Tom is on the left in the dark shirt.


Tom Kelsey, from Shelter Cove, passed away peacefully on October 22, 2020 from Alzheimers, at his home, surrounded by his loving family.

He was born in Glendale, California on April 24, 1935 to Stan and Alice Kelsey. Later moved to Red Bluff and the Los Molinos area. Tom attended Red Bluff High School and Chico State.

He lived a diversified life: Tom served in the United States Army, was a 51-year member of Operating Engineers, operated heavy equipment for many different contractors, became an owner-operator. He worked for Peterson Tractor in Redding for 20 years.

Tom was a licensed pilot, commercial fisherman, scuba diver, raised walnuts on a 23-acre orchard and raised cattle.

He built his first boat in his shop in Cottonwood – “Ginny Jo” – which he commercial fished out of Shelter Cove. He sold his fish to Mario Machi. He was part of the “Mosquito Fleet” in Shelter Cove.

He helped build his 40’ Commercial Boat in Brookings – “New Dawn” – that he fished for crab and salmon with for 11 years. He finally settled in Shelter Cove and built a home here.

Tom served on the Board of Directors of Resort Improvement District (RID) in Shelter Cove.

Tom was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend. He is survived by his wife JoAnn, son Scott (Brenda) Kelsey, daughter Karyn Kelsey, grandson Christopher Kelsey, great grandson Patrick Kelsey, his sister and brother-in-law Tom and Linda Glakeler of Lakeport, brother and sister-in-law Tim and Lynn Kelsey, sister-in-law- Andrea Kelsey Rhodes of Chico, brother-in-law and sister-in-law Dr. Buck and Susan Bateson of Susanville, sister-in-law Sally Bateson Higley of Washington State.

Burial will take place at Ocean View Cemetery in Eureka. At his request, no services will be held.


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