- Deceased's name: Eva "Diane" Violet Ogilvie
- Age: 92
- Date: Oct. 3, 2011.
Longtime Los Gatos business owner and town personality Eva (Diane) Violet Ogilvie passed away on Oct. 3 after a brief illness. She was surrounded by family and her service dog, Ella. She was 92 years young. She was preceded in death by her husband and “prince” Bruce. She is survived by her daughter, Terrie Ogilvie Christiansen, her son, Doug Ogilvie, five grandchildren, Tandem Hayden, Ariel and Morgan Ogilvie, Kim Bridgford, and Jodi Raich, three great grandchildren, James, Sean, and Laila, and her daughters-in-law Lynn Stanghellini and Leslie Ogilvie.
Diane Ogilvie and her husband of 62 years, Bruce, owned Pigalle’s, The Cats, La Strada, Sir Toby’s, Toby’s Motel, Le Poisson Antique store, and finally, her coup d’etat, .
She didn’t start out to be a businesswoman. In fact, it was her singing voice that propelled her along a journey that started in her hometown of Alameda.
“I was four when I first sang,” Diane recalled in a previous interview. “It was at my mother’s funeral, and it was something about angels.” She kept singing, through the trauma of her father’s alcoholism, the loneliness of boarding with relatives who resented her, the death of her aunt and the responsibility of running the house for her father and brother at age 12.
She dropped out of high school and found her way to Hollywood and, one night, to the Palladium Dance Hall. As she told the story many times to her family, “There I saw this gorgeous hunk and I said ‘That’s the man I’m going to marry.’ ” It was her husband to be, Bruce Ogilvie, an Army man at the time. They later married and had a fairy tale romance that lasted 62 years.
In the last days of her life she would look at pictures of Bruce and tell her family how he was the most handsome and kindest man in the world. After Bruce left the Army, while furthering his education in London and at the same time watching over their two young children, Diane supported the family by singing gigs all over Europe. After Bruce finished his PhD in London and the family moved back to the Bay Area Diane continued her singing career in San Francisco and Las Vegas at the Sands Hotel, opening for Wayne Newton.
In the twilight of her singing career she embarked on a journey to become a businesswoman. Eventually, in her 70s, after buying The Cats restaurant from Tony Crawley, also a singer, Tony and Diane would perform the duet “T and A” for the eclectic patrons of The Cats.
She was also a familiar sight in Vasona Lake County Park. Several times a week, her battered 10-speed could be seen along the paths, carrying her on 25-mile stints at racing speed, her pure white ponytail streaming behind her. Travelers on Highway 17 might have spotted her low in the driver’s seat of a dented pick-up truck, its bed spewing cracked corn for the peacocks she kept at her 30-acre homestead, The Cats Estate, behind her Cats restaurant.
She was truly a renaissence woman. She would say the “being me” aspect of her life she hoped to encourage in other women. She had hoped to write a book with that underlying statement and that nothing in life is handed out. “You have to be a risk-taker and owe money,” she said of finding success by living on the edge. “A woman can do whatever a man can do—just do it yourself,” she advised.
She touched countless lives with her selfless acts of humanity. In her last years, while taking daily walks hand-in-hand with her daughter Terrie and dog Ella in tow, down her beloved streets of Los Gatos, not a day went by that someone didn’t stop them and thank Diane for some act of kindness she had bestowed on them in the past.
A celebration of her life, open to all who loved her, will take place at on Oct. 22 at 2 p.m. in the Monte Sereno Room. Donations in her honor can be made to Pets in Need at petsinneed.org.