Tampa business owner and Pearl Harbor survivor Olin Mott dies - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa business owner and Pearl Harbor survivor Olin Mott dies

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Tampa business owner and community leader Olin Mott passed away Tuesday morning.

Mott was 92 and well known in the community for a chain of tire stores he founded in the Tampa Bay Area.

He was also a decorated World War II veteran and a founder of Joshua House.

On December 7, 1941, Mott was serving as a member of the U.S. Army based at Hickam Field in Hawaii.

In a 2009 interview he vividly recalled the attack on Pearl Harbor although at first he wasn't sure his base was being attacked.

Mott said, "I thought, when I first heard the bombs that they were blasting a big aircraft."

When he walked outside, he quickly realized what was going on after seeing a Japanese aircraft, "Walked out and here is a dive bomber with a torpedo under his belly," said Mott.

He then jumped into action and helped man a machine gun.

After serving his country, Mott came to Tampa, and served his community.

His passion was Joshua House, a center for abused children that he helped establish.

Former Hillsborough County Commissioner Dottie Berger MacKinnon said Mott helped raise money for Joshua House, but didn't take credit.

She said, "He was always behind the scenes. Always the person who was giving and working, you know, never sought the limelight, just get things done."

Mott also helped to establish the equestrian center at the State Fairgrounds in Hillsborough County.

Mackinnon said, "The person that I know, Olin Mott was the most kind and giving and loving person, especially toward the young people."

A viewing is scheduled at Stowers Funeral Home on Saturday 4 till 8 in the evening. Memorial services are set to begin at 2 p.m. Monday at Florida State Fairgrounds.

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