Wednesday, August 18, 2021

John Harvey McKenzie: 1939-2021

Posted By on Wed, Aug 18, 2021 at 6:00 AM

John McKenzie.
  • John McKenzie.
John Harvey McKenzie, age 81, of McKinleyville, passed peacefully Aug. 11. He was in the hospital for a brief illness, and was in the presence of his devoted daughter and dog.

John McKenzie was born August 1939 in Ventura, California, and grew up in Ojai, California. He attended Nordoff High School but dropped out short of completing his curriculum when a forest fire broke out in Ojai Valley. Lying about his age, he went on to work for the U.S. Forest Service for 40 years, starting out as a Hotshot Firefighter, before his training and work as a Heavy Equipment Mechanic. He spent his last 10 years in the USFS as the Head Zone Mechanic for the entire Las Padres National Forest. In 1996, he retired where he and his wife moved to McKinleyville from Morro Bay. To stay busy, he worked as a Medical Transporter. John was also a professional photographer of nature, wildlife and aerial fire fighting. He loved bluegrass music and meeting his friends for breakfast at Niveen’s.

All of his interests were a true testimony of his love, knowledge and appreciation of life and the beauty of living. He was a humbled hero to many, guardian to his family, and those close to him. He was truly one of the good guys, a real gentleman with the kindest heart. He will be deeply missed to all who knew him.

John McKenzie is survived by his daughter of Mount Shasta, and two sisters. He was preceded in death by his adoring wife of 40 years, Virginia (Gina) McKenzie.
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Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Doris Yvonne Gocha: 1937-2021

Posted By on Tue, Aug 17, 2021 at 8:11 AM

Doris Yvonne Gocha, Oct. 8, 1937 to July 30, 2021.
  • Doris Yvonne Gocha, Oct. 8, 1937 to July 30, 2021.

Doris Yvonne Gocha was born on Oct. 8, 1937 in Houston, Texas, to Bessie and Harry Robertson. She was the middle sister to Cova (Vernell) and Patricia, and had a brother, Jesse. Her family moved around a lot when Doris was young and lived for a time in White Sands, New Mexico, where Harry helped build scaffolding to hold the newly developed atomic bomb. Doris had memories of living on a military base there and how her father witnessed the testing while wearing goggles and standing inside an open bunker. The family continued to move around and eventually headed west and settled in California.

Doris was a talented artist, even at an early age. She told the story of how she had loved reading Archie Comics and that when there was an art contest for its new Katy Keene series, she entered her drawing and won. She was disappointed, however, that she was never able to find a copy of the comic book with her winning drawing in it.

In 1956 Doris married George Gocha. They had three children together, Timothy, Deborah and James. The family enjoyed many happy times while living in Granada Hills, an L.A. suburb that still held citrus groves and working farms. Special family outings included jumping into the station wagon in the evenings and going to drive-in movies, all the kids wearing pajamas and eventually falling asleep in the back of the car.

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Saturday, August 14, 2021

John Edward Buffington: 1941-2021

Posted on Sat, Aug 14, 2021 at 6:00 AM

John Edward Buffington, July 6, 1941, to July 23, 2021.
  • John Edward Buffington, July 6, 1941, to July 23, 2021.
John Edward Buffington passed away peacefully in Austin, Texas, on July 23, at the age of 80. He was preceded in death by his parents John and Blythe Buffington and is survived by his wife Georgia Willis Buffington of Austin, Texas. He is also survived by his three sons Peter (Mona), Andrew, and Justin (Jillian) of Pleasant Hill, California, by stepson Robert Milburn (Amanda Ohl) of Napa, California, and by stepdaughter Summer Youngblood (Justin) of Austin, Texas. He is survived by his sisters Karen (Daryl) Bowes of Eugene, Oregon, and Judy (Gary) Sylvia of Monroe, Oregon. He has several grandchildren, nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his first wife Kaaren Buffington.

John was born in Salem, Oregon, on July 6, 1941. He was raised in the Willamette Valley, attending River Road Elementary School, Colin Kelly Junior High, and South Eugene High School, where he co-captained the football team. In 1960, John attended the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point in Long Island, New York, graduating in 1963. He served in the Pacific for three years during the Vietnam War with the United States Navy as a lieutenant navigator on the USS Kawishiwi. His experiences on this tanker ship in the Gulf of Tonkin on Aug. 2, 1964, a moment which led to the conflict in Vietnam, deeply influenced him. After release from active duty in 1966, he entered the University of California Hastings School of Law in San Francisco, California, receiving a Juris Doctorate degree in 1969.

Having successfully passed both the California and Oregon bar exams, John began practicing law in Portland, Oregon, in 1970. In May of 1971, he accepted a position as Humboldt County deputy public defender, serving under William Connell and moved to Eureka, California, where he settled for 32 years. John always felt fortunate to have worked for Mr. Connell, who trusted that an inexperienced attorney could quickly adapt to the courtroom routine. In 1973, he accepted an appointment as the city attorney of Arcata, California, while maintaining a private practice. In 1974, John won the race for district attorney, pushing him into the public eye. In 1978, Gov. Brown appointed John a judge of the Municipal Court in Humboldt County. In 1980, he was elected judge of the superior court, where he served for 21 years.

