Our hearts are heavy with the passing of Frederick Paul Ruchte on November 4th, 2019.  Fred had an abundance of generosity, wit and humor that created such a unique spirit that we couldn’t get enough of him. His 66 years were full and yet, not enough.  

Fred was born November 2nd, 1953 in Nebraska to Marshall and Anne Ruchte.  The majority of his childhood was spent in Kansas until he was 15 and his father packed up a car to drive cross country for a teaching position at Humboldt State University.  Fred and his three younger sisters settled into an entirely new landscape and life in Arcata, California. While attending Arcata High School, Fred met his wife and lifelong partner Maryann.  After graduation they stayed in the area to start a family and raised four children. To support his family he worked hard in the community at the Sun Valley Bulb Farm and then as a custodian in the HSU library for 30 years.

Fred kept a house full of laughter, good food, games, puzzles, music and some oddball books no one else could get through.  He would take his family on yearly camping or road trips up and down California, somehow managing to fit six people’s luggage, coolers and a Smokey Joe in and on top of the car.  His favorite way to cook was outside, grilling, rain or shine, and though his set-it-and-forget-it technique was questionable it somehow always worked. More often than not he would make extra plates of food which were received as a treasure by friends at his favorite watering hole.  Over food and good drink he would always make someone laugh. He could never sit still for long, though, and if you needed to find him you just had to listen for his voice which was so recognizable you could walk by a doorway and know he was in the other room. With his warm spirit and generosity he became a standout and memorable member of his community.  He made such a large impression on those who called him friend and family that the impact of his absence will feel tangible.

In true Ruchte fashion, his family invites his friends to gather for a potluck at 2 p.m. November 9th at Sidelines on the Arcata Plaza for his Celebration of Life.  Bring food, a story to share or a dollar for the jukebox.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Frederick Ruchte’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.