Ed Houseworth was surrounded
by his family when he was welcomed into heaven on February 29th,
2020. He had a long 12 ½ year courageous battle with cancer. He
fought an amazing fight; an absolute warrior. Although cancer
ultimately took his life, his life was not defined by cancer. His
life was defined by being a man of faith, a loving husband and son,
inspiring dad and amazing friend to many.
Ed was born on May 26, 1967 to Sonya Houseworth and Dennis Early. He was a vibrant young child and always found the best in every situation. His family remembers him as quite the character as a young kid who loved to have fun and loved to be in the middle of the action. Ed’s parents divorced and several years later Ed was adopted by Norman Houseworth. Norm was a pivotal influence in his life and taught him the meaning of accountability, hard work and tough love. Norm was a major influence in Ed’s development into a young man. When Ed became a parent, he often reflected on what he learned from Norm and implemented it into raising his own children.
Ed graduated from Fortuna High School in 1985. He made many lifelong friends from school and cherished the memories from his high school years. Whenever Ed and his high school buddies got together, the conversations always reverted to high school memories. He loved his friends, but he loved basketball just as much. He was a force on the court and a standout with his signature bushy blonde hair. Basketball became a passion throughout high school and continued after graduation.
After high school Ed attended College of the Redwoods and later graduated from Southern Oregon University in Ashland. He then moved back to Humboldt to complete his teaching credential from Humboldt State University and eventually completed a Masters in Teaching from Grand Canyon University. There was nothing Ed loved more than teaching and coaching. It was his passion. He loved being a mentor to young kids and helping them grow and succeed. He was the “Coach of Many Colors.” He had his footprint as a coach and teacher at several different schools over the years. Fortuna High, Ferndale High, South Fork High, Eureka High, Winship Middle School, College of the Redwoods and Southern Oregon University. There was not a player he didn’t influence. In 2017, Ed was able to live out his top bucket list item. He attended the NCAA College Basketball Final Four games during March Madness. He had the time of his life with some of his best buddies. A memory he never stopped talking about.
In 1998, Ed was introduced to Karen by some mutual friends in Ferndale. Ed was coaching basketball at Ferndale High and Karen was assistant coaching the Ferndale High girls team. They connected through mutual friends and the love of basketball. Their first date was of course a basketball game at HSU. In July 1999 Ed and Karen were married and would later have three children; Abby, Emma and Jake. Ed was the epitome of a perfect husband and father. Attentive, loving, patient, kind and funny. The all around guy. He loved his kids more than anything. Watching them grow and succeed in school, sports activities and become amazing young citizens and friends was the highlight of his life. Ed was a man of faith and talked to his children frequently about God and the journey God had put him on. He always encouraged his kids to find the silver lining within the journey. Even though Ed was the one fighting through the pain and the nasty side effects from his cancer, he was the pillar of strength in the house and the driving force of strength. He inspired his family to stay positive, be kind, live their best lives and most of all enjoy the journey.
Ed was also an amazing son. He was an only child and he was the light of Sonya’s eye. He was a mama’s boy at heart and loved his mom dearly. They relied on each other for strength during difficult times growing up. Ed and his mom became best of friends and had a special bond. Ed also had a special bond with his uncle Trev. They were the same age and growing up together they were inseparable. They enjoyed being able to heckle and support each other as school rivals. Trev was a Wildcat and Eddie was Husky. Ed truly loved Trev like a brother.
One of Ed’s favorite places in the world was Hawaii. It was a special place for him. He always said he felt at peace and pain free while he was there. We were lucky enough to have a few family vacations to Hawaii in the last several years. There was nothing better than seeing his big smile on the beach while breathing in the Hawaiian air. He truly loved it and had always talked about retiring there and running a snow cone shack on the beach or teaching basketball camps!
Pets really are a part of the family and there was no exception that the family dog Sophie was a big part of Ed’s world. After chemo treatments or on days Ed just wasn’t feeling well, Sophie was always there. She did not stray far from Ed. She was either lying next to him for a nap or sitting on his lap in his chair. He always said, if Sophie could talk she would have a lot to say. He loved Sophie dearly and the two became inseparable. Where ever Ed went, Sophie went.
Ed was the kindest soul. He had friends from all walks of life. In fact he knew so many people that we started calling him a hometown celebrity. He couldn’t go to the grocery store just to get milk without it taking over an hour. We had even been on a few family vacations and ran into people he knew in the most random of places. Specifically remember one time we were in Puerta Vallarta and someone started yelling “Eddie” from across the street. Sure enough someone he knew. Ed loved to chit chat with anyone. He loved to talk and make conversation. He was the best listener. I have yet to meet anyone with a bigger heart and kinder soul. He was clearly placed on this earth to spread love, hope and kindness. In the wise words of Ed, “It’s All About The Journey.” Enjoy the journey and live your best life along the way.
The family would like to thank the entire Oncology team at St. Joseph Hospital for their unwavering love and support of Ed, the entire Community for their generous support of the family through the years, Eureka City Schools for the undeniable love and friendship of Ed’s colleagues, Hospice of Humboldt for providing support and comfort and the many friends and family members who have always been there throughout the journey.
Ed is survived by his wife Karen and three children, Abby, Emma and Jake and his mother Sonya Houseworth. Uncles and Aunts; Trevor & Kristie Christiansen, Chris & Pat Christiansen and Marc & Pam Christiansen. Mother in-law Mary Brazil and brother and sister in-laws Mike & Carrie Brazil and Phil and Pam Collver and various cousins, nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life will be held a Fortuna Union High School on Sunday, March 22. Doors open at 12:30 celebration will begin at 1:00. Reception immediately following at the Belotti Hall at the Ferndale Fairgrounds.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to “The Houseworth Family Fund” at Redwood Capital Bank in Fortuna. 1075 S. Fortuna Blvd Fortuna, Ca 95540. Contributions will assist the family with memorial costs and education costs for Ed’s three children.
The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Ed Houseworth’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.