Wade J. DeLashmutt, Sr. had his ticket punched on May 12, 2019 in Arcata. He was born on March 26, 1929 in McMinnville, Oregon to Earl and Mildred DeLashmutt.

He was the baby of the family with two older sisters, Helen and Earlene. He had a horse named “Pony” that he rode to his one-room schoolhouse, hid his rifle in a ditch before going into class and on his way home, would stop and catch a basketful of fish. His parents would go to the farmer’s market in Portland to sell their wares. This rural upbringing set the tone for his lifelong passions of hunting, fishing, and foraging.

He did a stint in the Army during the Korean War, gave up smoking and acquired some tattoos in Mexico that are still a topic of much discussion. He met his bride-to-be, Doris Romanini, in Orick when logging was king in 1948. They married at St. Joseph’s Church in Crescent City on July 3, 1955. He graduated from Humboldt State in 1963 with a degree in history and forestry then joined the teaching profession and taught for 20 years. He began his career in the era where field trip transportation meant piling students into the back of a pickup and no one had a permission slip.

Wade was a true outdoorsman and loved spending time in Montana, Eastern Oregon, Alaska, Humboldt and Trinity County. He was famous for his scull boats. He started building these in 1972 and over the next 15 years built over 200 and even sold one to Roy Rogers. To this day, a DeLashmutt scull boat is still sought after by duck hunters.

Over the years, on any given day at the DeLashmutt’s you could drop in on Big Wade making sausage, skinning eels to be smoked, rolling out raviolis, marinating deer jerky, canning tuna, drying a bounty of bolete mushrooms, filleting salmon, cleaning huckleberries, boiling limits of crab, frying nightfish, loading shotgun shells, rolling out fiberglass for a scull boat, hammering walnuts, assembling an elm stool he turned up at the cabin, working on the cryptoquip puzzle, heckling the Giants or reading a history book.

He inspired and nurtured many of these same passions in his friends and family and as a result, there will be generations of hunters and foragers who learned from Big Wade.

He is survived by his sister, Helen Franklin; wife, Doris; daughter, Lori Vogt and son-in-law, Randy Vogt; son, Wade DeLashmutt, Jr. and daughter-in-law, Sabrina DeLashmutt; daughter, Dina Macdonald, son-in-law, Roger Macdonald and granddaughters, Patricia and Sabrina Macdonald and many nieces and nephews.

In a letter Big Wade left to his family, he quoted the lyrics of one of his favorite Willie Nelson songs, “ ‘Someday we will meet up yonder’ ” and hopefully we will”.

The family is grateful to Hospice and all the friends and family who have generously given their love and support.

Please join the family to celebrate Wade’s life with good food, drinking and dancing. Let the good times roll, it’s party time 1 p.m., Saturday, June 1, 2019 at St. Mary’s Hall, 1690 Janes Road, Arcata. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Hospice, Betty Chinn, Food for People or your favorite charity.


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