On April 23, 2019 Dennis “Papa” Emmons passed away unexpectedly at home.

Dennis L. Emmons was born November 9, 1941 in Santa Cruz. He was the son of Fred “Buck” Emmons and Lucille Emmons. When his father was discharged following World War II, the family moved to Korbel. Dennis was raised in Korbel, attending the Korbel Elementary School and graduating from Arcata High School in 1960. Following graduation, Dennis entered the U.S. Army. Upon his discharge from the Army he returned to Korbel. He then began his decades-long career at Simpson Timber Company. He worked initially at the Arcata Bottoms Plant and then moved to the Korbel Sawmill. Dennis held many positions at the sawmill, retiring as a millwright/maintenance planner after 44 years of service to the company. He returned for a short stint following his retirement to assist the company as they transitioned to new systems. While at the sawmill Dennis was also a water treatment operator for the town of Korbel. He also provided many cartoons for the company newsletter with his caricatures humoring many. He was an exceptional artist and cartoonist but rarely shared his work publicly.

On July 14, 1972 Dennis married Charlsie Vaughn. They were married for nearly 40 years until her passing in 2011. Dennis loved his family and friends and would do anything for them. He was an old school father figure, teaching his son Chris about the history of Korbel and the timber industry of the area. He enjoyed taking walks in the hills around Korbel and along the north fork of the Mad River. Dennis also enjoyed spending time with his many friends he made over the years, never passing up a good social event such as a BBQ or party.

Dennis loved his family dearly with his grandkids becoming his focus in retirement. He wanted to spend as much time with Morrgin and Colsen, teaching them everything he could about life. As Morrgin had a special bond with her grandmother “Mimi,” Colsen had a special bond with his “Papa.” Dennis loved to talk to him about mechanics and nature, often looking at deer, foxes, squirrels, birds and bugs in his yard at his McKinleyville home. During good weather, Dennis was often found doing yard work and enjoying the sun, finishing the day on the deck with a BBQ and a cocktail, surrounded by family.

Dennis is survived by his son Chris Emmons and wife Tara, grandchildren who are his pride and joy Morrgin and Colsen, all of Arcata, stepdaughter Lori Crook of Eureka, his sister Glenda Chisum and husband Joe, brother Donnie Emmons and wife Elaine of Louisiana, and numerous nieces and nephews. Dennis was preceded in passing by his wife and love Charlsie, parents Fred “Buck” Emmons and Lucile Emmons, sister Judy (Emmons) Regusci, brother Fred Emmons, and uncle Leslie Hayter. The family would also like to acknowledge the brotherhood Dennis had with his lifelong friends Joe Parker who was always there for Dad and the family, and Richard Hintz who has always maintained contact even after leaving the local area. Dad loved them like family.

There will be a public viewing on Friday, May 3, 2019 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a service immediately following at Paul’s Chapel of the Ferns, 1070 H Street, Arcata, 95521. The family is also planning a Celebration of Life potluck on May 18, 2019 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Camp Bauer in Korbel. The family would like to invite all of Dennis and Charlsie’s family and friends to attend and share their stories and celebrate Dennis’s long, story-filled life on the same soil he grew up on.

We love you “Papa.” Give “Mimi” a hug for us.


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