Tene Louise (Blankenship) Kremling – beloved daughter, sister, mother, wife, grandmother and cousin – went to be with her Creator the morning of May 14, 2021.

Tene, a Yurok tribal elder, was born on September 23, 1946 and raised in Orick. She spent most of her life in Humboldt County. Tene was deeply connected with her family’s native culture. She had a passion for the outdoors. Tene enjoyed going on backpacking trips, cross country skiing and camping with her friends and family. Many stories were shared by Tene around a campfire or along a hiking trail. She was a published poet and her poetry reflected her love of nature and family. Tene and her husband Leroy loved dancing and could be caught any given night dancing to local polka, country or line dancing music. Tene was a member of the Humboldt Accordionaires.

Tene graduated from McKinleyville High and received her BA from HSU. After Tene raised her two sons she attended and graduated from Sacramento State College. She graduated with a master’s degree in social work in 1992 and received her Licensed Clinical Social Worker certification shortly after. After graduation Tene accepted a position in Bishop, Calif. where she met her current husband, Leroy. Tene and Leroy returned to Humboldt County in 1996 where she worked at United Indian Health Services as a Social Worker for many years. She also worked for many local tribes, taught Native American Studies at HSU and traveled the country as teacher and presenter at many Native American conferences. She grew professionally and made many great friends. Tene’s mission to help native children and their families be healthy and thrive by using her professional guidance, understanding and deep compassion for people has helped countless families over the years. In recent years Tene and Leroy spent retirement traveling to Texas, where they had a second home.

Tene will forever be remembered as a loving, caring, considerate, understanding and adventurous. She will be tremendously missed.

Tene is preceded in death by her parents, Blanche and Harry Blankenship. She leaves her husband, Leroy Kremling of Fortuna. Sister, Judy (Tony) Misch. Son, Kenny (Samantha) Frick, their kids, Magen(Josh) Gray, Zack (Emily) and Mackenzie. Great Grandkids Jaxon, Travis, Paige and Blair. Son Byron (Kimbelry) Frick. And Leroy’s family Julie (Matt) Alex, Caroline and Scarlett. Jennifer (Nick) Paige & Paxton.

Arrangements are made through Paul’s Chapel in Arcata. She will be laid to rest with her parents at Trinidad Cemetery. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, June 5 at 1 p.m. at Orick Community Hall.


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