Olitha Inea Carmack

Olitha Inea Carmack, age 54, of Atascadero, passed away on Tuesday, Aug. 27, with her husband, John Valdez, of Pomona, by her side.

Olitha — lovingly known as “Oly” to her friends and family— was a lifelong resident of San Luis Obispo County. Born in Atascadero to Marina (Cabrera) and Tom Carmack on Nov. 9, 1964, she attended Lewis Avenue Elementary and, as a child, played on the streets and hills of her hometown. During her teenage years, she hung out with friends, but also enjoyed the orchards and creek bottom on her grandparent’s farm. She was a 1982 graduate of Atascadero High School and stayed in touch with the many friends from her class and various jobs she held in the area. She was living in Santa Maria with her husband when she passed.

Oly was the great-granddaughter of Effie Marquess Carmack — an early artist and resident of Atascadero. She was an impressive artist herself and enjoyed photography (her favorite medium) but also liked to draw and paint. If she wasn’t snapping photos on the beach or in the scenic places she visited, she was painting or creating beautifully dyed silk scarves at home.

She cherished her many friendships and associations but she was incredibly proud of her daughter, Jessica McCown, born in 1983 to her and Jack McCown, also of Atascadero. She was a dedicated and loving mother and took great joy in spending time with her first grandson, Asher; she often spoke fondly of them both.

She is survived by her longtime partner and husband, John, her mother, Marina Weatherhead (St. George, Utah); her father, Tom Carmack (Ogden, Utah); daughter, Jessica McCown, and partner, Rachel Renfro, with grandson, Asher Arredondo (Paso Robles); brother, Noel A. Carmack, and wife, Deena (Price, Utah); nephew, Kenneth, and wife, McKenna (Orem, Utah); brother, Ben Carmack (Ogden, Utah); sister, Rachael Carmack, and husband, Mike Fisher, with nephew, Julian Reynolds (Boise, Idaho); brother, Daniel Carmack, and wife, Carissa, with nieces, Sophee and Daisee (Preston, Idaho); brother, Joseph Carmack, and wife, Kjerstin, with nephew, Wade (Idaho Falls, Idaho); mother-in-law, Lupe Valdez (Banning); and step-mother, Laurie Boyd Jensen and husband, Richard (Osgood, Idaho).

We are deeply saddened that Oly left us so soon, but we know that we will see her again with our many loved ones on the other side.

Funerary arrangements have been made through Dudley-Hoffman Mortuary in Santa Maria. A memorial service for Olitha will be held at the Christian Family Church of God on Oct. 5, at  11 a.m. The church is located at 324 N. Suey Rd. in Santa Maria.


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