Friend, brother, uncle and once-husband, Rick passed away on November 9, 2022, from heart failure.

Rick was born on June 30, 1946, to Amelia and Conrad Campos. He spent his childhood living in Santa Maria but once he left, he never went back there. When he graduated from high school he moved to Sacramento and got a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science. After that, he enlisted in the Air Force, thinking that it would be a better way to go then waiting to be drafted into the Army. After about a year of the military, he went AWOL and became a Conscientious Objector and that’s where his dislike and disdain for the military started. He was given a Dishonorable Discharge, which was later upgraded to a General Discharge in the late 1960s when Nixon pardoned all of the conscientious objectors.

After his release from the military, he spent some time living in a tent on a river in Mendocino County. He always said he was very happy there. He also said that never again would he be put in a position where somebody else was going to tell him what to do.

When he was upgraded to a General Discharge, he moved to the Bay Area (Richmond), and enrolled in a junior college so that he could get back into the hang of being in school again. That’s where he met his ex-wife, Kathy. They met in 1971 but didn’t get together until 1973. Although they had been living together since 1975, they didn’t get married until 1980. They split up in 1988 or so and were divorced a year later.

In 1975, Rick went on to get an MA in Social Science at Humboldt State University. He really wanted a degree in Political Science, but that department was too small to have its own department.

In 1980, Rick and Kathy moved to Colville for several months, looking for cheap land. They soon discovered why land was so cheap. They missed the lush forests, rivers, and mountains of Humboldt County, so they quickly came back and bought 23 acres of raw land in Redwood Valley, just off of 299. There, they built a 16 ft. by 24 ft. cabin, totally by hand. There was no electricity and they couldn’t afford a generator. They had two huge vegetable gardens, a small orchard, a small vineyard, two goats, several chickens, various dogs and cats, and eventually, a wolf. The plan was to live in this one-room cabin while they built a “real” house on the landing below. After five years, they decided it would be easier to move someplace else and buy a house that was already built and that had electricity and running water and phone service. So they moved to Dallas, a small town outside of Salem, until they split up.

After that, Rick stayed in the house in Dallas by himself for a few months, and then moved to Mount Shasta for a while. But he missed Humboldt so much that he came back once again. Later, he moved to Mount Vernon for a year or two to take care of his brother, but once again, he returned to Humboldt, and he stayed there until the end.

At one point he used the money he got from selling the property in Oregon and he bought a small house in McKinleyville, but he didn’t have the income to keep it, so he lost it.

For several years Rick volunteered for the large vegetable garden at United Indian Health Services, Potawot, where he was always a hard worker. In recent years he enjoyed visiting with people on the Arcata Plaza, the Marsh, and at the Arcata Co-op. Until a few years ago, he was an avid runner, sometimes running 10 miles several times a week.

During the last of his last many years in Humboldt, he spent his time working for Veterans for Peace and the GI Hotline. He was passionate about helping others find their way through the military system successfully, and he leaves behind a long list of grateful people he has helped over the years.

Rick was a long-time, committed member of Humboldt Bay Chapter 56 of the international veteran’s peace organization, “Veterans for Peace.” He was also a long-time counselor at the G.I. Rights Hotline, where he helped active-duty military service people with both their legal and psychological problems within the military. Rick attended the Arcata Veterans for Peace vigil at the Arcata Plaza for many years, up to and including the last Friday before his passing. Rick was also a passionate environmentalist and supporter of human rights. He was a compassionate man, who loved peace and who loved the earth.

Rick died living in his tent on the beach, just as he had done when he first started his adult life. It seems that Rick has come full circle.

He is survived by his sister Gloria and her husband Doug Gordon, nieces Becky Gordon and Robin Gordon, niece Vanessa and her husband Adam Carlson and their family, nephew Dan Campos and his wife Jennifer and their family, and his ex-wife, Kathy (now Jonas). He is also survived by the hundreds of lives that he touched, working with Veterans for Peace and the GI Hotline. While there will not be a formal ceremony, friends are invited to gather at Wedding Rock in Sue-meg (formerly Patrick’s Point) State Park on Saturday, December 10 at 10 a.m. to say their farewells.

Please note: Neither Rick’s sister (who lives in Salem) nor I (Kathy) knew who to invite or really what to do. So the end result is that we’re not going to do anything except offer a place and a time for people to gather if they choose. I have been told that Rick had become pretty much a recluse so I really have no idea how many people might want to gather. I guess this may turn into a wake more than anything else. It will simply be a time and place for any of Rick’s friends to gather and say goodbye.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Rick Campos’s loved onesThe Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here. Email