Community gathers to honor a beloved figure on his 78th birthday

PASO ROBLES — Friends and family are coming together to celebrate the life of Harry Luther Ovitt III, a devoted individual who dedicated his life to the people and natural resources of San Luis Obispo County. Ovitt left a lasting impact on his community and will be fondly remembered on what would have been his 78th birthday.

Born in Camp Rucker, Alabama, on Sept. 22, 1945, Ovitt relocated to Paso Robles, where he proudly graduated as a Bearcat and later served as an Eagle Scout. His dedication extended to the Navy, where he served as a committed veteran. Harry’s connection with the community was emblematic of his time behind the catalog counter at the old Sears Roebuck store on Park Street. Yet, his legacy surpasses retail; Harry was a community-oriented man.

His 11-year tenure on the Paso Robles City Council and his subsequent 20-year service as the District 1 Supervisor on the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors demonstrated his unwavering commitment to public service. Colleagues and friends like Debbie Arnold and Vicki Janssen attest to his genuine care for the community.

Harry’s passion for Paso Robles’ agriculture and history was evident in his involvement in over 50 agricultural and professional organizations, showcasing his dedication to the county’s treasures. He played a pivotal role in local projects, including Barney Schwartz Park, the Paso Robles Courthouse, senior housing, and vital public safety facilities.

Known for his deep knowledge of Paso Robles history, Harry was a proud member of the Pioneer Day Committee, actively participating in community events and celebrations.

Date: Friday, Sept. 22

Time: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Location: Paso Robles Pioneer Museum

Address: 2010 Riverside Ave, Paso Robles

The Celebration of Life event will be held at the Paso Robles Pioneer Museum, where friends, family, and those whose lives were touched by Harry are invited to come together in remembrance. The event will be a reflection of Harry’s life of service and dedication to the community.

To those who had the privilege of knowing him, Harry Ovitt was more than a community servant; he was a cherished friend and mentor. His passing leaves a profound void in Paso Robles, but his legacy will forever remind us of the significance of service and dedication to one’s community.

Feature Image: Former San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Harry Ovitt serves beans at an undated Pioneer Day Bean Feed. Photo by Dave Skinner