Susie McKelvy, age 66, of Willow Creek, died on Sunday, May 7 in Arcata.

Born Susana Teresa Cruz on Oct. 6, 1950 in San Antonio, Texas to newly arrived immigrants David and Olga Cruz, Susie’s early years were spent with her family in Fullerton, California. It was there that she graduated from Troy High School in 1968. On the beaches of Orange County, she met her future husband, Bill McKelvy. After living together for three years in Costa Mesa, Bill and Susie decided to venture out and, with friends, bought property on Brannan Mountain, where they soon became fixtures. Initially, without paved roads, phones or electricity, they built their home and raised their family. As a resident of Willow Creek for more than 40 years, Susie worked at several local businesses, further establishing ties within the community.

Always known for her smile and caring disposition, Susie was well-known as a great cook, little-league mom, terrible softball player, forklift driver, informal counselor (talker), river lounger and friend to all. Any family member, friend, organization, or club could count on Susie’s help and she would be there for them … likely 15-20 minutes late. Susie’s hobbies included gardening, sewing, reading romance novels, cooking, socializing, volunteering, and watching the grandkids.

Susie is survived by siblings Fernando Cruz-Villalba, Margo Kirkpatrick, John Cruz, sons Lucius, Travis, and Jacob, grandchildren Jacob, Sloan, Minnie, Acacia, Isabel, McKayla, Josie and Ryan. She is preceded in death by her husband, mother and father.

Although she has been battling illness for several years, Susie’s passing came as a surprise to all. The family would like to extend their gratitude to those who have already reached out and all that will once word has come to them of this wonderful woman’s passing.

A memorial will be held on Saturday, May 20 at the Trinity Rivers Farm on Highway 299 from 2 to 6 p.m. All those that played a role in Susie’s life are welcome. There will be barbecued meat served, but the event will be potluck-style with the following assignments according to last name: A-G: salads, H-M: side dishes, N-R: appetizers, and S-Z: desserts.


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