It was his indomitable passion for boats that brought Harold "Buck"

Ayres to Newport Beach.

"He just loved being in the water," son Patrick Ayres said. "He

dedicated his life to serving the yachting community and was an active

participant in it."

Harold Ayres, a 52-year Newport Beach resident, died Thursday of

natural causes. He was 89.

Mr. Ayres was well-known in the community and among boaters as the man

who began operating the Lido Shipyard in 1949. He, along with operations

manager Harold Steck, ran the shipyard for 36 years.

Steck recalls Mr. Ayres as a man who was always "calm, cool


"I'd never known the man to get mad," said Steck, who lives in Costa

Mesa. "He always had boats. He was around boats all his life. You got

boats in your blood, it's just got to stay there."

Patrick Ayres said his father loved the water so much that he built a

custom home on the waterfront on Via Lido Soud.

"The house had a slip in front of the house," he recalled. "People

would just stop by with their boats and ask dad if he could fix something

for them. And dad would always say 'sure' and walk out with his wrench."

The younger Ayres said he does not remember a time when the family did

not enjoy boats.

"We either had a boat or a borrowed boat," he said. "We sailed to

Catalina, to Cherry Cove, the Fourth of July Cove."

Both Harold Ayres and Helen, his wife of 50 years who passed away in

1998, were frequent fixtures in the local yachting community.

Mr. Ayres served on the Newport Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce, the

board of governors at Balboa Bay Club and as a committee member in

various yacht clubs, including the Newport Harbor Yacht Club. He was also

a member of Hoag Hospital's 552 Club. He was a regular participant at the

Newport Harbor Christmas Boat Parade.

Mr. Ayres is survived by his son, daughter-in-law Deberah Brunner

Ayres, and granddaughters Valerie Lauren and Kristin Leigh Ayres.

Graveside services for Mr. Ayres will be private. A celebration of

life service will be held Jan. 19 at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club. For

more information, call Patrick Ayres at (714) 751-0285.

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