their youth.  Coach left teaching in 1981 to work in agriculture management with Ag-Wise and AgriCare for 23 years. There he learned to appreciate and admire the hard-working people of the fields—an affection that’s lasted a life time. He was always an honorable and loving man on their behalf as an employer.  Coach has maintained close ties to Garces and for years has been the “go-to” guy for the alumni from the 1950s and is considered to be someone who truly loves Garces. He organized class gatherings and spearheaded a variety of efforts in support of Garces—one being the Garces Hall of Honor. Coach was instrumental in the creation of the Hall of Honors six years ago insisting that it be more than honoring athletes but one that honors alumni, both male and female, for accomplishments and service in accordance to the mission of Garces. He was also a class representative for several years and served on the Garces Alumni Board for three years.  He and his wife Wilma have been married 51 plus years.  He says, “She’s the best thing that has ever happened to me.” Their children are Tracy and Rick Price, Allison and Gary Wood, Mark and Wendy Ogilvie, Jill Ogilvie and Paul and Shannan Ogilvie. They have nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He plans on being around when those 2 & 3 year old young ones turn 21.


Dr. John Ritter graduated in 1958 from Wathena High School and completed his undergraduate degree in 1962 at St. Benedict’s College.  While at St. Benedicts, John was the all-time career basketball scoring leader and was elected into the St. Benedict’s Hall of Honor in 1998. Immediately after graduation he was drafted to play professional basketball and accepted an offer from the Pittsburgh, PA. Renaissance (Rens) for the 1962-63 season.  Upon the demise of the American Basketball League he returned to his hometown in Kansas.  The following year, he accepted an offer to teach at St. Agnes Regional High School where he met his wife Kathy.  In 1965, they were married in Idaho and both returned to St. Agnes and taught for one more year. At the conclusion of the 1965-66 academic year, they moved to Emporia State University to complete their respective masters degrees.  John was appointed as a graduate assistant in Education and later as an assistant professor in the School of Education and taught three years in the junior/senior high laboratory school on the University campus.  In 1970, John joined the University Physical Education department and was appointed assistant basketball coach at the university for two years. During their tenure at Emporia State University, John and Kathy were blessed with the births of Alicia Ann (1966) and Mary Kay (1969).  In the Spring 1972, John accepted an invitation to attend the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, to work on his doctorate degree in School Administration. John moved to Bakersfield and became the supervisor of the Secondary Teacher Education program at California State University, Bakersfield, until Spring 1979.  That Spring he interviewed for an administrative position at Garces Memorial and accepted the position as assistant principal for curriculum and instruction, a position he occupied for twenty years until he resigned to return to California State University, Bakersfield as assistant dean in the School of Education until his retirement in June 2004.  John returned to Garces Memorial as interim principal for the 2004-2005 academic year and served as acting principal for the summer and fall in 1988. In 2002 John was honored as Garces Man of The Year.  Subsequent to his time at Garces Memorial John has served as the coordinator for the Accreditation of the School of Education at CSUB. After leaving Garces Memorial in 1999, John served as a member of the Garces Memorial School Board, a member of the Foundation Board and was a member of the Diocese of Fresno Advisory Board of Education for two three-year terms.  He has attended many activities at the school and most recently can be seen on the Garces Memorial campus as a member of the “Grounds and Garden Club”, a group of volunteers who give of their time to planting and caring for flowers, trees and shrubs on campus.  John and Kathy take numerous vacations to Boise, Idaho where they have a second home, and both daughters and grandchildren Zachary, Paxton and Elliot live. They also enjoy traveling to other countries around the world.  John continues to remain active in education by offering his services to St. Francis Parish School in Bakersfield.