Local elected officials to remember Art O’Hara memorial service Saturday
R'Club Executive Director Art O'Hara passed away last month.

Art O'Hara
O'Hara was the longtime head of R'Club in Pinellas County.

Friends and family of longtime R’Club Executive Director Art O’Hara will remember the beloved social worker during a memorial service Saturday.

O’Hara passed away a month ago after suffering a heart attack. 

His service is at Greater Mt. Zion AME Church at 1045 16th Street South in St. Petersburg at 2 p.m.

The church’s reverend, Clarence Williams, will begin the ceremony. 

Several community leaders are expected to speak in O’Hara’s memory. Those include Congressman Charlie Crist, Sen. Darryl Rouson, Rep. Wengay Newton, Mayor Rick Kriseman, Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch, Pinellas County School Board member Rene Flowers, Pinellas County Schools Superintendent Michael Grego, several co-workers from R’Club and leaders of juvenile welfare groups. 

Friends established the Art O’Hara Memorial Fund to pay for renovations at the Happy Workers Learning Center in south St. Pete, a project O’Hara had been working on. In addition to completing renovations, the funds will also be used to support students at the school.

Envelopes will be provided during the ceremony to make donations to the fund. 

O’Hara served as the head of the local R’Club for the last 18 years. He also led the Louise Graham Regeneration Center for the past 12 years, a nonprofit organization that provides employment opportunities to disabled adults through recycling and sales of recycled paper products. 

O’Hara also served as past president of the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club, a political social group that meets monthly at luncheons presenting local, state and national political leaders and speakers. 

He previously held leadership positions at the Children’s Home Society of Florida, the Juvenile Services Program, Family Resources, San Antonio Boys Village and Pasco County Schools. 

After news of his death, local community leaders and elected officials flooded social media with fond remembrances of O’Hara. Most remembered his as a selfless community leader and child advocate who spent an entire career dedicated to improving the lives of children and families. 

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].


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