Charlotte Marie Peterson was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, on August 10, 1937, to Mary C. and Henry A. Jorgensen. She passed away on November 5, 2021, at the age of 84. Charlotte was named after her Aunt Charlotte and her grandmother, Marie, on her mother’s side. Charlotte’s father, who most old-time Trinidadians knew as Hank, could not stand the Minnesota cold, so he left his job, and with his wife and two daughters, ages about five and six, headed west to California for warmer weather. One of Charlotte’s most vivid memories of the trip west was crossing over the Great Salt Lake by train.

The family lived in San Francisco a short time, and in 1944 they headed north where they found the small town of Trinidad. Charlotte and her older sister, Bev, spent their childhood swimming in the ocean and playing in the streets which were pretty empty in those days. Charlotte recalled one of her father’s earliest jobs in Trinidad was to replace the wooden cross on the old Catholic Church.

When Charlotte was a little older she helped Bev, who was working at Paul’s Canned Salmon receiving station, where fishermen would bring their fish to be canned. Chester Paul would take the salmon to Klamath, can them, and bring them back to Trinidad. She recalls telling the customers that the canned fish they received were the same fish they caught, when in actuality, the fish were all just thrown in together. The little building where they worked was later known for a brief time as Todd Collins’s Pottery Shop and Tom Richardson’s “Gear Shed” tackle shop, now called Salty’s Supply tackle shop.

Charlotte enjoyed her high school days at Arcata High, where she lettered in sports. Volleyball and badminton were her favorites. She also excelled in art and her favorite teacher, Pearl Degenhardt, always gave her much encouragement.

Charlotte married a local fisherman Andrew L. Peterson, who often worked as part of the crew for George Collins on his commercial fishing boat and was good buddies with George’s son, TJ (Todd). George owned the house Charlotte’s parents rented and that is how Charlotte and Andrew met. They lived for a short time at Sylvan Harbor in a cabin and at the old Trinidad Hotel. They then moved into the red crooked house near the corner of Ocean Avenue and East Street, where daughter Karen and son David were born. In 1960 Charlotte and Andrew moved to the property her parents owned, a mile up the county road from Trinidad, where they had another son, Arne, in 1961.

We had wonderful times growing up in the Trinidad area and our mom was always looking after us in all respects. Our grandparents lived next door and Aunt Bev and her family also lived in Trinidad. We were all very close and our days were filled with getting together for barbecues, picking berries, fishing, sleepovers and going to the beach. Big Lagoon was a favorite family spot — sunny or foggy, we would go for the day to swim in the lagoon and look for agates. We also had many fun camping trips to Richardson Grove and Hidden Springs.

When we were grown mom went back to school to get her high school diploma. She then went on to get her AA degree and then a Bachelor of Arts degree from HSU. We were all very proud of her and what she had accomplished. Mom was a wonderful artist in watercolor as well as pastel and acrylic painting, and she won many awards in local shows. We are grateful that she instilled in us her love of art.

Mom worked as a cook at Seascape Restaurant for several years and made many friends there, she also enjoyed working for HCAR doing respite work.

In her later years she mostly kept to herself, enjoying genealogy research, riding to town to do her shopping, and attending family gatherings. She spent her last four years at Eureka Rehabilitation & Wellness Center and our family is very thankful to their compassionate staff for the excellent care she received.

Charlotte was preceded in death by her parents, Henry A. and Mary C. Jorgensen, her ex-husband, Andrew L. Peterson, her sister, Beverly A. Campbell Thompson, and brother in law, Bruce Campbell, Sr. She is survived by her three children, Karen Templeton (Greg), David Peterson (Cindy), and Arne Peterson (Kila), her niece and nephews, Robin Peterson (Ken), Carl Campbell (Diane), and Bruce Campbell (Phylis), her grandchildren, Drew, Keala (Ivan), Kayla, Amy, Lindsey and Andrea. Mom is also survived by her first great grandchild, Magnus, who was born in August to Keala and Ivan.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.


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