Donald Joseph “Joe” Schoenhofer, 79, passed away suddenly in Fortuna on March 16, 2020.

Joe was born in Walnut, Kansas on July 7, 1940 to Raymond and Lavon Schoenhofer. He had a large family of 11 brothers and sisters. He worked on the family farm growing up, excelled at basketball in high school and worked as an artificial inseminator before leaving Kansas.

Joe and his wife Carol moved their family to California in 1964 for a better way of life. He went to work soon after for the Pacific Lumber Company and enjoyed working for the “old” PALCo. Years later, after his divorce, Joe opened an antique store in Fortuna, then moved to Dinsmore where he logged timber for his two sons and started a firewood business. Joe enjoyed wood-working and treasure hunting for antiques. Joe continued to keep in close contact with all his brothers and sisters in Kansas and loved their visits to California.

Joe was very proud of his children Julie, Don and Carl. He enjoyed going to their sporting events and loved to share their successes in life. Joe was very happy when both of his sons returned home after graduating from Saint Mary’s College. His daughter Julie also moved back to Humboldt after pursuing an acting and modeling career in Los Angeles. Having his children living in the same town again was a very happy time for Joe. However, in April of 1992 Joe was very saddened by the sudden early passing of his beloved daughter, Julie.

Always living within blocks apart, Joe loved spending time with his two sons, their wives, and all five of his grandchildren. There was no doubt how much love he had for all of them and how extremely proud he was of his family. “Papa” Joe attended numerous sporting events for all his grandchildren and was always their biggest fan. His grandchildren loved him so much. Joe was loved by many and will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

Joe was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond and Lavon Schoenhofer, his daughter Julie, brother Kenny and sisters Theresa and Joan. He is survived by his son, Don Schoenhofer, his wife Stacey and their daughters Shanley, Merritt and McKenna; his son Carl Schoenhofer, his wife Renee, son Austin and daughter Shelby Hunt and her husband Alex Hunt; his brothers and sisters Tom, Johnny, Bernard, Bob, Dick, Dave, Jean and MaryLou.

The family would like to thank Trina Keller and longtime friend Joyce Fishman for helping care for Joe in the past few years. He treasured their friendships and appreciated all the love and support they gave to him.

The family plans to have a private memorial. In lieu of flowers and donations, the family asks that you send prayers and take this time to share your love with family and friends.


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