Don Patrick Baughman died peacefully in his sleep on April 20, 2020. He leaves behind Michele, his beloved wife of 54 years.

Don was born in Minnesota on October 18, 1944. At age 19 he was drafted into the Army, where he served honorably for four years. He was stationed in Alaska. He didn’t like the cold weather in Alaska and Minnesota, so he moved to California where he met Michele in San Francisco in Union Square. They fell deeply in love and were married in 1966. They lived in San Francisco and Sausalito until they came to Humboldt County, where Don won a scholarship to Humboldt State University. He received a B. A. in Art. He was an artist in the Jackson Pollack in outer-space genre, and a poet akin to Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Bob Dylan.

He worked at the Humboldt Open Door Community Health Center for 15 years, where his wife, Michele, was the main scheduling administrator “extraordinaire” for 30 years. Upon retirement her boss, Herrmann Spetzler, gifted her with a round-trip ticket to Paris, where she was born in 1937. On March 17t, 2003, her friend, April, accompanied her on the 17-day trip of a lifetime to France and Italy. She called Don nearly every day to tell him of her adventures, even from a phone booth at the Palace in Monaco!

In his later years Don worked for the Senior Resource Center, delivering meals to the elders in his community. This was a meaningful and satisfying job for him. He grew very fond of his clients and they were thankful for him. Don had long-standing friendships with whom he enjoyed camping, fishing and dining at fine food restaurants, especially La Trattoria, Larrupin Cafe, and Folie Deuce.

He was known for his irascible sense of humor, his sardonic wit, and his soft heart beneath his gruff exterior, but most of all, his complete devotion to the love of his life, Michele.


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