Richard Charles Kersh, 65, of Willow Creek, died peacefully on Jan. 2, 2017 after an 18-month battle with pancreatic cancer.

He was born on Labor Day – Sept. 3, 1951 – in Sacramento. Dick attended Redding schools, graduating from Enterprise High in 1969, where he was recognized as an outstanding wrestler at high school and college levels.

Dick was a wonderfully supportive husband, father, and son. He approached life with the attitude if it was worth doing, you should do it well! This attitude carried him through a 37-year career in wildland fire management. Dick served 32 years with the Forest Service on five forests. He worked in all areas of wildland fire: firefighter, engine crew, helitack crew, hot shot, smokejumper and operations chief. Dick retired from the Six Rivers N.F. in 2004 and immediately went to work supporting the BIA/Hoopa Wildland Fire program as the Chief of Operations until fall 2009.

In 2010 he picked up a hammer and fell in love with the blacksmith craft and its community. Dick’s last blacksmith demonstration was in September 2016.

He will truly be missed by his friends and community. Dick was preceded in death by his father, Robert C. Kersh. He is survived by his mother, Emily Kersh; wife, Judy Kersh; daughter Katherine (Jason) Redding and granddaughters Elizabeth and Alexis Redding; Judy’s daughter, Callie (Mike) Lutz; sister Alice Bowles; Robert’s son John (Rosemary) Kersh; and numerous loving nieces and nephews.

A memorial celebration of life will be held in early summer. In light of the outstanding palliative care support Dick received, memorial contributions can be made to the non-profit Resolution Care 2440 23rd Street, Eureka, CA or Hospice of Humboldt.


The obituary above was submitted by Dick Kersh’s family. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here. Email