“Take My Hand Precious Lord…”

It is with sadness we announce the passing of Richard Earl (Dick) Johnson in the early morning hours of October 7, 2021. He had many health challenges over the past few years.

He was born on July 19, 1936 in Olympia, Washington to John Earl and Dessie Ellen Lind Johnson.

Dick enjoyed following the San Francisco Giants and the 49ers. He was a #1 fan of his grandson, Nathan, who played football for the Fresno State Bulldogs. He never missed a game on TV and was lucky to have attended a game in person. He was present at most of the grand kid’s sports events, concerts and birthday parties. He always took time to write poems for family and friends.

Dick loved water skiing with friends and family, especially Herb Neely, and taught many how to ski at Trinity Lake – he loved it. He also loved to cut wood, hunt with close friends and sing in the church choir. Dick sang for 56 years with the Humboldt Harmonies Barbershop organization, singing right up to the last week of his life. He wrote “Community Comments” which aired on KINS radio for 41 years. He loved Brian and Angie and their crew. A favorite pastime included crossword puzzles and playing cribbage with close friends. Dick was active in Calvary Lutheran Church from age 15 through 85. He helped build the church, served on the church council and assisted Pastors with Sunday services.

Dick graduated from Eureka High School in 1954 and participated on several reunion committees. He attended Humboldt State for two years and then went to meat cutting school. He began working for Norris Market as a bag boy at age 15, working his way up to meat cutter and grocery clerk until he retired in 2001. He loved working in grocery stores because he liked the comradery of the employees and customers and learning new jokes which he loved to share. He never left a doctor’s office without telling one or two jokes, or bringing them his famous oatmeal, chocolate chip cookies.

Dick had many knee surgeries documented by his license plate “6 Knees”. He was a cancer survivor and was on dialysis for kidney failure for approximately 4 years.

As a father, Dick was a teacher of values, honesty and hard work. He loved Christmas, gathering on Christmas morning with his family, singing Christmas songs and eating the traditional huckleberry pancakes. AND, don’t forget overseeing the traditional Swedish Potato Dumpling dinner on New Year’s Eve. He truly was a wonderful father, grandpa, brother and husband; we will miss him dearly.

Dick is survived by his wife of 41 years, Andrea K. Johnson, son Richard (Rick) Johnson (Nancee), daughter Terra Lynn Madsen (Jim), stepdaughter April Kay McGowan (Ken), grandchildren Brendan James Madsen, Jenna Michele Madsen, Nathan Thomas Madsen, Madeline Claire McGowan, Seth Aaron McGowan, brother Donald Johnson (Lou), sisters Diane Ellis (Greg) and Sandra Burroughs.

Dick was preceded in death by his father and mother, Earl and Dessie Johnson (Zebu), sister Debbie Foster and brothers-in-law Dennis Burroughs and Gary Foster.

A big thank you to Doctors Mathew, Sheeshas, Zagone, Taylor, Gambino and Iverson and their staff, Mad River Home Health and their caring staff at Mad River Hospital and the wound Clinic; nurses and techs and staff at Fresenius Dialysis. Thank you also to the doctors and staff at Humboldt Orthopedics, St. Joseph Hospital nurses and doctors and the Emergency Department staff at St. Joseph’s. Last but not least, thank you to Hospice of Humboldt.

A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, November 20, 2021 at 1 p.m. at Calvary Lutheran Church. Attendees will be required to follow Covid guidelines, wear masks and practice social distancing.

Donations can be made to Calvary Lutheran Church, Humboldt Harmonies or a favorite charity.


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