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Friday, August 6, 2021

Fredrick Mordecai Gold: 1936-2021

Posted By on Fri, Aug 6, 2021 at 6:00 AM

Fredrick Mordecai Gold
July 31, 1936 - February 1, 2021

Fredrick Mordecai Gold, born in Brooklyn, New York, on July 31, 1936, died at 84 years of age in the house he built in Eureka, California, surrounded by loved ones, on Feb. 1, 2021. He is dearly missed. He passed after a short and courageous fight with cancer. He beat it three previous times, but it won in the end. He told us that he was not afraid or sad to die, saying that he had had a good life, but was worried and sad for those he was leaving behind. We are grateful that the end was quick and mostly painless, due to the outstanding efforts of Humboldt County Hospice. Fred was very happy to have been able to stay in his home and be with loved ones until the end. He was able to do this for his father Philip before him, and we were fortunate to be able to do the same for him.

Fred was born to Phillip and Minerva, their third child, Jay and Joan preceding him. He is survived by his brother Jay and partner Susan, his sister Joan, his sons Aaron and Jordan, his nieces, Mercedes, Barbara, and Laura, his nephew Fernando, his partner Carolyn and his ex-wife Maggie.

Fred spent his early life in Brooklyn, New York, and graduated from Erasmus Hall High School in 1955, after which he joined the Navy and served aboard the U.S.S Ticonderoga. He earned an Associate in Arts Degree from Santa Monica City College in 1972, after which he moved to Eureka and attended Humboldt State University, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974.

Prior to moving west from New York, Fred and his father owned a small business on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, where they sold antiques and made and restored furniture. During this time, he was married and had his two sons. Fred was a highly skilled artist and craftsman and was amazingly capable in many forms and media, though woodworking was where his talent really shone, especially regarding creating artwork using the wood lathe. He created many bracelets and bowls that are cherished by his family and friends. He built furniture and several small boats. During his last years, he grew interested in building wooden bows, and like most things he set his mind to during his life, he was successful in building some beautiful bows, which he happily used in his backyard. Fred was also passionate and accomplished at gardening and cooking. He enjoyed both during his 30 years or so of retirement from the Teamsters union, which he joined during his years of driving a concrete delivery truck. Few things made him happier than sharing a meal with friends or family, especially his friend Carolyn, whom he had dinner with almost every night for decades.

Fred’s ashes will be interred next to his father’s in a plot overlooking the ocean in Trinidad. Donations in his name may be sent to the American Cancer Society. We will keep you in our hearts forever, Fred. Rest in peace.
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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Dave Nicholson: 1954-2021

Posted By on Wed, Aug 4, 2021 at 10:00 AM


A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 8, at the Fortuna River Lodge, 1800 Riverwalk Drive, for Dave Nicholson. Please bring memories and stories to share.
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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Teresa 'Mo' Wold: 1962-2021

Posted By on Wed, Jul 28, 2021 at 6:00 AM

Teresa 'Mo' Wold, 1962 to 2021.
  • Teresa 'Mo' Wold, 1962 to 2021.
Teresa ‘Mo’ Wold left a lasting impression with all who knew her. Her big personality lit up a room when she entered, the world will be a darker place without her and she will be forever missed.

A Humboldt County Fog Dogs celebration of life will be held Aug. 7, with a memorial group ride leaving E&O Bowl at 10 a.m. and riding to the Moose Lodge, which will host a celebration from noon to 4 p.m. Food will be provided.

For more information, contact Lee at (707) 496-3802
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Friday, July 23, 2021

Matthew Evan Yadley: 1967-2021

Posted By on Fri, Jul 23, 2021 at 8:48 AM

Matthew Evan Yadley 1967-2021
  • Matthew Evan Yadley 1967-2021
Experimental chef and co-owner of Hurricane Kate’s restaurant in Old Town Eureka (he once created a satiric menu for an imaginary restaurant called Pilfer’s); X-ray technician in Eugene, Oregon; self-proclaimed gonzo philosopher — in the tradition of Hunter S. Thompson — and social critic; artist; fire juggler and knife thrower; practitioner of yoga. All these designations help us remember Matt Yadley.

Matt was raised in southern California, and as he began to explore spirituality he lived with like-minded companions in Topanga Canyon. Continuing to pursue higher consciousness, he studied at University of California at Santa Cruz before heading farther north to Arcata. His closest circle of friends were associated with Tin Can Mailman and other bookstores. He was most often at home in nature, particularly at the Trinidad beaches and along the Trinity River, and the McKenzie River in Oregon.

Matt is survived by his son Jordan; father Richard; sisters Jessica, Kady and Gwynne, and twin brother Jason; stepmothers Joy Yadley and Jayn Hunter; and brother-in-law Bill Raggio.

