basque heritage worldwide

In memory of

Josephine Marisquirena Olinghouse

Josephine Marisquirena Olinghouse
Josephine Marisquirena Olinghouse, April 1947

04/07/2019 - Lake Oswego, Oregon, USA

Josephine Olinghouse passed away peacefully surrounded by family at the age of 93.

She was born on August 13, 1925 in Elko, Nevada to Jose M Marisquirena from the mountainous region Echalar, Spain and Avelina Gomez of Matinezo, Spain. Josie was the youngest of 4 sisters, Candida, Felisa, and Anita. In 1930 they lost their mother in childbirth. Josie was 4 years old. Candida, the eldest sister became the mother figure and Anita, 2 years her senior was her partner in childhood mischief growing up in the tightknit Basque community of Elko.

Josie attended Nevada schools and in 1944 became the first in her family to attend college. While attending the University of Nevada in Reno, she met Kenneth R. Olinghouse in 1946. Ken, a recent WWII coast guard veteran from Pioche, Nevada was studying engineering. However, it was his love of horses that gained him the approval of her Elko family. They were married in 1948 in Elko, Nevada.

Josie taught school in Wells, Nevada until Ken graduated from the University. She was fiercely proud of her Basque heritage and insisted her students learn to spell her name and pronounce it correctly.

In 1950, they moved to Orem, Utah where Ken took an engineering job with United States Steel Company. In Orem, they bought a small fruit orchard to raise a family with land for animals. At one time or another they had horses, chickens, guinea pens, cows, pig, lamb, ducks, dogs and cats. As fate would have it, Ken was offered an overseas position with US Steel overseeing a project at Altos Hornos, Bilbao Spain, just miles from the birth place of Josie’s parents. With 4 children in tow, the family moved to Algorta, a suburb of Bilbao where they lived for 2 years, before returning to their Orem farm in 1968.

Josie was an active parent and substitute teacher at St. Francis Catholic School. She served in the Orem branch of AAUW, the Orem Library Board and was a beloved substitute teacher for Alpine School district in a variety of subject including Spanish. She was active in the Girl Scouts and helped Ken establish the horse program at the Trefoil Girl Scout camp in Provo Canyon. She was also a member of the Ladies Leisure Club of St. Francis and always opened the gates of her fruit orchard to the community.

Widowed in 2007, she single-handedly managed her small fruit orchard in Orem until moving to Oregon in 2014 to be closer to her eldest daughter. While living at Carmen Oaks she continued to boast of her Basque heritage and took the opportunity to speak Spanish to staff when possible.

Josie is preceded in death by her beloved husband Ken Olinghouse, and three sisters, Candida Glaser, Felisa Bulls, Anita Marisquirena.

She is survived by her daughters, Christine (Jianfeng) Olinghouse-Dong, of Oregon, Patricia (Mark) Gemperline of Morrison, Colorado, Margarita (Shawn) Moody of Idaho Falls Idaho, and her son Thomas Olinghouse of Orem, Utah. Her and Ken’s legacy continues with 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Private services will be held at Our Lady of the Lake in Lake Oswego, Oregon and St. Francis Church in Orem, Utah.

Josie has asked that some of her ashes be scattered in her beloved mountains by family, and a portion laid to rest with Ken in Utah. In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite charity or to the Basque Studies Project at the University of Nevada.


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