George Thode passed away at home on June 18, 2021 after a brief illness, with his family around him. He was 91 years old.

George was born on April 11, 1930 in Denmark. He had a lifetime love of the ocean and left Denmark at 16 on a merchant marine ship, embarking on an amazing and adventurous life. Throughout his life he traveled the world, even spending a year in Antarctica with the National Weather Service where he had an island named after him there. He came to the United States through Baltimore, then New York, and became an American citizen and served in the Army. George met Roberta “Bobbie” Hickman on a blind date in New York. They had been pen pals while he was still on ship, as Roberta worked in a secretary pool with a girlfriend of George’s shipmate. George and Bobbie married and built a life of love, family and dear friends over their 68 years together.

George had many varied talents and interests. He taught martial arts and held black belts in both Judo and Aikido. He had artistic and inventive ideas, or as his family lovingly called them, “Thode Specials”, which are seen throughout the house he built by himself. If he couldn’t buy it, he would make it with whatever he had on hand. So generous with his time and talents, there was nothing George wouldn’t do for his family and friends. The life lessons he taught us are never-ending and we will miss our “Pop-Pop” forever.

George was preceded in death by his dear wife Bobbie in 2020, and beloved daughter Shelle Abernathy in 2019.

He is survived by his children: Carl (Judy) Thode and Cheryl (Dolph) Swift; his grandchildren: David (Lindsey) Scotti, Michael (Tabatha) Scotti, Madeline (Scott Mandell) Thode and Megan Thode; and great-grandchildren: Hunter and Haylee Scotti, and James Mandell. A memorial service is pending at a later date.


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