Paso Robles residents are being asked to surprise Irene Elizabeth Smith Marquart with good wishes 

PASO ROBLES — Irene Elizabeth Smith Marquart, the Queen of Paso Robles Pioneer Day, turns 100 this month, just a day before Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24. The staff at The Oaks at Paso Robles, where Marquart lives, have come up with a creative way for everyone to celebrate her birthday. 

“We are asking everyone in Paso Robles to send a birthday card to the “Queen of Paso Robles,” said Ron Freeman, executive director, The Oaks at Paso Robles. “It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but she is much-loved here at the community, and we know that everyone who knows her in Paso Robles must feel the same way.”

Born on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24, 1921, Marquart remains active and involved with life as she states that “age is just a number” when talking about her upcoming birthday. “I am very thankful that I have led such a long and happy life.” 

Irene and her family moved to the Creston area from Arkansas in 1929. She later married Nick Marquart of Templeton and ran the family cattle business for seventy years along Santa Rosa Creek Road, west of Paso Robles, which her daughter-in-law and grandson is currently running. 

“Irene represents the vitality and strength of someone much younger. Although we celebrate age here at The Oaks, and we look forward to celebrating her centennial birthday,” adds Freeman.

The Oaks will be making Nov. 24 “Irene’s Day.” The chef at The Oaks will be making Irene’s favorite meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Residents on that day will have the option to order the “Irene Special.”

Irene will be the guest of honor at a luncheon at The Oaks. The Mayor of Paso, Robles Steve Martin, is planning to attend. Proclamations from Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham, the County Board of Supervisors, and the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department will also be presented. In addition, there will be live music with musicians playing her favorite songs.

Please send all birthday cards by Nov. 24 to:

Irene Marquart, Queen of Paso Robles

c/o The Oaks at Paso Robles

526 South River Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446


The Oaks at Paso Robles was built and is managed by Westmont Living whose mission is to provide inspiring life experiences that enable residents to lead full and enriching lives. Westmont Living, a privately owned senior living provider, currently operates 17 communities in California and Oregon. 

The Oaks at Paso Robles, 526 South River Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446 is open for tours. Call (805) 550-3593, or visit