Delores “Pumpkin” Heil passed away surrounded by family on January 16, 2019 after a courageous battle with cancer.

Delores was born April 26, 1957 to Walter and Georgia Hespen in Garberville. Growing up in Alderpoint, she attended Alice Jewett, Casterlin, and graduated from South Fork High. After graduation she attended college until joining the U.S. Navy where she met the father of her four daughters.

Her first daughter was born while she was still in the Navy. After her service, she moved to Oklahoma City where she welcomed three more daughters.

In 1990, after her divorce, she moved back home to her family in Alderpoint. At home, she quickly became involved in all aspects of her community. On top of being a wonderful mother, she was the secretary for the community water district, worked at Casterlin School as a teacher’s aide, cook, and secretary. Furthermore, during the summer months, you would find her welcoming visitors at Richardson Grove State Park as a senior park aide. She loved all of her jobs and made a lasting impression with each one.

Even while donning all of these hats, she always made the time to support her family and their activities. Delores was a consistent fan at local sporting events, even after her children had graduated. Anyone who attended a sporting event while she was in the stands, were aware of her presence, love, and enthusiasm.

In 2002, Delores found another joy in her life besides being a diehard fan of sports and workaholic; she became a grandmother. To date, she has been blessed with nine of them. Being that she possessed the gift of gab, you would always find her happily chatting away about her grandchildren’s accomplishments, whether it was about a first tooth or a graduation.

Not only did she have a deep passion for her children and grandchildren, she loved all of the kids that walked through the halls of her school over the last 30 years. She has made lasting friends everywhere she went. Delores had a heart of gold and you couldn’t help but to love her infectious laugh and smile.

Delores leaves behind her mother, Georgia Hespen of Alderpoint, her four daughters, Sabrina Young (Tyson) of Fortuna; Tabitha Cheadle (Keenan) of Norman, Oklahoma; Tiffany Hernlund of Rohnert Park; and Jamie Heil (Ian Akselson) of Redway; her brother Jack Hespen of Alderpoint; nine grandchildren, Annabell and Titus Young of Fortuna; Angel, Lily and Alexis of Norman, Oklahoma; Piper and Tanner Hernlund of Rohnert Park; Makayla and Sean Akselson of Redway; her aunt Pattie Johnson of Fortuna; numerous cousins and many friends.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, February 16, 2019 at 2 p.m. at the Redcrest Grange, 115 Sorenson Rd. Redcrest. Guests are encouraged to bring a potluck item and share special memories and stories of Delores.


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