Dennis Ronald Pinkelman was born on November 16, 1952, to Viola and Vincent Pinkelman. He was one of eight children — Cecil, Allen, Donna, Linda, Rosemary, Daniel and Dale. He was born and raised in Oakdalem California. Remaining close to one of his oldest and dearest friends until the end was Sally and Milton Conley.

Dennis was married in January of 1972 to Linda Davidson. Soon after they had their first of three daughters, Lori, Jami, and Kristi. In 1978, they moved to Fortuna, where they soon learned about Jehovah’s Witnesses, started studying the Bible, and in July of 1980 they were both baptized and took on an active role in the congregation.

Dennis was a faithful Jehovah’s Witness for 41 years serving for a time as a pioneer, a servant, and an elder for many years. He loved spending time with his daughters, sons-in-law; Jim, Cameron & Jason, especially all his grandchildren, Kelsie, Logan, Josiah, Jennifer, Brody, Deni, Alexus, and Emma and his newest family member, his great granddaughter Aria, whom he adored. He would joke that being a grandparent was the best because you never had to say “no.”

He served Humboldt County from Fortuna to Mckinleyville working as a mechanic for nearly 52 years. He spent time at Fortuna Motors, Harper Motors and Opie’s Chevrolet, to name a few. He earned numerous certificates and achievements for his lifetime of work in auto mechanics.

Even after retirement, he was always busy. He loved his spiritual family and was always willing to help someone with whatever they needed, never asking anything in return. He loved being around people and making them laugh.

As a young boy, his family struggled financially being raised by a single Mom. He found an outlet in sports with his twin brother Dan. He participated in many sports, and excelled in Football and Baseball at Oakdale High School. He won multiple awards in baseball, including most improved player his senior year, earning him scholarship offers from a few local colleges.

He rarely talked about his youth. The struggles that his family faced growing up in poverty, his father leaving when he was very young and losing his oldest brother Alan in a car accident were all devastating to the family. Dennis never let those struggles hold him back from giving his all to his family. He did his best to always be available when they needed him. He gave his time, his humor, his knowledge, and most of all his love to make sure they had the best life possible.

The family would like to thank Hospice of Humboldt, Redwood Memorial in Fortuna, and especially Santa Rosa Memorial for not only the care they provided for Dennis, but how they catered to our family’s needs and allowed us to safely spend as much time by Dennis’s side in his last days.

Dennis loved to laugh and he loved to make people laugh. That brought him such joy. He also strongly believed there would be a time when the world would be restored to a paradise and all loved ones we have lost would be resurrected to a perfect state. That is our source of comfort, that someday we will see him again and enjoy his love and humor once more.


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