Dozens of Paso Roblans, many wearing Bearcats clothing from the high school, gathered along Spring Street on Friday morning to pay tribute to longtime teacher Wally Ohles.
A horse-drawn carriage carried Ohles, who died April 30 at age 73, to War Memorial Stadium at Flamson Middle School, where residents gathered around the hearse, participated in a moment of silence and sang the school song. Ohles, who began teaching at the high school in 1967, was an avid supporter of Bearcat athletics.
Ohles was born in 1938 as part of the Klamath River Indian Nation in Northern California, according to his obituary. He grew up in Northern California and eventually graduated from Portland University. After a stint in the Army, he embarked on a long career in teaching.
In addition to teaching social studies and driver’s education, Ohles coached water polo. A local historian, he wrote extensively about the area and was the author of the book “The Lands of Mission San Miguel.”
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A group of supporters are hoping to have a building at Paso Robles High School named after him. The group is expected to formally present their request at the May 22 school board meeting.