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.