Paulette Gilliam, Humboldt County native and life-long resident, left this world for a more heavenly one, to join her son Matthew, on April 30th, 2018, but not before she truly made our world a better place. She spent her 68 years taking care of her families, reaching out to people in need, and solving problems that weren’t her own. Everything she did she did with immeasurable generosity and always an attention to detail. She was a good person who loved to help other good people. She was also truthful and sassy enough to tell you if you weren’t being a good person. From kindness and respect towards her garbage man to calling the Pentagon and successfully demanding more drinking water to U.S. troops in wartime, Paulette did everything from a loving, selfless place.

Paulette grew up in Orick with her parents, Paul and Toni Johnson, and her five brothers and sisters, Greg Johnson, Karen Clark, Kim Beck, Kathy Mitchell and Brad Johnson. Paulette came from a family of hard-working, honest, good people.

Paulette raised her own family of hard-working, honest, good people in Eureka with her husband, PeeWee Gilliam. Throughout their entire lives, Paulette always told her kids, Garette Gilliam and April Winkle, how proud she was of them. The best thing April ever did for her mom was give her two grand babies. Svea and Victor Winkle made her happier than anything in the world and Paulette took her spoiling gramma job very seriously.

Paulette touched the lives of thousands during her career at the Humboldt County Office of Education, starting and running her own non-profit organization, Socks for Soldiers, and just living her days with purpose and love.

This Saturday night, May 5th from 6-9pm at Humboldt County Office of Education’s Sequoia Conference Center at 901 Myrtle Avenue in Eureka, there will be a big party for Paulette and all of her friends. Come to hear about her full life and maybe tell a story that reminds you of her. Wear red, white, and blue, bring a small potluck dish, and get ready to laugh, cry, and reminisce. If you have photos you would like to contribute to a slide show you can send them to


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Paulette Gilliam’s family. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.