Alta left this world on December 5, 2018, ending a short battle with cancer. She was born in Los Angeles. She tried many jobs — governess, switchboard operator, stewardess and, what she liked best and did the longest, nurses aide and home health caregiver. She lived in many places, from the West Coast to the East, always coming back to Humboldt County. She first came to Eureka by fishing boat in the summer. Working with her stepfather, leaving Southern California and fishing until it was time to go back to school. He would put her on a bus from Eureka back to Southern California.
The story of how she first visited Hoopa is not as clear, But when she returned to the valley as an adult she said “it was like coming home.” So she made Hoopa home for many, many years.
Wherever she was her favorite things to do were playing her autoharp and volunteering at hospitals. In 2005 she moved to Garberville, where she combined both — reading to and visiting with patients and on Friday afternoons playing music with friends for hours, until she just couldn’t anymore.
She had three daughters: Janet Jones (1960-2002), Georgana Lyon (1963-) and Fredrica Ortega (1970-).
She is greatly missed.
I’d like to give special thanks to everyone at Jerold Phelps Community Hospital and Southern Humboldt Healthcare Clinic, everyone at Hospice of the Redwoods and all the friends and family who visited so often, by phone or in person. You all helped us through the hardest time of her life. —Georgi
The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Alta Ray’s family. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.