Warren Hugh Longnickel passed peaceable into the arms of his Lord Jesus on Tuesday April 9, 2019 after a short battle with cancer. He was 86 years old.

Warren was born in Argentine, Kansas. He attended Turner elementary and high school until his family moved to Willits during his junior year. Immediately after graduation he enlisted in the Marines. His basic training was at Camp Pendleton/Del Mar near San Diego,and a good deal of his 20-year career was spent there as an instructor.. He was often called “Nick” because of his last name or jokingly even called, “Short Dime.”

Warren was a decorated veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars, and was extremely proud being a part of the reason we have our freedom today.

After retiring from the military he moved to Ferndale, where he was on the police force for a while and a 15-year member of the volunteer firemen department. He was a mechanic by trade and worked for Barnes Tractor at Fernbridge, Spencer Equipment in Arcata and finally as the bus mechanic for the Fortuna Union High School.

He loved to hunt and fish with old pals and target shooting was a weekend event.

After a separation of some 25 years, Warren tracked down his high school sweetheart. Arlene Yates. His wife had died two years earlier and she had been single for seven years and was living in Van Nuys with her two young sons. Gene was 8 and Robert was 11. February 3, 1979 – six weeks after that first phone call they married and became a family of four. They returned to his home in Ferndale.

The earthquakes of 1992 caused the family to vacate their rented house and so began a search for a new home. An acre of land with a mobile home was found out in Carlotta and Warren’s new hobby of raising ducks and chickens began.

Warren was a member of the Fortuna Kiwanis, where he served a term as president, and he was acting president at the time of his death of the Korean War Veterans Association Redwood Chapter 176 in Eureka. For twenty years he was a deacon and Sunday school teacher at the First Baptist Church in Fortuna. His wife served as treasurer. Just recently he and Arlene moved their membership to the Rio Dell Baptist Church. They flourished under the love and teaching of that fellowship. Warren was presented with a special apron that said ”BBQ King and Grillmaster, The Man,The Myth The Legend.”

One of the greatest joys Warren experienced was that he played Santa for the local schools and various organizations for many years. Everyone of his grandkids and their friends have memories of getting to sit on Santa’s lap.

Warren was an avid football fan, especially when he watched his grandson Robert Yates who played for Fortuna and at the same time watched his great-grandson Chase Southerland who play for Ferndale at the Milk Can game. Warren was a fixture sitting at the end zone of the football field for years.

Warren was preceded in death by his folks Harold and Mary Longnickel, his brothers Jim and Gerald Longnickel, sister Maxine and step-son Robert Yates. He was survived by his wife Arlene and their families; Gene Yates his wife Angela; son Robert Yates; daughter Michela Yates; daughter Ashleigh and husband RJ Johnson son Brandon VanLoon; Warren’s daughter Laurie and her husband Mike Sourhuet, their children, Heather and husband Steven Erikson; Rebekka and her husband Anthony Brown; Mathew and his wife Deanne Sorhouet; Warren’s daughter Cathy and her husband Ivan Kyles and children Shawn and his wife Maggie Grigg; Jennifer Whitmer; Alicia and her husband John Sutherland. There were many beloved grandchildren and great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Warren was scheduled to go to Korea in June as the Korean government was sponsoring trips for the veterans who liberated their country. His ashes will be taken on this trip carried by his niece Debra VanBuren, whose father and Warren’s brother, Jim, was also in Korea. Son Gene and grandson Robert Yates will be going with Debra.

There will be a military memorial on May 11 2019 at the Rio Del Baptist at 11:00 am.

Rather than flowers Warren requested that donations be made to the Kiwanis Club’s scholarship program.


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