By Wally Pearce
Winters Elder Day Council
Gina Ogando was born in Crockett, Calif. on Sunday, May 17, 1931. Gina grew up with six brothers, and her parents had come to America from the northern area of Italy.
In 1946, when Gina was 15 years old and in high school, she worked at the local Cindy’s Coffee Shop. She would go to school in the morning, then leave school in enough time to serve afternoon lunch, and then return to school. Gina went through the routine off and on until she graduated from high school in 1949.
Gina met her husband Joe Ogando because he went to school with her older brother Aldo. Gina is an excellent baker, and she would make cookies and cakes. Her brothers’ friends, including Joe, would come to her parent’s house to visit and have lunch as Gina was known for her wonderful cookies and cakes.
In 1949, when she was 18 years old, Gina and Joe were married and they later moved to Middletown, Calif. For their honeymoon, Gina and Joe drove to Yosemite and toured scenic areas of northern California. Gina’s parents never owned a car. So, when Gina was around 18 years old her husband taught her how to drive their Pontiac family car.
Gina recalls that in 1959, her first big purchase was when she and Joe built their home in Lake County, Calif. Together, Gina and Joe shoveled and laid cement and did a considerable amount of the required construction.
Gina and her family came to Winters around 1963 when her husband was transferred to work at a military facility a few miles east of Winters on County Road 31.
Today Gina enjoys life with her family and friends and still bakes cookies and cakes. Holidays are her favorite times because she can be with her family. Gina said her proudest part of her life is watching her children grow to become safe, healthy, and successful — and that her most important success is having a close and loving family. She has four children, 10 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren.
See all 14 2022 Elder Day honorees at https://tinyurl.com/8kx9fc4z.