Eric Andrew Olson — a beloved son, father, brother and friend — passed away on July 18, 2020 surrounded by his loved ones after a brave battle with cancer.

Eric was born on November 25, 1946. He grew up in Southern Humboldt and was known as Buzzy to family and friends. Eric graduated South Fork High School in 1965 where he played Varsity tennis for 4 years. After graduation Eric attended the College of Marin and was part of the championship tennis team in 1966. He also attended Santa Rosa Junior College for a short period of time. In 1969, Eric and his mother Evelyn became the first mother & son to graduate in the same ceremony at College of the Redwoods, a fact they both were very proud of.

In October 1969 Eric began his 34 year career as a public servant when he started with the Berkeley Police Department. Eric was a dedicated patrol officer and investigator and truly loved his job. He always enjoyed telling stories about Berkley riots, “it was a crazy time” he would say. On Valentine’s Day in 1971 Eric married Trudy Sundquist and they had 2 children, things didn’t work out but they remained close his entire life. In 1974 Eric found his way to Eureka and continued his passion for police work. After reaching the level of Major Crimes Investigator Eric decided it was time for a break and left EPD to venture out on his own and started Eureka Detective Agency. Eric worked as a private investigator for nearly a decade. This career move suited Eric’s love of details and getting to the bottom of things. In 1990 the EPD called him back to serve; he worked another 5 years as a police officer before he transitioned into an investigator for the DA’s office. Eric retired in 2003 from the DA’s office as a Supervising Senior Investigator. Retirement for Eric was short lived as he began working alongside his son at Rock Solid Construction from 2003 to 2019.

Everything Eric did in his life was done with precision and passion. He loved boating, skiing (water & snow), golf (playing & watching) he even had two hole-in-ones at the Eureka Muni golf course. Eric was often found tinkering with any little thing and collecting (most notably pigs). He would say if you have more than two of anything, it’s a collection. The highlight of his day was his evening Scotch and cribbage game with his longtime friend Gary Forbes. Eric was a devoted father and grandfather. He never missed a birthday or Christmas and was often found on the green or in the stands supporting his four grandchildren in all their glory.

He was preceded in death by his parents: Howard Emanuel Olson & Evelyn Elizabeth Brisbin Olson and sister Krestina Vivian Clark. He is survived by his son Matthew & wife Jenna Olson, of Eureka, daughter Kristin & husband Terence Billingsley of American Canyon. Grandson’s Logan & Chance Olson of Eureka & granddaughter’s Genesis & Trinity Billingsley of American Canyon. Brother Evan Olson (Barbara) & Sister Annamarie Olson Ahmed as well as countless other family and friends.

Thank you to Hospice of Humboldt for all their care and support and a very special thank you to all the family and friends for their visits during his final days. He truly felt loved and comforted. 


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