BREWER — A prominent member of the city’s community for decades passed away Monday. Leslie M. Ohmart Jr., 70, longtime owner of Ohmart & Hinkley Pharmacies in Brewer and Hampden, died at a Bangor hospital.
Well-known as a pharmacist and businessman, Ohmart will be remembered just as much for his efforts on behalf of youth, said Jerry Goss, principal of Brewer High School.
“Les Ohmart was a figurehead in Brewer, since I was a kid,” Goss said Wednesday. “Back when I was growing up in Brewer, he was sponsoring Little League teams. When people in Brewer needed something, he was there to help if he could.”
Ohmart also founded the High School Science Scholarship Award and Athlete of the Year Award at Brewer, Bangor, Hampden Academy and John Bapst; and the David M. Ohmart Scholarship at Brewer High.
Goss said of the athletic and science awards, “We keep those right out in our showcase.” Those awards, he said, “exemplified what Les Ohmart meant to Brewer. He was a Brewer backbone for as long as I can remember. Even though he was retired, he was still supporting the kids in their endeavor to be better people.”
In 1983, Ohmart helped found and was president of Alcohol and Drug Free Graduation Parties in response to the number of fatal accidents resulting from kids drinking at post-graduation parties. Three years later, 75 of 78 high schools in eastern and northern Maine participated in the program.
Ohmart said in a 1984 Bangor Daily News interview that the most successful alcohol- and drug-free parties were those in which the students did the fund raising and planning themselves, while the grown-ups were involved in supervision.
“It’s an idea whose time is right,” he said as the number of participating schools and graduates continued to rise.
Other youth activities benefiting from his efforts included Pop Warner Football and the Boy Scouts.
A native of Wellesley, Mass., Ohmart served in the U.S. Navy at the end of World War II and attended the Massachusetts School of Pharmacy, where his father was dean.
He and his wife, Dorothy, moved to Brewer in 1953, and in recent years lived in both Brewer and New Smyrna Beach, Fla.
In addition to the pharmacies, he expanded the business to include TLC Medical Services.
Ohmart received several awards, among them the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy Alumni Achievement Award, the Maine Pharmaceutical Association Award and the Salvation Army Citizen of the Year Award. He also produced a film on poison prevention, “The Careless Family,” for the American College of Apothecaries.
Ohmart is survived by his wife and four children: Sheriden Treat, Jayne Tracy Miller, Cece Ohmart Day and Lee Ohmart; two sisters; and several grandchildren. A son, David M. Ohmart, predeceased him.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. today at Brookings-Smith, Clark-Piper Funeral Home, Brewer. Contributions are being received for the David Marshall Ohmart Memorial Trust Fund, care of James Timmins, Bangor Savings Bank, P.O. Box 930, Bangor 04402.