Gerlach, Marce Arriola

Daniel Chertudi
Interview Location: 
Boise, ID
Interview Date: 

Marce was born in McDermitt, Nevada on 11 December 1920 to Felipe Arriola and Augustina Garichana.  Her family moved to Boise when Marce was still very young.  They stayed with Juan and Juana Uberuaga on Grove Street, where they were introduced to Boise's Basque community.  The Arriolas moved several times before settling in a house in southeast Boise.  Marce and her siblings enrolled at Garfield School.  Their transition to school and the English language was smooth, and their classmates were interested to hear them speak Basque. 

Marce describes the family's involvement with their community, Basque and otherwise, and her mother's dedication to the school's Parent Teacher Association.  She graduated from Boise High School in 1939 and went to work for JJ Newberry's.  Three years later, after taking a train to Denver, Colorado to see Richard Gerlach, Marce and her longtime friend were married.  She moved back to Boise, started working again, and waited for Richard to return from Europe and his discharge from the US Army.

Marce and her husband raised their two sons in Boise.  After volunteering to help with Garfield School's school lunch program, Marce suggested that it become a paid position.  The school agreed, and she embarked on a career that would take her to three different schools and last until she retired in 1990.  Since then, Marce has volunteered her time for organizations like the Basque Museum & Cultural Center.

Audio Recording: 
Interactions with the community
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