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John Olguin public memorial service, celebration to be held Saturday at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

January 20, 2011 |  3:14 pm

John Olguin and his wife, Muriel.

A public memorial service and celebration for John Olguin, director emeritus of Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, will be held  Saturday at 1 p.m. at the aquarium, located at 3720 Stephen M. White Drive in San Pedro. Olguin passed away on New Year's Day at the age of 89. A private family burial and funeral service was held earlier this month.

The public service, being coordinated by FRIENDS of Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in collaboration with the Olguin family, will be held in a large tent in the aquarium's parking lot.

"People should arrive early for parking and seating inside the tent, or come prepared with their own beach chairs," recommends Paula Moore, FRIENDS executive director. "John was loved by so many in our community; we are anticipating quite a crowd."

The service will be officiated by Olguin's minister, Pastor Neal Neuenschwander of First Presbyterian Church of San Pedro. Speakers include L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe, L.A. City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium Director Mike Schaadt and Stefan Harzen, the author of Olguin's soon-to-be published biography. San Pedro High School's marching band and Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps will also participate.

At the conclusion of the memorial service, guests will move to the nearby inner beach for an L.A. City fireboat water display, a tall ship change-of-watch ceremony complete with cannon shot, and the appearance of the City of L.A. lifeguard boat named the John M. Olguin.

Parking at Cabrillo Beach will be free on Saturday. Additional parking will be available at 22nd Street Park in San Pedro, with free shuttle service to and from the aquarium every 15 minutes from noon until 5:30 p.m.

"The outpouring of community support and contributions to John’s memorial has been astounding," said Moore. "So many groups want to participate and have offered their unique resources. This entire afternoon memorial celebration will be a fitting tribute to a truly wonderful man who devoted his life to the betterment of our community."

For those wishing to contribute flowers to the service, deliveries should be made to the aquarium on Friday.

In memory of Olguin, the family has requested donations be made to the John M. Olguin Junior Docent Scholarship Fund. He and his wife Muriel began this fund in 1995 to provide opportunities for young students with financial need to participate in the summer junior docent program at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.

Donations can be made online or by check made payable to FRIENDS of Cabrillo Marine Aquarium and mailed to 3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro, CA 90731. Be sure to include a note that the donation is intended for the John M. Olguin Jr. Docent Fund.

-- Kelly Burgess


Photo: John Olguin and his wife, Muriel. Credit: Alisa Schulman-Janiger