Richard Travis Gurney went home to be with Jesus on June 3, 2019, at the age of 78. He was a lifelong Humboldt County resident.

Richard was born on November 27, 1940 to Travis and Grace Johnson Gurney. He served as a Private 4th Class in US Army from 1963 to 1966, receiving medals for being a rifle and light machine gun sharpshooter, expert bayonet, and for good conduct. In 1966 he started his employment with the City of Arcata as a dispatcher and then fulfilled his goal and became a full-time police officer in 1973. He served in that role for 27 years, retiring from the Arcata Police Department in January of 1993. During the 27 years working for the city, he accomplished several goals — one being that he established his schools program where he was appropriately named “Officer Friendly.” This was one of his accomplishments that he was most proud of.

Retirement did not last for long as he took a money courier position with Big Oil & Tire in 1994 and fully retired in 2011.

Anyone who knew or met Richard was sure to hear his latest joke or one of his many favorite cop memories. He will definitely be remembered for his sense of humor and ability to always have a joke on hand. He enjoyed his daily crosswords and letter jumbles (with his wife’s help), going to the casino with family and friends, watching Family Feud nightly and woodworking in his shop. One activity that he truly enjoyed was watching whatever sports his grandsons were playing; he would be there in the stands sporting his school spirit by wearing a ball cap for whatever team they were representing. He enjoyed reading (especially shopping for old books at any used book store), writing poetry, show tunes, camping on the Van Duzen River and anything John Wayne-related.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Barbara, his daughter Teri Gurney Arnold, his three grandsons, Kristopher, Kory & Kameron Arnold, his brother Robert Gurney (Pat), Michael Williamson (Veronda) and his sister Michelle Fretland (Jon). He is also survived by nephews, nieces and cousins.

Services will be held on Friday, June 14, 2019 at the Veterans Memorial Hall located at 1425 J St, Arcata, CA 95521 at 3 p.m. All family and friends are welcome.

In lieu of flowers, we would request donations to be made to the American Lung Association in Richard’s name online @, by mailing a check to the American Lung Association, P.O. Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123 or by phone at 1-800-227-2345.

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