The public is invited to attend a potluck memorial on Moonstone Beach, Tuesday, August 10 at 4 p.m. Please bring dishes to share with serving spoon, your own eating and drinking utensils, a chair/blanket and, if possible, folding table, and stories to share. Email Dan with questions via
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Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Marianne 'Billie' Ryan Huber: 1927-2019

Posted By on Tue, Jul 13, 2021 at 6:15 AM

Marianne 'Billie' Ryan Huber, Nov. 24, 1927 to May 15, 2019.
  • Marianne 'Billie' Ryan Huber, Nov. 24, 1927 to May 15, 2019.
Marianne Huber passed away on May 15, 2019. She was born on Nov. 24, 1927 in St. Louis, Missouri, and grew up in Springfield, Illinois.

After graduating from Ursuline Academy, she went on to study nursing and anesthesia at St. John’s School of Nursing in Springfield. She worked as an anesthetist in hospitals throughout the Midwestern and western states, eventually settling in California.

Marianne’s interests and energy were boundless. She traveled widely, and enjoyed adventure, the outdoors and sports cars. It was her car, a Corvette, that would bring her together with her future husband. There was hardly a craft or hobby that she wasn’t accomplished in, or a topic she didn’t find interesting.

Marianne was preceded in death by her sisters Margaret Paul and Patricia Wrincik. At the time of her death, she was survived by her beloved husband of 55 years, Oscar, her daughter Holly and her husband Harvey II, her son Todd, his wife Kelly and Marianne’s cherished granddaughter Delaney, as well as numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

Marianne was laid to rest at Ocean View Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to Hospice of Humboldt or St. John’s School of Nursing.
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Oscar L. Huber: 1931-2020

Posted By on Tue, Jul 13, 2021 at 6:00 AM

Oscar L. Huber, March 11, 1931, to Dec. 25, 2020.
  • Oscar L. Huber, March 11, 1931, to Dec. 25, 2020.
Oscar Huber died on Dec. 25, 2020, after a brief battle with COVID-19. He was born near Muleshoe, Texas on March 11, 1931.

Following Oscar’s graduation from high school, he enlisted and served with honor in the U.S. Air Force. He went on to attend San Diego State College, earned a degree as an engineering geologist and worked in that field for more than 30 years for the state of California.

Oscar was happiest when he was in the great outdoors. He loved to hunt and fish, and was an accomplished archer and bow hunter. For decades, he volunteered for the Humboldt Archers, the Redwood Gun Club, the California Waterfowl Association and Ducks Unlimited, among others. He helped foster new generations of outdoors enthusiasts by teaching archery and hunter safety. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Mad River Post 2542 and participated in many VFW honor guard ceremonies.

Oscar was preceded in death by his beloved wife Marianne and his brother Buell “Bud” Huber. He is survived by his daughter Holly and her husband Harvey II, his son Todd, his wife Kelly and Oscar’s dear granddaughter Delaney, his sister Melba McNitt and her husband John, his brother Noel Huber and his wife Mary Kay, his sister-in-law Janet Huber, and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. on July 16, 2021, at Ocean View Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Humboldt, Humboldt Archers or the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
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Saturday, July 3, 2021

Caroline Josephine Kretoski Gainer: 1929-2021

Posted By on Sat, Jul 3, 2021 at 6:00 AM

Caroline Josephine Kretoski Gainer, Sept. 18, 1929, to May 31, 2021.
  • Caroline Josephine Kretoski Gainer, Sept. 18, 1929, to May 31, 2021.
Caroline (Carrie) Josephine Kretoski Gainer was a proud Polish American, West Virginian, sister to eight, mother of four, with an adventuresome spirit and sense of humor that got us all through “thick and thin.” After 14 years of covering for, handling with humor, and challenging us with her dementia, she died peacefully at the age of 91 in Matamoras, Pennsylvania not far from Springdale, Pennsylvania, place of her birth.

She was a baby when her family moved to Grant Town, West Virginia. Carrie’s Polish immigrant father, Josef Krzeptowski, died young of coalminer’s Black Lung when she was little. When she was in the third grade, they moved to the little coal mining town of Rivesville, West Virginia. Carrie was the middle child of Anna Kolvek Kretoski Drost and stepfather, George Drost, and as is common in large families, she was raised by older siblings as much as by parents. Growing up in Rivesville was tough and prepared her well for the challenges in her adult life. She learned to swim in the Monongahela River, ran and climbed as fast as her brothers, competed with bloody knees and knuckles in the dusty street game of marbles, and played hard to win in card games.

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The North Coast Journal publishes free online obituaries, allowing people to share news of a loved one's passing with the community and celebrate their life. Submit your obituary with or without photos to at least three days before you would like to see them posted. Please include your name and contact information. Submissions may be edited for spelling and grammar. (For some tips on how to write a compelling remembrance, click here.)

The Journal also offers paid obituaries in our weekly newspaper as an option for those who would like to see them print. For more information on print obituaries, contact Mark Boyd at or (707) 442-1400, extension 314.

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