Patricia (Patti) Dahn passed away Wednesday, March 27 at the age of 57, after recently discovering stage four lung cancer. She will be missed terribly by all whose lives she touched!

Patti Secor was born on July 27, 1961, in Eureka to Bob and Connie Secor. She was premature and spent the first few weeks of her life in the hospital. She was a fighter and soon went home to Orick, where a big brother and sister were waiting for her. Three more siblings would arrive in the next few years. The Secors were (and still are) a tight-knit family. Growing up in Orick was idyllic! Her sisters were her best friends and on weekends and summer breaks they would roam the land from dawn till dusk. She was an Orick Hoopster and a Camp Fire Girl, and attended a local youth group weekly. She loved to babysit, and with good reason — all kids adored Patti!

In 1976 Mick Dahn moved to Orick and Patti was immediately smitten. They were wed on July 21, 1979, and continued to reside in Humboldt County, raising three beautiful children: Erin, Tyler and Wendi. They moved around a bit, but finally settled in Scotia. She was fortunate enough to stay home with the kids, giving them the fondest memories of childhood imaginable. Big family holidays, lots of arts and crafts and even a months-long monopoly game are just a few. Tyler recalls the big 1992 earthquakes of Humboldt County and remembers being scared, yet still feeling safe because of her.

Sadly her marriage ended in 1998, but as they say, “when one door closes, another opens.” Patti was introduced to Wes Fence, who would go on to be the love of her life until her last day. He had carried a torch for her since high school and was ecstatic to have been given a second chance! His daughter, Margaret, and Wendi were close in age, and the four of them had many adventures together. Patti and Wes had a great love and shared a passion for old VW’s, tye-dye and music! They loved exploring the California coast. Shelter Cove and Fort Bragg were among their most cherished places. She lived in Rio Dell and worked at the Best Western in Fortuna, and made many dear friends at this point in her life, Lori Roe being her dearest. She even opened her own business, Smiley’s Pizza in Rio Dell, for a short time.

Her last few years were spent living in Vegas, helping Wendi with her first-born son, Matteo, then coming home to Orick to help with her mother’s medical needs. She had recently spent some time in Vancouver visiting her beloved sister, Julie. She was planning a trip to Maui to see Erin’s children: Kanoa, Siena and Kalena and looking forward to an Elton John concert with Tyler and getting to spend some time with his son, Wyatt. She was grateful for her sister Kris’s recent return to Orick and hoping for many coffee dates on her porch.

Patti is preceded in death by her nephew, Nick Tanno, her father, Robert Secor, and her Aunt “Moo” Muriel Thuemler. She is survived by mother Constance Secor, sisters: Julie Adams (Jay), Betsy Tanno (Tim), Kristine Lane (Jeffery Mummy), brothers: Ben Secor (Niki Coyne), Bob Secor (Shenny), children: Erin Nakata (Kaipo), Tyler Dahn (Kelsey), Wendi Dahn (Alfredo Saavedra Jr). She has five beautiful grandchildren and three more on the way (one any day now)! She also has many cousins, nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews whom she loved very much! Private services have already been held. Any correspondence can be sent via email to

Even though her life was cut short, the impact Patti had on both friends and family will be felt for generations. Her kind heart and free spirit will be carried on in those she left behind…


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