On Nov. 23, 2021 David Spreen passed away peacefully at home. Dave was a master mathematician and 11/23 is Fibonacci day, so it is a fitting day for his passing.

David Spreen was born in Trona, California to highly educated and well-respected father and a charismatic mother in 1951. He was the youngest of three brothers. Dave, Jeff, and Steve were the three amigos and had many adventures together. We all heard the story about creating a buzz around town when they left cards with a mysterious printer press symbol on them, secretly, at the local shops. The symbol stood for the boy’s Winged V Motorcycle Club, which had found the printer press in an old abandon building. The boys also had fun experimenting with the chemicals their father, who was a chemical engineer, had brought home for them. One of Dave’s earliest memories was his mother waking him to see the light of atomic bomb testing in Death Valley, approximately 60 miles northeast of Trona. Growing up the family moved around and they lived in New York, Tennessee, and Nevada before coming back to California to Laguna Beach in 1963.

Dave met the love of his life, Kathy, in Laguna Beach in 1971. They made their way to Blue Lake, Humboldt County in 1972 and were married in 1976. In 1974 Dave and Kathy found everything they dreamed of in a property in Kneeland, where they built their dream life with their two daughters, Karla and Kelly, in the mountains. He was a kind, gentle, and supportive dad and husband. He always encouraged his daughters to reach for the stars and pursue education. Dave took his family on trips every summer, which created family memories to last a life time. He was most proud of the family trip to China where he was able to share his experiences working there in the international flooring trade business. He also always spoke fondly of his trip to the Middle East with his great friend Scott in the summer of love, 1969, and his trips to Mexico with his friends.

Dave loved the outdoors and helping others. He was always educating himself and getting involved with organizations that were in line with his passions. He was actively a part of the Save Richardson Grove Group and the Coalition for Responsible Transportation Priorities Group (CPRT). He also worked with the Blackberry Bramble Group to bring internet to Humboldt County in the early 1990’s, served on the Freshwater Elementary School Board and helped to create the Charter Middle School, and offered his educated opinion on City and County initiatives. One of Dave’s proudest accomplishments was protecting the community from asbestos exposure by preventing the Barn 2 Quarry from mining asbestos containing rock, which would have been used to rock local roads.

His spirit and legacy will live on in the many values he instilled in his daughters that will be passed down through the generations; the pursuit of life long education, discovery of self and universe, and keeping family close.

Dave is survived by wife of 45 years Kathy Spreen, and daughters Karla Knapek and Kelly Wehausen. Dave is preceded in death by his mother and father, Ruth and Edward Spreen as well as his two brothers, Steve Spreen and Jeff Spreen.


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