Oceano resident Mark Weedon passed away on March 22, 2023. He was 72 years old. A Celebration of life will be held on June 10, 2023 at 11:00 AM at the Oceano Depot, 1650 Front St. Oceano.
Mark was born in Manitoba Canada and came to Oceano in 1958 with his parents, Doug and Peggy, and brother David. He attended Oceano grammar school and graduated from Arroyo Grande High School in 1968. Mark spent his childhood and teen years exploring the dunes and wide-open spaces of Oceano. He loved the beach and would regularly run from his house to Pt. Sal and back again. He loved to travel and would drive across country with friends with no particular destination, just a quest for adventure and experiencing the sights of America. One of the trips landed him in Naples, Florida. He fell in love with the area and moved there in the 1980’s and spent 25 years running several businesses and eventually managing a community center, the Naples Depot. It was in Naples that Mark began his lifelong passion for collecting military memorabilia and putting together exhibits honoring our military, particularly the World War II era.
Mark returned to Oceano in 2000 to live with his mother when his father passed away. He opened a little shop on Pike Lane called “Mark’s Memorabilia.” He loved to go to yard sales, antique shops and thrift stores where he would pick up treasures. Mark’s love of history and Oceano brought him to the Oceano Depot Railroad Museum where he joined his Oceano friends in the restoration project. He was a docent and member of the Board of Directors of the Oceano Depot Association, Inc. Mark was an “old school” mechanic and could fix anything. He played a major role in restoration projects around the depot and in particular, the caboose and the speeder cars, relocation and restoration of “Gavin’s Cabin”, the last remaining dune structure from that era. His knowledge of the Dunites, Oceano history, and his life experiences at the beach and around Oceano made him a requested tour guide. His stories about all the “characters” that inhabited Oceano in times past were a favorite part of his tours. His favorite topic were the days of the beach buggies and Lovern’s Clam Stand and all the activities that centered around the beach at that time.
Mark is most known for his extensive, world class collection of military memorabilia. His uniformed mannequins were dressed down to the finest detail. Mark’s WWII weapons carrier and his WWII ambulance with personnel were often seen on the Pismo Pier during Veterans Day events. He would set up exhibits at the Depot, the latest was last Memorial Day where he honored the nurses, medics, and women in military service. Currently, he has an exhibit at the Santa Maria Museum of Flight that includes Amelia Earhart, the Tuskegee airmen, a B-17 crew, Navy Wasps and others. Mark was a voracious reader and read hundreds of books about history and our military. He once said, “These men and women gave us their all and we owe it to them to show our gratitude, God bless them all, past and present.”
Mark loved the old school beach buggies and was able to acquire one of the original 1954 buggies. He restored it and was the leader of the beach parade for the two years the Old School Buggy Reunion was held at Oceano Dunes. He restored another 1950’s era buggy and it is on display in the visitors center at the State Park in Oceano.
Mark loved to walk and in 2017 his dog “Smokey” came into his life and became his loyal companion. They could be seen all over the five cities on their daily walks. Mark loved all God’s creatures and cared for Smokey and the depot cat ”Elwood” making sure they were fed, warm, and safe. Mark’s kindness to everyone he met is evident in the way he is being remembered. “He was just so nice”, people say. He will be missed by his family, his friends, and all who knew him. He leaves behind a legacy of kindness, compassion, and patriotism that will be remembered by all.
Mark is survived by his nephew, Vincent Delgado and his wife Christina, niece Elizabeth Gonzalez, great nieces and nephews, Jeannelle Margaret Thompson, Colin Henry Murphy; David Jr., Dominic, Vanessa, and Ashley Gonzalez, sister- in -law Natalie Yracheta Delgado. He leaves his beloved “big boy” Smokey, his Oceano family; Linda Guiton Austin, Norm Hammond and Cindy Winter, his buddy Kalvin Kelley and a host of friends throughout the south county. He was preceded in death by his parents, Doug and Peggy Weedon and brother David.
Everyone is invited to the Oceano Depot to share in Mark’s celebration of life. For information please call Linda Austin, 805-440-5350.
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