Clarence (Skeet) Ottoboni

Clarence (Skeet) Ottoboni

We have lost a selfless, hard-working man of integrity and honor. Skeet, to those who knew him, had a genuine love of others and a work ethic that reminds us that all things are possible. Clarence touched and changed the hearts of many and was responsible for raising a remarkable family who inherited his values. Clarence was a true believer in community service, and that philosophy was reflected throughout his life. Above all else, Clarence had a caring soul and he will be deeply missed by all.

Clarence was a native of San Juan Bautista, raised on the family farm. During the depression, he learned to go without and be thankful for what came his way. He enlisted in the US Army in 1942 serving in the European Theatre during WWII as a medic. Attached to the 9th Air Service, he saw action in the Invasion of Normandy, Battle of the Bulge, and the Occupation of France. His WWII years rewarded him in many ways, not the least of which was meeting his future wife.

Clarence married Joyce Whitlatch in Salem, Oregon on March 31, 1946, a love affair lasting 64 beautiful years. After the war, they returned to carry on the family farm. Ahead of his time, he practiced a balanced approach to farming based on organic methods such as rotation, planting by the moon, cover crops, and companion plantings. The farm also supported a variety of livestock, making it a self-sustaining enterprise. Skeet enjoyed foraging for mushrooms, hunting, and fishing. His children who worked by his side, are fortunate to have inherited his agrarian philosophy as well as his skills.

In 1965 Clarence joined the San Juan Elementary School staff while continuing to farm. When the new elementary school was built in 1968, Clarence was named Director of Operations for buildings and transportation. His hard work and dedication can be noted by countless honors, including California Transportation safety awards. His varied interests led him to mentor many students over the years, starting extracurricular activities such as the pinochle club, and the beloved San Juan Elementary School Garden. Along with his wife, Clarence’s service to San Juan School is commemorated in a plaque affixed to the San Juan Gymnasium. He retired in 1987.

Clarence valued staying busy by trying new things and creating projects. Whether it was perfecting his cioppino recipe, playing golf, continuing his organic garden throughout retirement, or crafting a pergola, he found satisfaction in both learning and doing. He was truly a mechanical genius that was equally comfortable designing and building farm harvesters or painstakingly calibrating the workings of one of his handmade grandfather clocks. He was the consummate “go-to” guy.

He was a member of Mission San Juan Bautista, Knights of Columbus, Fiesta BBQ crew Pit #1, life-long member of San Juan Service Club, Lifetime VFW member, San Juan Deer Club, 4-H club leader, supporter of the Boy and Girl Scouts, PTA, and served as a volunteer for many community efforts over the years.

He is survived by his loving wife, Joyce; his children Laura Jensen (Don), Gilroy; Richard, Hollister; Kenneth, Woodside; and Lynn Fiori (Louis), San Juan. He is “Papa” to his adoring grandchildren Asheleigh Jensen Gellner (Robert), MD; Whitney Jensen Fees (Bruce), Afghanistan; Brennen Jensen Horsley (Finn), Elkhorn; Hillary Jensen Bergren (Brian), WA; Douglass Jensen, Morgan Hill; Megan Ottoboni, Novato; Gina Stahl-Ricco (Don), Novato; Courtney Ottoboni Parrinello (John), Hollister; Blaire Ottoboni, OR; Stefani Ottoboni, MO; Westleigh Ottoboni, San Juan; Olivia Fiori, Berkeley; Vivian Fiori Ariza (Carlos), Los Angeles; and to his Great Grandchildren Madeline Bergren, Georgia Stahl-Ricco, and Baby Gellner to be. He is also survived by sisters Jeannette and Florence of San Juan; his brother Roy (Lorraine), Modesto; and numerous nephews, nieces, and cousins. He was predeceased by parents Lawrence and Margaret (Barbee) Ottoboni, brothers Larry and Robert.

Friends are invited to the Mass of the Resurrection which will be at Mission San Juan Bautista on Monday August 16th at 12:00 noon, followed by a celebration of Clarence’s life and Military Honors at the VFW Hall, 58 Monterey Street, San Juan Bautista. Private family inurnment will be at a later date.

Donations may be made to: VFW Post Leslie L. Garratt 6359, P.O. Box 501, San Juan Bautista, CA 95045 or Jovenes de Antaño, P.O. Box 860, Hollister, CA 95024. Visit: www.grunnagle.com for condolences

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