Lee A. Temple Jr. (AKA Sonny Temple) passed away March 11, 2021 at 8:02 p.m. just after visiting with family at Mercy Medical Center in Redding from a long battle of heart conditions.

Lee, a proud Native of the Yurok Tribe, was born on September 12, 1949 to Lee Sr. and Ester Temple of Oakland and was raised with five siblings. In 1967, he enlisted in the Marine Corps. and by 1968 was a LCPL whom fought in the Vietnam War, ending with an honorable discharge. In 1973. He was a cab driver in Eureka. He went from that to working at the Eureka Post Office. In 1988, while bartending at TC’S Tavern in Eureka,  he joined E. Clampus Vitus Chapter 101. (Boy were those the days). Then in 1995, while working at Times-Standard in Eureka, he had a heart attack. From then on over the years, his health proceeded in getting worse.

For those who knew Lee (Sonny) know that he really enjoyed his poker parties, partying with family and friends, clamper functions, shooting pool, playing with his grandkids making them scream, watching wrestling and NASCAR, and his collection of coins, knives, and swords.

Lee A. Temple is survived and will be greatly missed by his brothers, Glen Temple of Redding, Jimmy Duelfer of Olivehurst, his sister Debra Shockley of Redding, daughter Brandi Temple Bettencourt of Fortuna, sons Aaron Temple of Utah, Lee Temple III and Myah Baisch of Eureka. Grandkids, Roy and Laryssa Bettencourt of Fortuna, Heather Bettencourt and Fiancé Jacob Gregory of Fortuna, Savannah and Henry Anaya of Rio Dell, Gregory Fitzgerald Jr. of Fortuna, Effie and Gemma Baisch Temple of Eureka. Great Grandchildren, Cali and Ameliah Bettencourt of Fortuna, Koby, Hunter and Mason Gregory of Fortuna, Layla and Paislee Anaya of Rio Dell. Not to mention lots of relatives and friends.

Lee A. Temple is proceeded in death by his father Lee A. Temple Sr., his mother Ester Watson, brothers Ronny Temple and Gino Tavasci, and son Robert Temple.

Our only way of letting him go is in knowing he is no longer in any pain and the smile on our face every time we hear his name.

On April 26, 2021 a Veterans Memorial Ceremony for the family will start at 10 a.m. at Ocean View Cemetery. COVID-19 restrictions will be in place. Then afterwards starting at 1 p.m. we will be holding a celebration of life potluck for family and friends at Eureka Veterans Hall, 1018 H Street. Again, COVID-19 restrictions will be in place.


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